Chapter 4. The Strategy Elastic

No man was ever so much deceived by another as by himself.

Fulke Greville

Improvement is driven by three questions: Where am I now, where do I want to be, and how do I get there? So if we want to improve the way we deal with dilemmas, we should start with a self-assessment. A true assessment requires reflection, the ability to take a hard and honest look at your organization, and not kid yourself. Moving from an either/or approach to an and/and attitude requires deep understanding not only of the organization's strengths, but also its weaknesses.

The Global Dealing with Dilemmas Survey (DwD survey) reveals the self-assessment of 580 respondents from 55 countries (see Figure 4.1). The majority of responses came from commercial companies, although 9% of respondents represented public sector organizations. The three most prominent sectors in the survey were professional services, high technology, and financial services. However, almost every other industry was represented, too, such as telecom, oil and gas, retail, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, automotive, and utilities.

These self-assessments were collected during interviews, workshops, presentations, and through a web survey. In the survey, I asked respondents to score themselves and their organizations on a number of things. I asked how well they think they deal with strategic dilemmas, and then asked a number of questions to verify that self-assessment. I also inquired as to what extent respondents were ...

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