Strategy Needs Creativity

by Adam Brandenburger

I’VE NOTICED THAT BUSINESS SCHOOL STUDENTS often feel frustrated when they’re taught strategy. There’s a gap between what they learn and what they’d like to learn. Strategy professors (including me) typically teach students to think about strategy problems by introducing them to rigorous analytical tools—assessing the five forces, drawing a value net, plotting competitive positions. The students know that the tools are essential, and they dutifully learn how to use them. But they also realize that the tools are better suited to understanding an existing business context than to dreaming up ways to reshape it. Game-changing strategies, they know, are born of creative thinking: a spark of intuition, ...

Get HBR's 10 Must Reads on Strategy 2-Volume Collection now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.