Chapter 6. Strategy – emergent or planned, and other issues

In the case study the attitude of the four founders towards the development of their company's strategy, and the flexibility they showed in responding to emerging opportunities were quite important to the success of the company. The decision to allow other companies to brand the website, acknowledging only through a reference to 'powered by' was not an easy one but essential for the company's financial well-being and growth. Flexibility and open-mindedness were required though and, in fact, the new offering did not distract from the founders' vision but rounded it.

In the first chapter of his book Contemporary Strategy Analysis Robert M. Grant introduces three stories of outstanding corporate success proposing that in each case success was due neither to access to superior resources nor accounted for by sheer luck. Though he continues, "In all three stories lucky breaks provided opportunities at critical junctures. But none of the three organisations was subject to a consistent run of good fortune. More important was the ability of all three [organisations] to recognise the opportunities when they presented themselves and to have the clarity of direction and the flexibility necessary to exploit these opportunities." (1991, p. 3) It is the openness towards opportunities, the mental and organisational flexibility that allows taking advantage of them, that are part of what differentiates innovative ...

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