Use Emergent Strategy - Strategic Planning Does not Work!
Scott Cook has come to learn of the power of an emergent strategy. He thought that having come out of a corporate background that he like a general could create a strategy or battle plan, but he found this does not work because of the amount of change that is going on these days in the world.
Instead of developing a battle plan or strategy he says you need to built an environment where your customer and employees are figuring out what the business should be. Doing this is far more open and porous view of the world where the right answers will emerge.
Listen to the video below
An example of this was PayPal - this was initially conceived as a PDA to PDA money transfer solution - but there was no demand.
So they tried puting it on the web again there was no demand.
Out of the blue, E-Bay asked if they could use PayPal. The PayPal folks were not sure they should allow this. It was not their strategy. They did allow it and suddenly PayPal boomed.
This is an example of an emergent strategy - when the circle of stratgeic direction of the company is opened up to the customers and employees - the community.
In his own company they have made available APIs - software tools or plug ins - that users and other software folks can use - he says it is mind bending what they end up doing or creating with it.
Another example of this in his own company just now (2006) is a business he never thought his company would be in. It is a platform or set of software tools that allow business workgroups to develop workflows.
Basically it is enterprise software ( accounts, payroll, ordering etc) completely made by the users or customers. The corporate IT folks don't even know it exists in some cases. It is cheap or free and folks code their own enterprise application. It is the fastest growing part of his Intuit's business now.