Strategic Style

Has the rate of change in your business environment increased… what does that mean for your strategy?’


In this Bootcamp Drill, we will focus on the BCG Strategic Style MATRIX. The matrix is based on two different business conditions. The first of those conditions is the level of predictability in the business environment.

Predictability considers ’how far into the future and how accurately, a company can confidently forecast; demand, performance, competition, and market expectations.

The second condition is called Malleability (workable).

Workable (malleability), defines to what extent a company or their competitors can… influence the predictability factors we just listed.

Based on these variables (predictability and malleability) one can then construct a four quadrant strategic style matrix. Based on how predictable and workable (or malleable) the environment is for a business,  a company can then position their business on the BCG Strategic Style Matrix.

Strategy Pallette

Five distinct approaches to match business environment and effectively execute. 

Bootcamp Leader: Dr. Gerard L. Danford @gerarddanford

‘The Alibaba Way’ 

The Alibaba Group has managed to grow at a remarkable 60 percent annually since 2008, by setting an expansive vision, engaging a broad set of stakeholders on its platforms, investing in platform expansion, and constantly evolving its ecosystems.

Alibaba recognize the unpredictability of the digital world, but are committed to shaping the market. ‘Alibaba wants to be the orchestrator, where there are significant network effects’.

Alibaba constantly co-evolves its platform strategy to support collaboration. The Alibaba shaping strategy emerges from ‘frequent engagement and orchestration of an evolving set of collaborators’, based on the following principles:

  1. The Alibaba shaping strategy reaches beyond firm boundaries (fostering external innovation and developing an open organizational structure).
  2. Ecosystem orchestration is needed to facilitate and monitor the relations between multiple parties (more than 275,000 iOS developers in the United States alone).
  3. Information needs facilitate a market-based adjustment mechanism.
  4. Virtual marketplaces collect and share data with participants in an easily digestible and valuable manner.
  5. Information is the lubricant to smooth interaction between Alibaba and stakeholders (facilitates coordination, a vehicle for constant feedback, stimulates collective learning, and increases the perceived value of the platform)… ‘trial by error’.
  6. Innovation mostly happens externally, drawing on the diversity of participants in the ecosystem.
  7. Instead of giving strict, detailed operational rules, leaders set broad guidelines to foster external collaboration.

“The leader is more of a catalyst, than a manager who strictly enforces his or her will.”



Material to help you understand your company’s current approach to strategy formulation!

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Five Approaches

  1. Classical
  2. Adaptive
  3. Visionary
  4. Shaping
  5. Renewal 

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