All posts by trondau

About trondau

Trond A. Undheim (39), Ph.D., a Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, and Managing Director of Tautec Consulting, has over fifteen years of multi sector experience in strategy, policy, communications, academia, and entrepreneurship. Formerly, he was a Director of Standards Strategy and Policy at Oracle Corporation, with wide responsibilities in long-term business development, strategy, public policy and standardization globally and in Europe. Trond is an executive, speaker, entrepreneur, author, traveler and blogger. With a doctorate on knowledge work and the internet in Silicon Valley, he is one of the world’s leading experts on technology and society. He has worked at Oracle Corporation, the European Commission, the Norwegian Government, and founded a start-up. He was awarded an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from NTNU, Norway’s top engineering university, as the youngest candidate at the Faculty. He is multilingual and has lived on three continents. He is always ready for strategic opportunities providing significant intellectual and managerial challenges.

Searching for strategy

Strategy, according to management theory in the last fifty years, is relatively simple: choose a strategic direction and execute. US corporations used to have huge planning departments to aid this process.  Soon enough, though, complexity started to appear both in analysis and execution, the latter quickly was renamed implementation because it actually had to involve staff at lower levels in the hierarchy. This coincided with the rise of strategy consultants. What characterizes the work assignment of strategy consultants is that they typically are hired by C-level executives to fix a perceived problem somewhere in the organization by gathering the facts and finding the “perfect” solution.

The problem is that perfect solutions don’t exist. C-level executives do not know what is wrong with an organization, nor what is right with it, or where it should be heading. How could they, given where they are situated vis-a-vis innovative streams in-house and externally? Strategy consultants may think they know. In-house knowledge workers my feel the issues. However, it is, in fact, possible that no single individual knows. What then? Then begins the search for strategy within the organization.

Strategy is nothing more–and nothing less–than a succinct expression of where an organization is already going.