Strategy development

Synocus carries forward the legacy of the cultural school of strategy development.

A successful organization depends on the ability of its senior managers to absorb what is going on in the business environment and act upon this information in developing their strategy. An organization’s strategy must be viewed as a continuously evolving concept developed through a collective dialogue. This dialogue must take into account the organization’s customers, offerings as well as its capabilities.


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In the book Strategy Safari Professor Henry Mintzberg and his colleagues describe ten different schools of strategy. The cultural school of strategy is among these schools. This strategy orientation considers strategy formation to be a collective process. An early proponent of this tradition was the Swedish organization SIAR – Scandinavian Institute for Administrative Research. Eric Rhenman and Richard Normann were the intellectual leaders of SIAR. Richard Normann moved on from SIAR to form SMG, including what today is Synocus, in the early 1980s. Synocus has continued to actively support the view of strategy as an evolving collective dialogue. The strategy must be continuously debated and nurtured by the leading actors in the organization.

Continuous evolution

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When organizations face discontinuity they truly have to learn. The ability of the senior managers to absorb what is going on in the business environment and act on that information with appropriate business moves becomes a key success factor. This learning process is likely to go through a number of iterations, during which the management team's original mental model or dominating ideas will change considerably. 

The building blocks of strategy development are the customers, the offerings and the addressable capabilities of the organization. All these elements are profoundly affected by globalization and increased complexity. This means that both companies and public sector organizations have to find new mental models and tools to address the challenges ahead of them. They can then creatively and efficiently deal with a world, which is less and less predictable, but at the same time asks for more sophisticated strategic thinking. Synocus partners with those organizations which hold such ambitions.

Case studies