Strategic thinking has emerged over time as markets changed and buyers became more demanding for quality, innovation and value. Over time we have witnessed the advancements in thinking about strategy, management and business philosophy.
Evolving Management Models
From the early days Adam Smith economic theories set the stage for management models to accomplish mass production. Then Frederick Taylor’s thoughts on scientific management set the stage for the industrial revolution. Some of the more recent developments include the Theory of Profound Knowledge (Deming) Theory of Constraints (Goldratt’), Management by Objectives (Drucker), Re-engineering (Hammer), Six Sigma (Motorola) and various information-technology-driven theories such as agile or lean management, as well as group management theories such as Cog’s Ladder.
Today management practices are evolving quickly as technological advancements are changing the behavior of the human network. From Business Model Generation (Alexander Osterwalden) to Economics of Humans (Omair Haque) evidence abounds that management practicies must evolve.
Evolving Strategic Models
As management practices have evolved so has the art and science of strategic thinking. Strategic models have developed as a result of “systemic changes” in how markets work, knowledge advancements, buyer behavior and communications fueled by technological developments. Some of the top thought leaders that have shaped strategic thinking include:
- Frederick Lanchester: Military Strategies:
- Micheal Porter: Creating Competitive Strategy
- Kapland & Norton: Aligning Process for Strategic Advantage
- Henry Mintzberg: Learning & Emergent Strategies
- Max & Wilde: Strategic Choices for a Networked Society
- C.K. Prahlad: Customer Co-Creation Strategies
- Gary Hamel: Strategy as Revolution
- Clayton Christensen: The Innovator’s Dilemma
- Martin Reeves and Michael S. Deimler: Adaptive Strategic Advantage
- Saul Kaplan: The Business Model Innovation Factory
Evolving Business Philosophy
Although there have been few “philosophers of business”, business and economics was not developed in a vacuum. It is built on many tacit philosophical principles and assumptions that have been examined by man for centuries.
Each of the above referenced thought leaders in management and strategic theory developed their work based on certain belief systems gained from history, experience, study and observation. Thought leaders are those that study general and fundamental business problems with the aim of creating new knowledge to solve old business problems. From the creation and acquisition of new knowledge comes wisdom.
The word “philosophy” means “love of wisdom” . Unless you learn to love wisdom you’ll never discover the right strategy.