Just-in-time Strategy for a Turbulent World

Essay by ldstewart59University, Master'sA, March 2009

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JUST-IN-TIME STRATEGY FOR A TURBULENT WORLDUniversity of PhoenixJanuary 25, 2009Linda StewartMBA/580Instructor: Dr. Conrado SampangJUST-IN-TIME STRATEGY FOR A TURBULENT WORLDThe article discusses difficulties of companies in business forecasting due to rising risk levels and uncertainty. The author recommends using a "portfolio of initiatives" approach to strategy to reduce the number of risks taken by a company. Chief executive officers (CEO) can view corporate strategy as a portfolio, where the goal is to maximize the favorable outcomes for the enterprise as a whole. By organizing initiatives around a common theme, CEOs increase the likelihood of achieving these goals. The value of familiarity in business environment is discussed. The following approaches are:A new approachFamiliarity breeds opportunityA portfolio in actionA disciplined searchManaging a portfolio of initiativesA flexible and evolutionary approachUncertainty and rising levels of risk make it impossible for companies to determine the future. But a portfolio-of-initiatives approach to strategy can help ensure that companies take full advantage of their best opportunities without taking unnecessary risks.

The classic approach to corporate strategy starts with a presumption: that with sufficient analytical rigor and an adequate assessment of the probabilities, strategists can pave a predictable path to the future from the matter of the past. In this world, they make reasonable assumptions about the evolution of product markets, capital markets, technology, and government regulation and, in effect, "assume away" most risk. Globalization and technology are sweeping away the market and industry structures that have historically defined the nature of competition. The result is an economic environment that is rich in opportunity but also marked by a substantial increase in awareness of risk and aversion to it-a phenomenon reflected in the rise of risk premiums throughout the world even while the risk-free cost of capital remains low.

An analogy may help. Consider the management problem of moving...