This day started with a workshop titled Building Innovation into your Company. This session focused on strategy innovation, “the capacity to re-conceive the existing industry model in ways that create new value for customers, wrong-foot competitors, and produce new wealth for all stakeholders” (Hamel, 1998).
In this session we discussed why firms need to consider strategy innovation and introduce a number of techniques that can aid the development of innovative strategies. The topic is introduced and illustrated using various cases from food and retail industry, an example of creating a new business model which has ‘changed the rules of the game’ within the industry. The workshop allowed the participants to develop their own businesses.
The second part of the day focused on sustainable competitive advantages. How to create a sustainable competitive advantage is important but for every example of strategic success, it is possible to trade an equally spectacular example of strategic failure. We only have to think of Enron, Lehman, ABB, Worldcom, Marconi, Cable & Wireless, Vivendi Universal and any number of Japanese banks to witness the potentially destructive power of wrong-headed strategies. The fact is that strategy is a double-edged sword: it can be the source of power and wealth but equally the cause of disaster. It is therefore essential that any existing or aspiring strategic leader understand the nature and purpose of strategic management.
After class, some of the students gathered at Ciro’s Pomodoro for a nice dinner where they also met the owner.