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Policy/Strategy for
Global Complexity
"Business unit CEOs, corporate executives, leaders of NGOs, and top government officials, are all facing a world of increased complexity going forward. The complexity arises from the intersection of energy security and global warming concerns in a tightly coupled global economy. Rising living standards in the developing world accentuate both of these challenges."

Observation of Jaque's stratum concepts to China

Keystone Decision - Burn or Opportunity

Canada's Energy Strategy - a Series of Lurches

Hydrogen Options within an Energy Strategy for Canada

Port Nelson boondoggle a cautionary tale

A National Energy Policy for Canada

Agricultural Impacts Alone Justify Scrapping Bipole III Route

Global Complexity - New Opportunities

Climate Change: The Strategic Challenge for Businesses

Management Talk Radio Interviews

Business Strategies for Climate Change - Julian Fairfield & Don Fowke

Business Strategies for Climate Change: Julian Fairfield and Don Fowke, exploring the path toward a low carbon future, and implications for corporate strategy for companies in Australia, Canada and the United States. The show will explore related issues of energy security, the role of nuclear power, the shift toward an electricity based transport sector, and how the Alberta Oil Sands fit into the equation.

Management Challenges in China Rising - Edwin Wang

Management Challenges in China Rising: With Edwin Wang of Raise International in Beijing, explores the revolution underway in management in China and how Western ideas are being absorbed and enhanced in the leading Chinese enterprises.

Strategy Driven Innovation - Herb Koplowitz

Strategy Driven Innovation: It's about accountability, not culture: With Herb Koplowitz of Terra Firma Management Consulting, discussing how the current focus on innovation is misplaced. There is no business value in being innovative let alone in having an innovative culture. Your shareholders don't pay you to do new things. They pay you to implement strategy, a plan to reach corporate goals. Rather than sprinkling innovation dust across the company CEO's should consider how to implement strategy aggressively. This will require doing new things, but that's a whole different effort that pursuing innovation for its own sake.

Fifty years ago, Peter Drucker talked about an age of uncertainty, as new technologies overtook an era of development of heavy industrial capacity and mass markets in the North America and Europe. Complexity is different from uncertainty, and requires a different strategic response. Uncertainty, for example, can be handled by keeping options open and managing with organizational slack, to allow response to breaking events. Complexity implies a more tightly coupled world, and requires a much greater capacity for innovation within organizations. Complexity requires synthesis at higher levels for strategy, and an ability to change products, processes, methods and capabilities much more rapidly within operating units. A tightly coupled world implies more volatility, requiring a more rapid response to changing events. Slack will not do it. Intelligence and flexibility will.

We are accustomed to thinking about public policy and business strategy in two separate compartments. Today we need to reintegrate our thinking on these decisive areas, so that government policies in-country and globally take account of business needs and provide unambiguous channels for business planning. Similarly, business strategists need to have a deeper appreciation of the political milieu and the thinking of public policy analysts.

For executives with an international portfolio of business interests, the strategic challenge is shaping that portfolio in a 10 to 20 year horizon. The issues vary with the business. For businesses with asset life-spans extending to that horizon, energy efficiency and environmental impacts will be critical.

For business unit presidents, strategy features reshaping the business model in a 5 to 10 year time frame for enduring competitive advantage. Often business unit strategy can be enhanced by identifying a strategic business process, and raising the execution of that process to a level higher than the competition.

Top government officials need to view policy in similar time frames, as a country’s ability to function in this context of global complexity will be enhanced by policy and legal frameworks that reduce uncertainty for investors, especially those making strategic 5, 10 and 20 year business decisions.

For all of the above, strategic clarity needs to link to operational matters in a practical way. The importance of this drill down is obvious in linking strategies to business plans, and it is equally important in linking public policy to what happens on the ground.

Leaks in Manitoba Government Water Bucket

East Side Story a Requiem?

High Water,

Different Cause

Complexity? Why is a highway more acceptable than a Hydro line?

Management Talk Radio Interviews

Cutting Edge Management for Aboriginal Peoples - Marcelene Anderson

Cutting Edge Management for Aboriginal Peoples: With Marcelene Anderson of Raven Strategic Consulting in Toronto, exploring ways the best modern management methods can help bands and their enterprises get ahead. Based on experience in Canada and the United States, the ideas will be applicable in Africa, Australia and other places.

Developing Small & Medium Size Enterprise - Ari Lindeman

Developing Small and Medium Size Enterprise: With Ari Lindeman of Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences in Finland, explores ways in which entrepreneurial businesses can be encouraged, supported and grown via a Client-Centred Approach to Business Development.

Rural Development in South Africa - Dr. Roger Stewart

Rural Development in South Africa: With Dr. Roger Stewart of Business Sculptors PTY Ltd. of Cape Town South Africa, discussing a program of rural development integrating health, education and economic development. The program will explore the management challenge of operating in a network of strategic alliances, and the linkages between local and international concerns.

Strategy formulation is a creative exercise demanding extraordinary awareness, perception, and insight beyond logic and specialization, most often based on broad knowledge and experience, but not always. Organizational survival is threatened when the best laid strategies are dealt a rapid combination of hard body blows that undermine the organization’s business base. Hard analysis of the competitive or policy arena is always the first step in strategic planning. Horizons need to be expanded through techniques like future search, which enables people to do things once thought impossible. Clear visions need to be articulated and shared throughout the organization scaled to the time span appropriate at each level.

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