Webinar: Strategy Matters in Turbulent Times: Think Big Data. Think Business Models. Reply

The Business Perspectives webinar on Strategy Matters in Turbulent Times: Think Big Data. Think Business Models took place on Thursday 13 October. If you missed the webinar or want to watch it again, it is now available to view on demand.

WATCH THE WEBINAR

The one-hour webinar focussed on business models, strategic growth, digital strategy and big data. The webinar also included video highlights from our masterclass in London on 21 September.

Our webinar panellists included Professor Thomas Lawton, Professor of Strategy and International Management at The Open University Business School (OUBS), Jerry Teahan, Head of Strategic Business Development (Network, Cloud Services) at BT Group and Dr Hilary Collins, Lecturer in Management at OUBS. The webinar was facilitated by Peter Wainwright, MBA alumnus and Consultant at Askyra Ltd.

You can also share your views and comments about the event or topic by following us on Twitter @OUBSchool, using #OU_BP

Video highlights from our masterclass on Strategy Matters in Turbulent Times: Think Big Data. Think Business Models. Reply

Understanding how Digital Technologies can impact on Business Strategy (Part 1)*

Jerry Teahan, Head of Strategic Business Development (Network, Cloud Services), BT Group

*Part 2 of this video is available via our online webinar.

Data big and small: what works? what next?

Patrick Callinan, Global Head of Data and Analytics, A.V.

Further video highlights are available from:

  • Jerry Teahan, Head of Strategic Business Development (Network, Cloud Services) at BT Group, focusing on digital value chains
  • Professor Thomas Lawton, Professor of Strategy and International Management at OUBS, looking at leveraging your business model for innovation and growth
  • Antoine Boatwright, Chief Technology Officer at Hillgate Travel, gives his perspective on digital strategy

You can watch more videos on our online webinar, which took place on 13 October. Note, you will be required to register, if you haven’t already done so.

Webinar: Strategy Matters in Turbulent Times, 13 October Reply

The complimentary webinar from The Open University Business School (OUBS), will look at business models, strategic growth, digital strategy and big data. The online webinar will take place on Thursday 13 October 2016 at 18:00 – 19:00 (BST).

Register now.

During the webinar, we’ll explore the following key questions:

  • What are the critical components to design and deliver an innovative, effective business model?
  • How do you render a growth-oriented business model robust enough to deal with today’s unpredictable world?
  • How can you factor in global disruptions driven by digitalisation, big data and geopolitical risk?

The webinar will include video highlights from our masterclass in London on 21 September. We’ll draw on the contributions from our masterclass and further develop these discussion points during the webinar, and we invite you to contribute via our live online polls and Q&A forums.

Webinar panellists include Professor Thomas Lawton, Professor of Strategy and International Management at OUBS. The webinar will be facilitated by Peter Wainwright, MBA alumnus and consultant at Askyra Ltd.

For further information, please visit our website.

Strategy Matters: Leveraging your business model for innovation and growth Reply

Photo of Professor Thomas Lawton
Guest blogger: Thomas C. Lawton, PhD FRSA, Professor of Strategy and International Management at The Open University Business School.

The purpose of our Business Perspectives event in London on 21st September is to integrate research, consulting and practice in a discussion about the interface of data, digital and business models. Questions raised will include: what is a business model and how can managers innovate existing business models to create new market opportunities? How have digital technologies transformed business models? How can big data drive a growth-oriented business model? We are fortunate to have three excellent business speakers, representing insights and experiences from large corporations (BT Group), mid-sized companies (Hillgate Travel), and consultancy (Added Value/Kantar). I will add my thoughts, based on 20 years of research, writing and advisory work.

Whilst the tone of the day will be critical but upbeat and positive, it is worth reflecting in advance on the challenges and in some ways, existential threats that exist to disruptive and often asset-light business models. Let’s take two examples: Airbnb and Uber. Investors have valued Airbnb at $30 billion and Uber at close to $70 billion. But as I write, I am in Germany’s capital, Berlin, a city that has regulated to prevent entire homes being rented through Airbnb and that banned Uber, ostensibly on consumer safety grounds. As we know, lobbying by black cab drivers meant that London came close to restricting Uber’s business model when Boris Johnson was mayor. Sadiq Khan may yet impose Berlin-style restriction on Airbnb, as research indicates up to half of Airbnb rentals in London are offered by professional landlords, limiting further the number of long term rental properties available in a city with an already chronic shortage of housing.

