On January 25, 2010,when The Wall Street Journal reported that strategy as we know it is dead, I knew that my new book, The Strategy String, was timely. Now, with Wired Magazine's about on compressed sensing titled "Fill in the Blanks", I realize that The Strategy String can mean survival for organizations looking for strategies that keep pace with rapid market changes.
Compressed sensing is a new data capture technique that streamlines how information is gathered and reported. The premise is that by only capturing a fraction of the available information, say for instance 20% of a MRI or digital camera image, you can capture data much faster. Mathematical algorithms then interpolate the remaining data bits, delivering a complete picture that is accurate each and every time.
Why this is significant is seen in the article example: a two-year-old boy at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital was experiencing a failure with his liver transplant. Doctors needed to stop his breathing in order to take a clear MRI to find the issue and save his life. A traditional MRI would have required stopping his breathing for a full two minutes, risking depleting his tiny body of much needed oxygen that could result in tissue and brain damage. Using compressed sensing, they were able to capture just a fraction of the data in just 40 seconds, and interpolate the remaining image data after restarting his breathing. The results? No loss in oxygen in his blood supply, and a clear image which doctors used to fix the problem with the transplanted liver and save his life.
Like a MRI, strategy development traditionally took a long time to complete, depriving the organization of changes needed to respond to immediate threats. A six to 18 month data capture and strategy development process runs the risk of forcing an organization to miss immediate market opportunities and stall on addressing immediate concerns. Today's economic opportunities come and go in the matter of weeks, not months or years as in days of lore. Data capture and processing, and the acting on the findings require more responsive strategy development processes that captures only the most critical framework needed to move forward in the market place. And once that framework has been developed, it should be flexible enough to allow for more responsive implementation that clearly aligns with the strategic goals to complete the organizational picture.
The Strategy String does just that. Instead of mapping every detail of the strategic plan, The Strategy String provides a framework with which each individual and department can fill in the blanks to paint the picture of forward-moving success and growth. With the most critical guidelines of strategy in place -- vision, mission, strategy, and positioning -- each team can focus on how to customize implementation to respond to swift market and stakeholder fluctuations. The strategic team gets to focus on the "why" while the integrators and implementers work in the trenches to deliver "how" and "what" that adapt to whatever changes might arise.
Do you have a strategy that uses Compressed Sensing to be responsive to change and growth opportunities?
I invite you to read The Strategy String: An Organizational Primer for Tying Strategy to Performance. The book is available on Amazon.com, or you can save $5 by ordering at www.StrategyString.com.
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