Strategic Thinking Research Proposal

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Strategic Thinking

In today's global business environment, strategy and change necessarily go hand in hand. It is impossible to operate in a business environment without taking into account the dynamics of change. This is particularly true when expanding and operating in the international and indeed the online arena. In the information age, strategic thinking has of necessity adjusted to the rapid changes in today's technology. New ways of communicating and connecting with millions of people on a global scale are developed and demise with bewildering speed. The business person therefore has to take into account the dynamic of change to optimize strategic thinking. To aid in this, scientists such as Benoit Mandelbrot and authors such as Thomas L. Friedman are helpful. In other words, the strategic thinker can use unusual thinking processes in terms of fractals and business in order to diagnose the change process, formulate and implement strategies, and implement strategic learning processes as a result.

I. MANDELBROT SETS

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Benoit Mandelbrot was somewhat unusual in his scientific thinking processes by adding a fourth dimension to the existing three. While the first, second and third dimensions concern geometric forms, according to Mandelbrot, the fourth dimension is the reality in which we find ourselves. This reality appears chaotic, as patterns may seem similar in terms of geometric shape, but never in fact repeat themselves like geometric forms do. According to this view, change is a constant part of the physical reality in which we live. Everything is in a constant state of change, and hence an infinite set of different patterns emerge (Matthews, 2008)

Research Proposal on Strategic Thinking Assignment

The key of this theory and also the key in terms of strategic thinking, is that the change is not as random as it may initially seem (School of Wisdom, 2008). There are discernable patterns, although these are not quite the same each time, and furthermore, this change is based upon feedback. Indeed, all change in reality is based upon improvement resulting from feedback. This can be seen not only in the visual world of patters, but also in the world of work and business. A teacher may for example disseminate the same body of work over 20 years of a professional career. What she does in her classes during year 20 is likely to be vastly different from what she did in year 1. However, the two types of teaching are hardly unrelated, and is the result of two decades of constant but almost imperceptible change. The change only becomes apparent once classes from years apart are compared. Every year however, the teacher improves according to feedback from students, from her own experience, and from research. As teaching information accumulated and improved over the years, so did the teaching.

One might see this as a process of growth. The teaching grows and improves over the years, just like human beings do. In reality and in nature, all life operates upon the same principle, an so should strategic thinking and implementation. Like teaching, businesses grow, change gradually, and improve according to feedback from customers and research into the changes of business philosophy over the years. This is particularly a fact of the Information Age. As information technology improves, so should business diagnosis, strategy and strategic learning.

In the globally competitive environment, for example, the business owner can scrutinize competing companies and their strategies, as well as how they improved these over the years to gain a sharper competitive edge. The science of fractals hold that these would change slightly when regarded in a linear way. When greater time gaps are inserted, the changes become more apparent, although it is still clear how improvements are based upon feedback.

In diagnosing change, therefore, the business owner should operate from the paradigm that change is constant, and that it means growth. No company can remain exactly the same and use the same strategies throughout the years. This is so because the human beings using goods and services also change and grow. To maintain its competitive advantage, a company should therefore scrutinize its customer base for possible changes in what they regard as important and what their perceived needs are. When diagnosing such change, the company is then in a position to meet the needs of the customer.

A second diagnosing process can also focus upon other companies. As mentioned above, a company can investigate competing companies in the market for input on their avenues of change. This can also provide valuable clues in maintaining a favorable relationship between the company and its customers. In considering how other companies change over the years, the diagnosis can also help the company to speed up its own change and growth process. This strategy helps to improve the industry as a whole, in addition to each individual company involved. The world's development integrates in this way, with business development being only one of millions of examples of a Mandelbrot set, where change rather than stagnation is the constant (School of Wisdom, 2008).

When change has been diagnosed, a company can then use this for the improvement of its business operations. Diagnosing change is one of the ways in which to reveal shortcomings in the business operations. As such, the company can use the information as feedback according to which strategic change can be implemented. In this way, an understanding of change is cultivated and accumulated in order to transform this into effective business strategies.

In the global marketplace for example, the Chinese market trend may be towards a greater consumption of chocolate rather than strawberry milk. The supplying company can then use this information to supply greater quantities of the former and smaller quantities of the latter. This is only a slight change from the original business operation, but nonetheless makes a significant difference to the profit margin of the company.

Furthermore, fractal sets mean change in small amounts rather than large leaps. This strategy allows the company to grow gradually with its customer base, while meeting each need as it manifests itself. In this way, the dynamic between the customer base, the business, and the communication between these two sections are extremely important considerations. As an example, customers may for example require a greater quantity of cool soft drinks during the summer and more hot drinks during winter. Strategic thinking about change will allow the company to make the necessary changes, while improving its range of products as the years accumulate. Surveys and questionnaires are an important element in communication with customers. These can help the company to diagnose the need for change and work on implementation strategies.

Adhering to the fractal law of change places the company in a position of importance in terms of its connection with the workings of the universe. It can be said that everything lives and grows. The end of growth means the end of change, and also of life. The business wishing to remain in operation for as long as possible will implement strategic thinking in order to effect the changes needed for the survival of the company.

In strategic thinking then, change means growth, while growth means life. The company in today's business world can no longer operate in isolation or even from a position that is superior to those of others. Instead, the business that survives the longest is the one with an understanding of the universe as a place in a constant state of change.

The business should therefore also be required to change and improve constantly.

Change from a fractal set viewpoint is then seen in two dimensions; it is both constant and it occurs gradually as the business and its customer base grows. In order to successfully identify and diagnose change, the business is required to not only consider its own strategies for appropriate change, but also the changes occurring in its environment. In considering the manifestations of change, it is also important for a company to understand that change occurs on a global scale. The world is becoming increasingly connected and there are few significantly-sized businesses that do not have some connection with the rest of the world. This paradigm is what inspired Thomas L. Friedman to claim that the "world is flat."

II. The WORLD IS FLAT

In his book, the World Is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century, Friedman addresses the evolution of the economy, and how information technology has created for the world a type of "flatness." Of course, the "flat" is a metaphor to describe the sensation of finding so much of the United States in India, that it created the atmosphere of home.

Friedman describes a trip to Bangalore, India and compares it with Columbus and his journey of discovery. Having come upon the United States and believing it to be India, declared the world to be round, because he found "Indians" there. In his metaphor, Friedman exclaims to his wife that he believes the world to be "flat," because of the many American manifestations that he found in India. On a deeper… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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