My point is that it is easy to be carried away by the hype and hubris surrounding new, digital, data-driven business models. What the market and some consumers value may not be valued by all and if a company does not factor in wider stakeholder engagement, it risks unravelling the very fabric of its business model. In my research, I call this an imbalance or misalignment between a company’s market and non-market strategy. The non-market refers to the political, regulatory, social and environmental contexts in which a company operates. Airbnb rushed to grow its global footprint and sign up more and more hosts without considering the impact its nightly rental business model would have on neighbours and communities. Uber focused, understandably, on customer satisfaction but neglected to make a case to political and regulatory authorities about the positive impact its business model would have on urban congestion and pollution through, for example, its ride sharing option.

For companies to maintain growth, an aligned strategy, reflecting both market and non-market engagement, is critical to the integrity and success of business models and must occur at all levels, from city to state.

We can continue this conversation during and after Wednesday’s event. I look forward to meeting you there.

If you would like to attend our masterclass ‘Strategy Matters in Turbulent Times: Think Big Data. Think Business Models’, please visit The Open University Business School website for further information and details on how to book.

Strategy Matters in Turbulent Times: Think Big Data. Think Business Models Reply

Our Business Perspectives masterclass will take place in London on 21 September, led by Professor Thomas Lawton, Professor of Strategy and International Management at The Open University Business School (OUBS). Professor Lawton is a published author on international business and strategic management and has spent twenty years advising leaders, managers and entrepreneurs on business development and market growth.

Guest speakers include:

  • Antoine Boatwright, CTO, Hillgate Travel
  • Patrick Callinan, Global Head of Data and Analytics at Added Value (a Kantar/WPP Plc company)
  • Hilary Collins, Lecturer in Management, OUBS

A symbiotic relationship exists at the heart of successful strategy between what the customer wants and what the company can deliver. In this masterclass we’ll explore:

  • What are the critical components to design and deliver an innovative, effective business model?
  • How do you render a growth-oriented business model robust enough to deal with today’s unpredictable world?
  • How can you factor in global disruptions driven by digitalisation, big data and geopolitical risk?

We’ll also look at the latest thinking and frameworks to better enable growth oriented business strategies that are adaptable and responsive to technological change.

Places are limited. For more information and to register, visit our website.

Leaders, is your organisation strategy-less? 1

Guest blogger:

Dr Alex WrightAlex Wright, Lecturer in Strategic Management at The Open University Business School. 

Research I have been conducting recently along with that of my colleague, Professor Peet Venter of UNISA in South Africa, has thrown up an interesting finding – the existence of the strategy-less organisation.

As strategy researchers, we tend to assume that all organisations will be doing at least some strategy-work all of the time. We accept that there will be times when the level and intensity of strategising will tail off, for example, when a major strategic initiative has been achieved and the effects of that achievement require bedding down in the organisation. However, Peet and I, independently of each other, both observed something a bit more long-lasting and possibly a bit more concerning.

We observed prolonged periods of organisational activity when strategy and strategy-related issues did not appear to influence or make a difference to what was happening in the organisations.

Perhaps I should clarify what I mean by strategy and what I do not.

I do not see strategy as restricted to a plan, as something an organisation has. If that were the case it could reasonably be argued that if an organisation has a strategic plan, then it can never be strategy-less.

Primarily, I see strategy as something people do; as practices in pursuit of some long term organisational goal or objective. In this framing, I argue, an absence of strategy-work can result in organisations becoming strategy-less, and this is what we both observed.

Looking in the strategy literature to see if anyone had researched strategic inactivity in the past, we found one paper. Andrew Inkpen and Nandan Choudhury published a paper in Strategic Management Journal in 1995 speculating that the strategy-less organisation was a very real phenomenon and called for strategy researchers to take up the baton and study the topic. However, this call has been ignored, so apart from Inkpen and Choudhury’s paper, no other piece of research has been written on strategy absence, as far as I can tell.

