Strategic theories are evolving rapidly. The internet has enabled the inventory of strategic knowledge to become accessible to anyone. In addition the very dynamics of the web are also changing knowledge about strategic thinking.
For decades, the starting point for strategic thinking has been a reflection of strategic thought leaders and those whom have adopted their theories. Strategic thinking is intrinsic to the economy, and such thinking provides the context for initiatives aimed at economic growth and competitive advantage, whether for an organization or an entire country.
Strategic Theory is a contemplative and rational type thinking about how economies, organizations and governments work. These theories are reflective of the consistent predictive behavior of markets, organizations and governments. Consistent patterned behavior of markets, organizations and governments has been the basis of strategic prediction. Today consistent patterned behavior is no longer true and thus strategic theories of the past are being challenged.
Strategic Theories of Networks
What one thing has changed how people and organizations think about strategy? The Internet.
The internet has created “strategic networks of knowledge” which are creating new business models, methods and more importantly new thinking. The CEO of Boeing Company says his company is no longer an aircraft manufacturer; it has become a systems integrator. Mercedes-Benz doesn’t build its own E Class cars; the Magna Corporation does the work, including final assembly. IBM has become a computer company that doesn’t really make its computers; its partner network does. All of this is possible because of the Internet. This deep, rich, publicly available communications technology is enabling a new business architecture that challenges the industrial-age thinking as the basis for strategic development.
The Internet has become a “strategic network of knowledge” composed of suppliers, distributors, service providers, infrastructure providers, and customers that uses the Internet to learn, live, adapt and innovate traditional processes, products and more importantly thinking.
The internet has advanced network theories that have serious strategic implications. The strategic implications apply to many business disciplines including organizational design, human interactions, learning models, statistical theory, computer science, economics, operations research, and sociology.
While past thought leaders on the subject of “strategy” offer contributions to the knowledge inventory about strategy, more profound contributions are coming from the strategic network of knowledge“. These contributions are adding to and changing strategy as we’ve known it.
It is utter folly to believe the Internet brings nothing fundamentally new to strategic development. The internet is the very source of all strategic development and it is changing all previous thoughts about strategy.