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Business Management and Strategy

Business Management and Strategy

Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to grow your organization or an experienced executive who wants to future-proof your career, GetSmarter’s business management and strategy courses will give you the necessary skills to do so.

Equip your workforce with transformative strategic business management skills to help accelerate growth.

Strategic business management is a forward-planning process used to steer resources and tasks towards advancement, and outperforming competitors. These skills can be developed in business management and strategy courses.

What is business strategy?

Renowned Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter defines strategy as "the creation of a unique and valuable position, involving a different set of activities."1 As such, strategy includes the plans, initiatives, goals, processes, and policies instituted by a company to gain an edge over the competition and to advance market share.

This competitive advantage needs to be sustainable and easily replicated. To achieve that, leadership, management, and teams within a company have to be aligned in their understanding of the business plan and how to execute it.2

Critical to every business and stage of a company’s life cycle, a great business strategy is said to be as much about what not to do, as what to do.3

Regardless of the industry, change is constant, accelerating and must be accounted for in a business’s strategy or long term objectives. Research shows that typical business operations have undergone at least five significant changes since 2019, and 75 percent of the organizations surveyed expect this pace of change to accelerate. This research also reveals that half of the change projects embarked on are failures, while only a third achieve outright success.4 This is likely due to poor planning and communication, and a lack of business alignment.

How data and facts contribute to business strategy

Embracing new technology is pivotal to business innovation and management. As contact between people and machines increases, the amount of data generated has grown exponentially, giving birth to an information-driven economy termed the ‘Age of Insight’.

This epoch refers to the move from using gut-based decision-making to data-driven operations where leaders, managers, and knowledge workers are assisted by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to make decisions that are based on data patterns and facts like consumer behavior.5

Data-driven organizations reap many benefits. A recent survey of over 1,000 business executives revealed that highly data-driven companies are three times more likely to report significant improvements in decision-making, compared to companies that rely on data less.6

To appreciate the impact of strategic business management, one need only look at the litany of corporate failures that have lacked an understanding of the importance of planning for the future.

The impact of digital disruption

Examples of businesses that have failed due to a lack of strategy include one-time photo film manufacturers Eastman Kodak and video rental heavyweights BlockBuster. Both companies were undone by digital disruption. They underestimated the changing nature of business contexts, and how they affected consumer behavior.7

In a digital quotient survey, 93 percent of the participating executives believed that digital transformation is critical to strategy, and that technologies that automate, drive analytics, and fuel data will cause a fundamental shift in industry.8

Accelerating transformation yields huge rewards, as attested to by Nike, the leading brand in a $500-billion global sporting industry.9 By leaning into disruptive technology and innovative collaboration – key traits of transformation – Nike has leveraged its network to allow customers to interact with sports stars on new digital platforms. This has both boosted sales and strengthened its ecosystem.10

In part, this is how Nike’s ecosystem was built out. When Nike worked with the US National Basketball Association to design new jerseys in 2015, the apparel brand made consumer collaboration a big part of this venture. They invested in creating NikeConnect technology based on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. Connected tags were embedded into each new jersey. By tapping the jersey tag with a smartphone, a digital world opened up to the consumers, empowering them to better engage with NBA athletes and play. These fans were given premier access to athlete experiences, game-day offers, rewards, and athlete-selected Spotify playlists, among other benefits.11

Nike, in turn, used this fan data to learn more about its customers. In its 2021 first-quarter results, Nike reports that digital sales increased 82 percent, thanks to its smart, connecting strategy.12 One of the biggest brands in the world, Nike recently recorded a market capitalization of $214,007 million, making it one of the top 30 companies on the S&P 500.13

Develop the skills to drive change and performance

Strategy experts say that not incorporating strategic planning leads to a loss in team engagement, compliance failure, an inability to manage risk well, a lack of understanding of customer expectations, and an inability to anticipate disruption.14 Companies that succeed in times of flux are backed by good strategy, and an ‘always learning’ approach to executive and people development.

