Strategy development should never be a done and file exercise but, rather, an ongoing, cyclical process. As technology and business become increasingly intertwined, business strategy drives technology strategy and vice versa. Around and around it goes—to the point where the complexity of known and unknown strategic drivers inside and outside the organization could blow the mind of even the most nimble-brained strategist.

Some Tech leaders are using technology to support strategy development as well as drive expansive and precise thinking about future strategic possibilities.  Using technology to look to identify of driving forces, informing strategic decisions and monitor outcomes.

  • Identify strategic forces via trend sensing technologies that continually scan the environment, collecting, analysing, and clustering leading indicators that challenge or confirm strategic assumptions to facilitate quick responses. For example, ABN AMRO have developed wearable technology called the Rationalizer that displays the strength of one’s emotions in light patterns and colours. This technology allows traders to monitor their emotional state while trading with the aim of reducing trading risk in financial markets. Research has shown that traders in heightened emotional state tend to overpay for assets and underestimate risks. However, when traders become aware of their emotional state they are likely re-evaluate their decisions. [1]
  • Inform strategic choices via dynamic scenario tools and simulators help leaders identify threats and opportunities, quickly test potential outcomes of strategic choices, and prioritize critical uncertainties. The enables leadership to develop simulations to test various strategic choices and enhances human understanding and insight to determine potential implications, critical unknowns, and strategic responses to those choices.
  • Monitor execution and outcomes via Analytics technologies that continually track internal and external outcomes to inform ongoing leadership discussions and decisions regarding the organization’s performance against the strategy. For example the use of AI sensing to monitor the trajectory of two important uncertainties that affect the firm’s strategy; degree of regulation and continued rise of new mobile banking services

Advanced analytics, automation, and AI, including natural language processing and machine learning are all tools that can assist identifying, informing and monitoring the strategy and help the organisation enable nimbleness, scalability, stability and optionality.

[1] Whelan, E. et al. (2018) How emotion-sensing technology can reshape the workplace, MIT Sloan Management Review, Spring 2018, Vol. 59, №3, pp. 7–10.