Here’s something I’ve written about earlier, but worth thinking about often.
Umair Haque has written Laws of the Post-Network Economy: Strategy is a Commodity in the BubbleGeneration blog.
His basic idea is that organizations are all creating and implementing strategy, it no longer provides clear differentiation from other companies as it did in the past. Strategy has become part of a “standard operating procedure”, it is a commodity process found in every business.
The playing field has been levelled.
Strategy is necessary, but no longer the important tool of change and value creation it was 20 years ago.
He suggests that the next value creation “tool” that organizations are and will be using is that of creativity.
“I think it is going to have to do with creativity. In a world where strategy is a commodity, creativity becomes the vital factor from which value flows. When everyone can think strategically about everything, the locus of value creation shifts from out-thinking everyone to out-creating them. The prime mover of value creation becomes putting the ability to create (goods, services, processes – even strategies) at the heart and soul of the firm.” (Link)
I’m a big believer that the best business ideas are those that no one else is currently using (Link). Once your business tools, human resources, sales and marketing and finance departments are all doing it like everyone else, it’s not going to be great, it’s not going to be exciting, it’s not going to create a profitable future.
What could happen to your organization and your industry if creativity is viewed and promoted as the most important business tool you have NOW, to create and prepare for the future?
On the other hand, what if Umair is wrong, and strategy is not a commodity?
What will occur if the future requires that we constantly “out-think” the competition?