Chapter 5

Strategic Analysis II: High-Level Sense Making

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.

—Albert Einstein

In this chapter, we:
  • examine the purpose and role of high-level strategic analysis in strategic sense making;
  • introduce two high-level frameworks of strategic analysis – the value proposition and unique competing space frameworks – and discuss their application toward generating strategically relevant insight;
  • examine how these high-level frameworks can guide the overall strategic process through aggregation and integration of a number of individual approaches, models and frameworks;
  • close with a final analysis framework, the opportunity-response framework, which addresses the “when?” question related to strategic scheduling.

The purpose of high-level strategic analyses is to probe and map the firm's strategic position in its greater competitive context. Central to the firm's strategic position is its ability and disposition to create and deliver a uniquely superior value offering to its relevant stakeholders. Hence we begin this chapter with a short reflection on the strategic value imperative. We then examine two high-level frameworks of strategic analysis – the value proposition framework and the unique competing space framework. These frameworks represent structured, high-level approaches to strategic analysis. The two frameworks are complementary, and importantly, both converge on an expression of the value offering that is ...

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