Strategy directs what should and shouldn’t change in organizations, and how these shifts should be implemented and managed. Learning how to creatively implement change – and how human behavior influences transformation – is critical to maintaining strategic agility.15

Help drive performance improvement in your company by providing employees with business management and strategy tools. Upskill and reskill them through data-driven change-management, strategy and digital transformation corporate short courses – after which they receive a certificate of completion from the institute of choice.


1Lloyd, R. and Aho, W. (Jun, 2020). ‘The four functions of management’. Retrieved from FHSU Digital Press.
2Amadeo, K. (April, 2021). ‘What is competitive advantage?’. Retrieved from The Balance.
3Lloyd, R. and Aho, W. (Jun, 2020). ‘The four functions of management’. Retrieved from FHSU Digital Press.
4Chiu, M. and Salerno, H. (2019). ‘Changing change management’. Retrieved from Gartner.
5Stobierski, T. (Aug, 2019). ‘The advantages of data-driven decision-making’. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review.
6Stobierski, T. (Aug, 2019). ‘The advantages of data-driven decision-making’. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review.
7Mercy – CBNation. (June, 2020). ‘Most popular examples of top companies that failed business strategy’. Retrieved from CEO Blog Nation.
8Guggenberger, P. and Simon, P. (June, 2020). ‘Getting your organization ready for a digital transformation’. Retrieved from McKinsey.
9Fioravanti, R. (April, 2020). ‘Nike: Just do it. Differently!’. Retrieved from The HBS Digital Initiative.
10Fioravanti, R. (April, 2020). ‘Nike: Just do it. Differently!’. Retrieved from The HBS Digital Initiative.
11Nike, Inc. (Sept, 2017). ‘What is NikeConnect?’. Retrieved from Nike.
12Nike, Inc. (Sept, 2020). ‘Nike, Inc. reports fiscal 2021 first quarter results’. Retrieved from Nike.
13Barnett, R. (May, 2021). ‘NIKE: great company but price is a tough hurdle’. Retrieved from Seeking Alpha.
14Olsen, E. ‘Risks of having no strategic plan’. Retrieved from Dummies.
15Baldelli, M. and Wexel, B. (Oct, 2021). ‘Intelligent data-driven change management’. Retrieved from CapGemini.


Equip your workforce with transformative strategic business management skills to help accelerate growth.

Strategic business management is a forward-planning process used to steer resources and tasks towards advancement, and outperforming competitors. These skills can be developed in business management and strategy courses.

What is business strategy?

Renowned Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter defines strategy as "the creation of a unique and valuable position, involving a different set of activities."1 As such, strategy includes the plans, initiatives, goals, processes, and policies instituted by a company to gain an edge over the competition and to advance market share.

This competitive advantage needs to be sustainable and easily replicated. To achieve that, leadership, management, and teams within a company have to be aligned in their understanding of the business plan and how to execute it.2

Critical to every business and stage of a company’s life cycle, a great business strategy is said to be as much about what not to do, as what to do.3

Regardless of the industry, change is constant, accelerating and must be accounted for in a business’s strategy or long term objectives. Research shows that typical business operations have undergone at least five significant changes since 2019, and 75 percent of the organizations surveyed expect this pace of change to accelerate. This research also reveals that half of the change projects embarked on are failures, while only a third achieve outright success.4 This is likely due to poor planning and communication, and a lack of business alignment.

How data and facts contribute to business strategy

Embracing new technology is pivotal to business innovation and management. As contact between people and machines increases, the amount of data generated has grown exponentially, giving birth to an information-driven economy termed the ‘Age of Insight’.

This epoch refers to the move from using gut-based decision-making to data-driven operations where leaders, managers, and knowledge workers are assisted by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to make decisions that are based on data patterns and facts like consumer behavior.5

Data-driven organizations reap many benefits. A recent survey of over 1,000 business executives revealed that highly data-driven companies are three times more likely to report significant improvements in decision-making, compared to companies that rely on data less.6

To appreciate the impact of strategic business management, one need only look at the litany of corporate failures that have lacked an understanding of the importance of planning for the future.

