I spoke at a number of conferences the last few weeks on the same topic of Strategic Innovation in the Age of Reinvention. Reinvention is the word as every individual, practicing professional, multi-nationals, non-profits, education institution and government ought to be thinking about “reinvention”. We desperately need to “totally reinvent ourselves” in order to transform our economy, organizations, politics and societies.

Corporations adopted strategies 20 years back to outsource their production and resulted in loss of ability to innovate and compete. Many corporations cannot even define their core and what they are really good it today, their perceived competitive advantage was merely channel assess and a warehouse of intellectual property and patent documents.
 
 
Business leaders and governments are also experiencing a profound crisis of trust and legitimacy and all these factors have triggered a loss of confidence in traditional ways of doing things. The new world of reinvented strategic management requires applied design thinking across all management functional disciplines.
 
 
Today the very core of many management theories are being questioned and “management” is close to a point of failure. Leaders are looking to find something new to grasp onto in order to make sense of what’s going on and are looking to organize for a future of unprecedented uncertainties. Companies that fail to make the transition and missing industry breakpoints will be forced to play catch-up or risk being irrelevant or extinction.
 
 
One of the problems is we are still training our managers (MBAs) based on theories developed in post-Wold War II which was adequate when there were very little competition and technology was not a key drivers of competitive advantage. The M-form organization design is functionally oriented and the idea is every manager should manage a piece of the business as if optimizing each function means optimizing the whole. They are specialists and as as a result everyone is sub-optimizing the whole. Resulting in turf battles, lack of collaboration and unhealthy internal competition that causes satisfactory under performance.
 
 
The strategic process occurring when the organization already realizes that it is facing an immediate crisis, usually leads to strategic plans in the way of drastic cost reducing changes - closing of plants, cutting down of manpower, cancelation of investment plans or a change in their direction. These actions can only help them temporary. These are no changes in the present cognitive frame of the organization and these efforts may only enhance the sliding of the organization toward its doom.
 
 
The new world of reinvented strategic management requires applied design thinking across all management functional disciplines. The very core of many management theories are being questioned and “management” is close to a point of failure. Leaders are looking to find something new to grasp onto in order to make sense of what’s going on and how to organize for a future of unprecedented uncertainties. Companies that fail to make the transition and missing industry breakpoints will be forced to play catch-up or risk being irrelevant or extinction.