Although this is a course on strategy implementation, recognising that implementation is integrated with strategy formulation, the course is not structured to offer units on 'how-to guides' for implementing. The assumption is that strategy is intertwined with formulation and implementation - a complex interactive process in which values, context, politics and culture determine or constrain a particular strategy. With this context, the course is divided into three parts in detailing the complex web of ideas that is implementation.
Part 1: 'Strategising' considers the processes by which strategy-making takes place and roles take shape. It is made up of Units 1 to 4 and leads into Assessment 2.
Part 2: 'Forces' considers the formulation of strategy processes - translating strategising into implementing parts. It is made up of Units 5 to 7 and encompasses team-based activity assessments.
Part 3: 'Purpose' considers insights on managing strategising - how strategy choices convert into outcomes. It is made up of Units 8 to 10 and leads into Assessments 3 and 4.
NOTE: The course is structured with these three parts and with three distinct workload expectations. In Part 1 (Units 1-4), the reading load is limited, with the focus on team formation and getting your team work habit and culture in place as you work towards Assessment 1. In Part 2 (Units 5-7), reading and application content increases, with the intention of the need to consider content and how to apply to assessment, as teamwork develops. In Part 3 (Units 8-10), readings are at their fever pitch as you are pushed to reflect, think about your team experience, and apply learned content to your organisation and your learning experiences.
Unit 1, Understanding Organisations: Strategy and Strategic Thinking. This Unit lays the foundation for implementing strategy by focusing on organisational features that influence strategy implementation. It highlights that crafting and executing strategy rests on the elements of an organisation's priorities, focusing on key parts of this response, including strategic planning and strategic thinking.
Unit 2, Strategising: Turning Strategy into Organisational Action. In this Unit, we outline the nature of strategising and executing strategic priorities. It concentrates on the balancing act that strategy-making requires, with a focus on open systems thinking and executing strategy systems.
Unit 3, Structuring for Effective Strategy. This Unit outlines how organisations design and structure for effective strategy outcomes. It concentrates on the alignment between structure and strategy and insights on the challenges that design holds for bringing about strategy initiatives. It further prompts critical insights into convention on what well-designed organisations mean for strategy.
Unit 4, Strategists and Agency: Effecting Strategic Transformation. In this Unit, we consider the role of those effecting strategy - the place and role of strategists, who are the agents who craft and then lead implementation. Considering ways in which strategy is translated throughout the organisation, it identifies common issues to do with strategic renewal and change agency, as well as some of the alignment risks that come with leading the strategy process.
Unit 5, Staying Flexible: Making Strategic Agility Work. In this Unit, as we begin consideration of the 'forces' (Part 2) that translate strategy, we concentrate on teams and how team organisation impacts on implementation. Recognising that strategy-making impacts survival and success and leads to efficiency gains, it considers how work teams can be used to be strategically agile in constantly changing environments. It also discusses the tensions between formal processes of strategic planning and the need for strategic agility.
Unit 6, Multibusiness Partnerships and Corporate Parenting. This Unit focuses on multibusiness growth and strategy for diversified companies. It considers the growth that organisations seek in extending their market or place in the market. Presenting strategic fit, it discusses the step from good strategy to organising for strategic diversification, and the relationships used to facilitate corporate parenting and partnerships.
Unit 7, Talent: Aligning Human Capital with Strategy. This Unit considers how organisations manage, enhance, and deploy their people in bringing about strategy implementation, considering its alignment with strategic priorities and capabilities. Connecting effective strategy implementation with talent management, it considers how to translate human capital into strategies for performance, as well as the placement of people as strategic assets in guiding implementation.
Unit 8, Adaptability: Techniques to Drive Positive Strategic Transformation. This Unit begins a discussion on 'purpose' (Part 3) in converting strategy, focusing on the synergy challenges and synergy opportunities available when implementing strategy. It discusses the tactical strategy moves that organisations adapt to in creating distinct market space and growth. By considering the parts of this positive strategy, it deals with the choices useful to frame strategy around strengths and opportunities, such as how to use the positive in downsizing and outsourcing.
Unit 9, Strategy Killing Business: Achieving Sustained Strategic Effectiveness. In this Unit, we concentrate on sustained strategic effectiveness, with a critical insight into what 'winning' means for implementation (and its associated risks). The Unit recasts how organisations relate implementation to strategic learning and understanding, relating strategy to knowledge and micro, behavioural perspectives on organising.
Unit 10, Mindset on Strategy and Purpose. The final Unit focuses on the purpose of strategy, guiding a conversation on the processes, cognitive biases, behaviour, and tools that we invoke that then shape the strategy of a firm. By highlighting the value in constantly questioning the strategic path adopted, it considers some of the features used to make decisions on reframing a strategy, or questioning the strategy adopted. This Unit is intended to prompt your thinking about convention and expectations.