Beyond Competitive Strategy
For 30 years competitive strategy (the five forces, portfolio analysis, learning, new market development, blue oceans) has determined how we think strategy. Competitive strategy was built on the 19th Century Prussian military understanding that business could be described through strategic interaction of rational players in environments that stay relatively stable over time (stasis in Heraclitian terms).
The world has changed. Today’s strategic environments are determined by complexity, post-human intelligence, networks, fuzzy boundaries, communicative rationality: flux, as Heraclitus would say. Web 2.0 is the shortcut for web-technologies (xml, self-publishing, collaboration platforms, social networking) that once intertwined transform economic production, society, and public governance. However, this change did not start in 2006. Over the last 30 years, we can observe a move from production (defining the value chain), to co-production (manging the supply chain), to peer production (enabling user-generated outputs). This means that strategy in business changes from competitive strategy to communicative strategy. This is big. The closest historical analogy, to this radical transformation of collective production is the emergence of print capitalism in the 16th and 17th Century.
What will post-competive strategy look like? What are the core strategic ideas of network society? What does strategy advice look like in such a world? Who will be the strategy gurus of tomorrow?