About Patterns of Strategy

About Patterns of Strategy

Why use it?

This approach is much faster than traditional approaches, and faster strategy gives you advantage.  It models strategy as a set of manoeuvres and helps you plan in detail the changes you need to carry out and the metrics of success. It’s applicable in competitive and collaborative situations and at all sizes, from a department to a multinational. You can use it to model the dynamics of your business environment to predict its likely future state.  And finally, it integrate with other approaches for organisation design, change, strategic risk, and transformation planning.

What’s different?

Patterns of Strategy works on the dynamics of multiple actors, mapping strategic direction resulting from moves and countermoves by the key actors in your strategic environment. It plans strategy as a series of manoeuvres that change your relationship to other organisations: what you do, where and how, whether in competitive or collaborative situations or both. In doing so, it emphasises time as a key variable. If your environment or competitors change faster than you then you are at risk.  It maps value as an exchange, with multiple ‘currencies’ between the different strategic actors.  It delivers improved strategic fit, which sustains your organisation and drives its direction – the approach is based on understanding and changing your strategic fit to your advantage.

How it works

Patterns of Strategy focuses on the structural couplings your organisation has, and forming strategy is about changing the characteristics of those couplings, to make them more advantageous, or adding new couplings, or breaking an existing coupling.  It defines each coupling in terms of three dimensions: fit, power and time.

Fit includes:

Power includes:

Time includes:

These six elements determine the characteristics of the coupling, and the degree to which it brings you advantage.  Setting strategy designs a sequence of manoeuvres to change the characteristics to make them more favourable.

An Integrated suite

You can use Patterns of Strategy on its own for strategy, developing scenarios and mapping business eco-systems. But it’s also part of an integrated suite of approaches:

Strategic Radar: for tracking strategic risks and opportunities in the environment, so you spot them earlier and have longer to react

Organisational model:  your organisation’s capabilities will determine the strategies available to you

Transformation planning: executing strategic manoeuvres requires organisational change

Dynamic performance: metrics that show how both your strategy and operations are delivering

Value framework: your overall value framework, the coherence between: value proposition, corporate, market and staff values and any shifts in value exchange the strategy demands.