What does strategy issues mean?

In general, many companies faced strategy issues when they either chose the wrong strategy or failed entirely to execute the chosen strategy.

However, even when executives are willing to embark on a number of robust actions often become indecisive when they realise that every response to a “wicked issue/problem” will alter the problem the company faces and necessitate another change in strategy.

Wicked issue/problem is an issue or problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognise.

It refers to an idea or problem that cannot be fixed, where there is no single solution to the problem (Rittel & Webber, 1973).

Although many of the problems companies face are difficult to control, they have been slow to acknowledge the wickedness of strategy issues. They keep analysing the issue rather than doing something about it.

They would do better if they try out some strategy as a starting point because the consequences will give them a better handle on the real problem they face.

So in order to tackle wicked problems, smart companies conduct experiments, launch innovative pilot programs, test prototypes — and make mistakes from which they can learn.

Companies like GE and Fujitsu encourage risk taking and celebrate thoughtfully implemented initiatives even if they turn out to be business failures.

These companies believe that unexpected and even unsatisfactory results contribute to organisational learning.


Definition of strategy

Strategy is defined as the determination of the basic long-term goals of a company, and the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary for carrying out these goals.

Strategy is also a primary building block of competitive distinctiveness and advantage (Casadesus-Masanell & Ricart, 2011).

As an organisational process, this encompasses a range of activities in which firms engage to establish and sustain a competitive advantage.

These activities include market and industry analysis, product/service design and development, operations and technology management, customer development, and other varied aspects of the new firm’s culture, shared value system, and vision (Hart, 1992).

For instance, smart companies use the entrepreneurial strategy compass which has four distinct strategies that will guide a venture’s decisions regarding customers, technologies, identity, and competitive space.

Source: Do entrepreneurs need a strategy? by Joshua Gans, Erin L. Scott, and Scott Stern (2018)

At the heart of the approach is the recognition that a go-to-market strategy for any innovation involves making choices about which customers to target, what technologies to apply, what organisational identity to assume, and how to position the company against which competitors (Gans et al., 2018).

For each compass quadrant the company identified which customers to target, which technologies to focus on, what identity to assume, and whom to compete with and how (Gans et al., 2018).


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Last edited on 18 June 2019.