The impact of digital disruption

Examples of businesses that have failed due to a lack of strategy include one-time photo film manufacturers Eastman Kodak and video rental heavyweights BlockBuster. Both companies were undone by digital disruption. They underestimated the changing nature of business contexts, and how they affected consumer behavior.7

In a digital quotient survey, 93 percent of the participating executives believed that digital transformation is critical to strategy, and that technologies that automate, drive analytics, and fuel data will cause a fundamental shift in industry.8

Accelerating transformation yields huge rewards, as attested to by Nike, the leading brand in a $500-billion global sporting industry.9 By leaning into disruptive technology and innovative collaboration – key traits of transformation – Nike has leveraged its network to allow customers to interact with sports stars on new digital platforms. This has both boosted sales and strengthened its ecosystem.10

In part, this is how Nike’s ecosystem was built out. When Nike worked with the US National Basketball Association to design new jerseys in 2015, the apparel brand made consumer collaboration a big part of this venture. They invested in creating NikeConnect technology based on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. Connected tags were embedded into each new jersey. By tapping the jersey tag with a smartphone, a digital world opened up to the consumers, empowering them to better engage with NBA athletes and play. These fans were given premier access to athlete experiences, game-day offers, rewards, and athlete-selected Spotify playlists, among other benefits.11

Nike, in turn, used this fan data to learn more about its customers. In its 2021 first-quarter results, Nike reports that digital sales increased 82 percent, thanks to its smart, connecting strategy.12 One of the biggest brands in the world, Nike recently recorded a market capitalization of $214,007 million, making it one of the top 30 companies on the S&P 500.13

Develop the skills to drive change and performance

Strategy experts say that not incorporating strategic planning leads to a loss in team engagement, compliance failure, an inability to manage risk well, a lack of understanding of customer expectations, and an inability to anticipate disruption.14 Companies that succeed in times of flux are backed by good strategy, and an ‘always learning’ approach to executive and people development.

Strategy directs what should and shouldn’t change in organizations, and how these shifts should be implemented and managed. Learning how to creatively implement change – and how human behavior influences transformation – is critical to maintaining strategic agility.15

Help drive performance improvement in your company by providing employees with business management and strategy tools. Upskill and reskill them through data-driven change-management, strategy and digital transformation corporate short courses – after which they receive a certificate of completion from the institute of choice.

Sources

1Lloyd, R. and Aho, W. (Jun, 2020). ‘The four functions of management’. Retrieved from FHSU Digital Press.
2Amadeo, K. (April, 2021). ‘What is competitive advantage?’. Retrieved from The Balance.
3Lloyd, R. and Aho, W. (Jun, 2020). ‘The four functions of management’. Retrieved from FHSU Digital Press.
4Chiu, M. and Salerno, H. (2019). ‘Changing change management’. Retrieved from Gartner.
5Stobierski, T. (Aug, 2019). ‘The advantages of data-driven decision-making’. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review.
6Stobierski, T. (Aug, 2019). ‘The advantages of data-driven decision-making’. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review.
7Mercy – CBNation. (June, 2020). ‘Most popular examples of top companies that failed business strategy’. Retrieved from CEO Blog Nation.
8Guggenberger, P. and Simon, P. (June, 2020). ‘Getting your organization ready for a digital transformation’. Retrieved from McKinsey.
9Fioravanti, R. (April, 2020). ‘Nike: Just do it. Differently!’. Retrieved from The HBS Digital Initiative.
10Fioravanti, R. (April, 2020). ‘Nike: Just do it. Differently!’. Retrieved from The HBS Digital Initiative.
11Nike, Inc. (Sept, 2017). ‘What is NikeConnect?’. Retrieved from Nike.
12Nike, Inc. (Sept, 2020). ‘Nike, Inc. reports fiscal 2021 first quarter results’. Retrieved from Nike.
13Barnett, R. (May, 2021). ‘NIKE: great company but price is a tough hurdle’. Retrieved from Seeking Alpha.
14Olsen, E. ‘Risks of having no strategic plan’. Retrieved from Dummies.
15Baldelli, M. and Wexel, B. (Oct, 2021). ‘Intelligent data-driven change management’. Retrieved from CapGemini.

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