Business school academics and social scientists can be aloof in defence of their theories and are often contemptuous of anything learned by management practitioners in the illustrious ‘university of life’, i.e. ‘on-the-job’. Consider, for example, the following quotation from the philosopher Roland Barthes (1915-1980): “The war against intelligence is always waged in the name of common sense”. We beg to differ, arguing throughout British Business Manifesto: Strategies for Profitable Growth, that theory and practice go hand-in-hand: ‘… a way of thinking, a way of working’ represents our fundamental outlook on the foundations of success in SME business strategy.
Aligning Theory & Practice
Aligning theory and practice from this perspective enables us to present in simple graphical form what we describe as The Environment-Strategy-Organisation Nexus.
The double-headed arrows which link the three key dimensions in the figure above, along with the word ‘Fit’ on the axes between them, demonstrate two fundamentals relating to the principles and practice of business strategy:
- Each element of the ‘triangle’ impacts the others, i.e. they constitute a nexus of inter-dependence.
- The three elements of the triangle must be in alignment (‘Fit‘), i.e. the strategy should be appropriate for the external market conditions and the organisation should be designed to effectively and efficiently implement the strategy.
Despite this, business strategy development is a process that requires a starting point. The more turbulent the market environment the more important it is that an external focus is adopted by companies, the logical conclusion being that the correct analytical sequence in the framework above is:
This process should be embedded in a company or business unit’s ‘way of working’, i.e. it is a business environment and organizational auditing approach which should be adopted with the same rigour, discipline and frequency as the financial audits which consume so much managerial energy yet add very little strategic value in most cases.
SME Business Strategy Events
British Business Manifesto: Strategies for Profitable Growth provides evidence-based principles, frameworks, processes, tools and methodologies to guide the inquisitive manager to develop and lead the intelligent company, regardless of its relative size, business sector or country-of-origin. The overriding objective of this book and the research upon which it is based is to steer SMEs towards current and post-Brexit global and domestic business strategy success.
In conjunction with the publication of the book, nine broadly related business strategy ‘events‘ have been designed, all of which can be delivered in a range of formats, including courses, seminars, masterclasses, workshops, webinars, think-tanks, speaking engagements etc.
These business strategy events can either be ‘open’ for a general audience or customised for a specific client’s requirements. The table below presents the title and descriptive subtitle for each event.
Customised or Open Business Strategy Events
|Scanning & Sensing the Business Environment||Undertaking a Business Environment Audit|
|Analysing Global & Domestic Markets||Customer Insights & Competitor Intelligence|
|Innovation & Entrepreneurship||Dynamic Pathways to Growth and High Performance|
|Strategic Marketing||Market Analysis and Marketing Management|
|Strategic Brand Management||Building Sustainable Differential Advantage|
|Integrated Marketing Communications||Managing Customer Relationships|
|A Practical Framework for Business Strategy Success||Designing Competitively Differentiated ‘Go-to-Market’ Plans|
|Implementing Business Strategy||Building a Customer-Focused Organisation|
|Building a Comprehensive Strategic Audit||Identifying Strategic Priorities and Action Plans|
Taken together, the sequence of the nine discrete events presented above follows a linear agenda with reference to the Environment-Strategy-Organisation framework; however, five key themes permeate all subject headings:
- Delivered Stakeholder Value.
- Strategic Clarity: Effectiveness.
- Operational Excellence: Efficiency.
- Organisational Design: Structure & Culture.
- Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
In addition to these themes, we discuss contemporary business strategy issues and topics in the context of extreme turbulent business environments, including a raft of disruptive technologies and business processes.
Please click/tap any of the event ‘presentation front cover’ slides below for detailed information for each event, presented in three categories per subject-topic-theme arena:
- Business context.
- Indicative content.
- Learning outcomes.
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All content © Colin Edward Egan, 2021