Strategy Trends 2011
- Hendrik Jan Kaal, Roel van Lanen and Titia Tamminga
- Utrecht: Berenschot, 2011
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Embarking on action. That's what top managers perceive to be the greatest challenge for 2011. It's difficult getting out of the starting blocks and actually launching a new or refined strategy on the market.
What's the problem? Participants indicated that uncertainty about the future has once again increased. Managers may now doubt the correctness of their decisions, preventing them from embarking on action. Furthermore, the tendency to hold on to the familiar is currently at its highest level since Berenschot started its Strategy Trends survey four years ago. It's difficult to let go of the things that are close to hand and that were successful in the past. The quality of a company's own products and services is still at the top of the list in terms of differentiating capacity. These are all matters internal to the company and on which companies have a relatively good grip. This is consistent with the preference of adopting defensive over offensive measures as a way of withstanding the crisis.
On the other hand, decisions are made more often and are more refined than last year. More companies are changing their strategy. Virtually all companies changing their strategies are creating greater focus. More than half of participating companies indicate that they want to pursue a focused strategy.
The uncertain times also result in less attention to the market and the business chain. According to participating managers, issues such as ‘focus on customer segment', ‘distribution channels', ‘the business chain', ‘co-design/co-production' and ‘customisation' are not making it into the top five. While dialogue with customers and suppliers is on the radar, it is impossible to garner a priority position. Berenschot feels that it is precisely this dialogue that could eliminate any doubts about the selected strategy and calls for urgency in taking action.
We are pleased to present you with the findings of the fifth annual Berenschot Strategy Trends Survey among executive managers in the Dutch business community. How do companies perceive their differentiating capacity? What strategic issues have priority? What obstacles do they perceive in their strategy process? What strategies do managers choose? And how did the Dutch business community emerge from the crisis?