Strategy Making in a Crisis

Strategy Making in a Crisis

From Analysis to Imagination

Michael Gibbert

Which strategy making approach works best in a crisis? In current literature, the recommendations oscillate between prediction, control, and practice, but this unique book focuses specifically on strategy making in a crisis.

Conclusions and implications

Michael Gibbert

Subjects: business and management, organisational behaviour, strategic management


In this final chapter, I would like to wrap up some of the main insights from the fascinating story of strategy making and dissemination at ElectroCorp during the volatile years of the early twenty-first century. Hopefully, doing so will make it clear for current and future managers why and how imagination represents a key lever in strategy making in general and during a crisis in particular. At the start of the empirical study that I carried out at ElectroCorp in the early 2000s, two questions were fixed in my mind: first, what is the relative importance of the three imaginations in crafting strategy imaginatively? And second, what is the role and importance of sequencing the steps in crafting strategy imaginatively? THE RELATIVE IMPORTANCE OF THE THREE IMAGINATIONS IN STRATEGY MAKING The strategy-making framework presented here offers a blueprint for thinking about strategy during a crisis, and suggests answers to persistent questions and paradoxes that surround the topic. A key claim of the strategy-making matrix is that no single one of the three imaginations is universally sufficient in an imaginative approach to strategy making in the diversified firm. There was strong evidence in the case study for all three imaginations. Although the three imaginations were present throughout the three key projects investigated, and in particular in the umbrella project, the Business Excellence Program, some imaginations were more dominant in specific steps of the strategy-making process than others. The Business Excellence Program, for example, started with a strong focus on internal firm...

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