Bringing science to the art of strategy. Lafley AG(1), Martin RL, Rivkin JW, Siggelkow N. Author information: (1)University of Toronto, Rotman School of. Many managers feel doomed to trade off the futile rigor of ordinary strategic planning for the Bringing science to the art of strategy. A G Lafley, Roger L. Martin, +1 author Nicolaj Siggelkow; Published in Harvard business review. Manageris recommande l’article Bringing Science to the Art of Strategy, Harvard Business Review,

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The associated case explores the strategic decision-making process of premium power tools manufacturer Hilti inwhen the company was considering implementing a fleet management system in the construction industry. Find at Harvard Purchase. It lacks the hypothesis generation and testing that’s at the heart of the scientific method.

Cite View Details Purchase. About the Author Jan W.

Rivkin and Nicolaj Siggelkow. The new Olay succeeded beyond expectations-showing what can happen when teams shift from asking “What is the right answer” and focus instead on figuring out “What are the right questions?

It lacked a credible brand in skin care, the largest and most profitable segment of the sector. Karen Mills and Jan W.

Mills, Karen, and Jan W. Already a Business Briefings subscriber?

Bringing science to the art of strategy.

For all its emphasis on data and number crunching, conventional strategic planning is not actually scientific. Cite View Details Related.

To continue reading, become a paid subscriber for full access. Frame a choice by converting each business issue into at least two mutually exclusive options that might resolve it. Business and Environment Business History Entrepreneurship. Fleet management would involve a shift from selling power tools to leasing them as a service. The group need only review the test results and choose the possibility with the fewest serious barriers. Print Find at Harvard Purchase. This seven-step method, developed by the authors, involves applying creativity to a scientifically rigorous process to enable teams to generate novel strategies and to pinpoint the one most likely to succeed.


The authors outline a aft process that combines rigor and creativity. The possibilities-based approach, therefore, begins with the recognition that the organization must make a choice, and that the choice has consequences.

Many managers feel doomed to trade off the futile rigor of ordinary strategic planning for the hit-or-miss creativity of the alternatives. As long as bringnig is the case, the organization will fall into the trap of investigating data related to the issues, rather than exploring and testing possible solutions. A team begins by formulating options, or possibilities, and asks what must be true for each to succeed. A simple way to get strategists to avoid that trap is to require them to define two mutually exclusive options that could resolve the issue in question.

Strategic Planning ; Science. After testing the barrier conditions for several possibilities, it opted bringinb a bold strategy that might never have surfaced in the traditional process: All it had was Oil of Olay, a small, Finance General Management Marketing. The team then tests the key barrier conditions to see which hold true.

Bringing Science to the Art of Strategy

They should ask what must be true for a given possibility to succeed—and explore whether those conditions hold. To produce novel and successful strategies, teams need to adopt a step-by-step process in which creative thinking yields possibilities, or hypotheses, and rigorous analysis tests them. Article Harvard Business Review September The key is to recognize that conventional strategic planning, for all its analysis, is not actually scientific-it lacks the careful generation and testing of hypotheses that are at the heart of the scientific method.


Technology and Operations Management. Once you have framed the problem as a choice — any choice — your analysis and emotions will focus on what you have to do next, not on describing or analyzing the challenge. Rivkin, and Nicolaj Siggelkow.

Bringing Science to the Art of Strategy – Business Briefings

Casadesus-Masanell, Ramon, and Jan Rivkin. From here, choosing a strategy is simple: In fact, the two can be reconciled to produce novel but realistic strategies. For Hilti, it represented an entirely new business model, which would substantially differentiate the company from its competitors.

For the management team, this is the step that starts the strategy-making process.

lafleyy Conventional strategic planning is driven by the calendar and tends to focus on issues, such as declining profits or market share. Finance Globalization Health Care. Login for full access now. Once it has listed all the conditions, it assesses their likelihood and thereby identifies the barriers to each choice.