While Business Unit strategy is concerned with how a firm competes within a particular market, Corporate strategy is concerned with where a firm competes, that is in what industries and in what markets? Question for Corporate Strategy Practitioners: “How to maintain alignment between each of these two dimensions of strategy practice?” Mystique: There is no real theory upon which we can rely for a generally accepted definition of alignment. “Strategic alignment is the way in which a corporation is organised and structured to support the fulfilment of its organisational purpose.” Recap: Organisational purpose: “the reason a corporation is created and exists, what it seeks to do and what it seeks to become”. Fact: organisational purpose is a long term proposition and in this context is ‘enduring’, Purpose, Mission and Vision are also enduring. Fact: the role of strategy is to describe how “a company’s people, culture, structure and processes will be flexed and changed to deliver the objectives of an enduring organisational purpose”. Conundrum: This is actually the role of short term, not long strategy. The distinction between the two is important. To understand the Third Wave Strategy view of alignment, we can find some relief from a lack of formal definition because: As the Third Wave Strategy framework operates as a system, everything is connected to everything else. There is therefore reduced potential for a lack of alignment as a result
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