Instructor: Judith Watson
Student No. 100055428
In this digital age, information can travel faster and farther. The internet has broken down communication barriers, allowing for the spread of ideas and information in new and exciting ways. But as with any new technology, it brings with many opportunities, as well as time and money constraints. The rise of the internet has caused a shift in society and it is no longer enough for organizations to merely continue `business as usual`. This new era requires organizations to reevaluate the impact of social trends and the effect on their business (such as CSR practices), their industry forces, and their strategic imperatives, all the while looking for innovation and change (Porter, 2006). How a firm manages these factors will determine any future successes, and can even keep the firm alive. But at the same time this new technology can only help us in the “creation of true economic value... [which is] the final arbiter of business success” (Karagiannopoulos, 2005, pg.66). With all of that in mind, we will examine how the new strategic imperatives identified by Nadler and Tushman will impact companies going into the 21st century, and beyond.
In their paper Organization of the Future: Strategic Imperatives and Core Competencies for the 21st Century, Nadler and Tushman identify their six new strategic imperatives, which are:
1. Increase strategic clock speed
2. Focus portfolios, with various business models
3. Abbreviated strategic life cycles
4. Create `go-to-market`flexibility
5. Enhance competitive innovation
6. Manage intra-enterprise cannibalism
Increasing strategic clock speed is imperative to any organization, as those who can rapidly understand, anticipate, and respond to market conditions are the ones who will survive (Nadler and Tushman, 1999). The internet has made industries that much more dynamic, and the firms with the agility to respond to these forces the fastest will set themselves apart, while potentially gaining a competitive advantage at the same time. A good example of this ability to quickly respond is Subway, who in February 2014 became the target of a well-known food blogger for the use of the chemical azodicarbonamide in their breads (Taylor, 2014). Within 48 hours, over 65,000 people signed the petition, and Subway responded (a day after the blog was posted) by announcing it would stop using the chemical in their breads. Subway`s quick response to customer demands helped to minimize the damage from the negative publicity and petition, and showed that it is willing to adapt to meet consumer demands, and in the process of discontinuing its use of the chemical in question, made its breads seem healthier than before. This is also a good example of CSR in action, as the business (Subway) quickly responded to the need of society (not using azodicarbonamide in their breads), thus showing the interdependent relationship between the two (Porter, 2006).
The second imperative of having focused portfolios means that gross market share and the `bigger is better`mentality are not as important as before. Now, it is better to have portfolios with a strategic focus, unified by theme, with a variety of business models (Nadler and Tushman, 1999). An example of strategic focus that supports this claim is the local credit union Vancity. With their motto `Make good money`, Vancity`s value proposition is the contribution it makes into the wellbeing of the community, which benefits their members and the greater community alike. Vancity`s decision to invest in local businesses and its support of community projects (Hadley-Beauregard, 2011). Vancity has even avoided making investments in stocks that harm the environment, such as the gas and oil industries. In this case, CSR has become the basis of Vancity`s strategy, with a focus on increasing shared value. Vancity realizes the interdependent