October 19

Who Controls Corporate Strategy?

Who controls your corporate strategy? You’d like to hope it’s the board, you’d probably even assume that it was; but corporations don’t exist in isolation and the outside world can have more of an impact than you’d like. Government policy, market conditions, disruptors… even customers can have a significant influence on the way in which corporate strategy maps out into reality.

Now external influence isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does depend on how you approach your interactions with the outside world. Collaboration is a vital ingredient of a truly innovative culture, running a free for all is not. It’s all a question of balance and sometimes corporations have to act to take back control of their destiny in order to continue to deliver game-changing synergies.

We’ve seen a couple of examples of this recently. First up is Amazon which has decided to take legal action against 1000 people whom it alleges have been posting fake reviews on its site. Whilst product reviews posted on Amazon are seen as one of its strengths, fake reviews can undermine trust and tarnish the Amazon brand.

The second example comes from Twitter. Here again, it is the interactions of its users which create its strength in the online marketplace. But whilst the randomness of the interactions are part of its strength, they can also detract from the brand. So Twitter has now released ‘Moments’ which seek to capture and share stories which are unfolding on Twitter.

If collaboration isn’t in your corporate strategy then you have some way to go before you are ready to build a culture of innovation. But whilst interactions are a vital ingredient of an innovative corporate strategy, exerting some measure of control over those interactions is necessary if the strategy is to drive a strong brand allied to game-changing solutions.


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