This is unfortunate, as our knowledge of any phenomena increases by understanding when it is not present as well as when it is.

Inkpen and Choudhury advanced the idea that strategic voids in organisations could occur for one of three reasons:

  • due to leadership ineffectiveness, i.e. leaders not engaging in strategy-work
  • due to organisations having natural work cycles, which means there will always be times when strategy-work does not take place; and
  • due to conscious decisions taken by senior managers not to undertake strategy-related activity.

I will concentrate on the first of these, leadership ineffectiveness, and relate this to what Peet and I observed.

leadership_highlightedWe both found that a lack of senior management involvement in strategy-work resulted in an absence of strategic practice in the organisations we researched. In the one I studied this seemed to be because leaders associated strategy-work with formulating strategy only and appeared to have little interest in whether the strategy they formulated was being implemented. I think this stems from the idea that strategy formulation and implementation are seen as separate activities and are the responsibility of different staff groups. Senior managers are the formulators, while middle and lower level managers and staff are the implementers. This thinking represents a separation, sometimes called a mind/body separation, first articulated by the philosopher René Descartes, who advocated a philosophical view that saw the body as subservient to the mind – the mind thought and the body acted out these thoughts. This philosophical outlook is called Cartesian thinking; and, while still influential, has been criticised and challenged in recent years for the artificial separation of thinking and doing. Why this philosophical diversion? Because this separation of thinking and doing is prevalent in much leadership theory – leaders think and followers do.

Peet came across another example of leadership ineffectiveness. The organisation he researched was enjoying huge success. It was operating in a buoyant industry and it was one of the leaders. However, Peet observed a lack of strategy-work, no one was talking about strategy and a major piece of government legislation was about to be brought in that would affect the whole industry, and yet, no consideration of this was evident in the meetings and conversations he observed. Here, a strategic void occurred because leaders were (over-)focusing on managing their success, and not paying enough attention to the longer-term. I can foresee a similar situation arising when leaders are experiencing tough times. Their focus on leading the organisation through the tough times, just as Peet’s leaders were focused on leading the success, can result in strategy-work suffering. Leading exclusively in the present can harm the organisation in the longer-term when major environmental changes are on the horizon and these are not being considered.

Strategy-less organisations, I feel, exist. I would like to hear from anyone who feels they have experienced or are experiencing life in an organisation where strategy-work is simply not being done. I am particularly keen to hear from leaders who would like to do more strategy-work, but feel the priorities they are currently grappling with do not allow them to.

Strategy quarter summary report Reply

strategy summary reportWe are pleased to publish the second Business Perspectives summary report, which concludes the strategy quarter with cutting-edge perspectives from around the globe.

We invite you to download and share the report and send us any comments.  A similar summary report will be available following the leadership quarter. If you would like to contribute your perspective towards the leadership theme, please contact our Business Perspectives Editor using the web-form in the Leadership Masterclass post.

Click here to download the report.

Strategy webinar – 26 February 2013 4

View the Strategy webinar held on 26 February 2013 and see four videos from the Strategy Masterclass representing perspectives from Professor Thomas Lawton (OUBS), Antoine Boatwright (Dell), Mike Barnard (Capita plc) and Alison Copus (TripAdvisor).

Grab a pen and paper and jot down your poll views to compare your perspectives with those of our panelists’ and the 170 other participants’:

Strategy webinar: a snapshot introducing the 3 ‘I’s Reply

On 26 February, our Strategy Masterclass follow up webinar welcomed a diverse range of delegates from the four corners of the globe, ranging from an oil rig off the coast of Angola to a breakfast table in Melbourne. With over 170 active participants, we heard views from both the public and private sectors.

We shared four videos from the event followed by polls and Q&As. In the first video, Professor Thomas Lawton from the OUBS shared his perspective on how to position business for growth: the three ‘I’s.

The follow up poll revealed that out of the three ‘I’s (innovate, internationalise and integrate), the majority of the participants chose ‘Innovating our valued proposition’ as having the most appeal for their organisation’s own strategy right now.

The complete recorded webinar will be published early next week. Come back then to delve into a wealth of strategy ideas and modules, and enjoy the food for thought.