Performance indicators? Operations Market Demands
Investments The Performance Choice
What, who, how? The Business Choice
The Assets Choice
Strategic resources and networks?
Capabilities The Competence Choice
The Vision Choice
Trends in technology, economy, etc.? Added values
The Tactics Choice
Strategic players, competitive forces?
Figure 1. The method of strategy sounding. choice. The method of strategy sounding represents a both/and approach to strategy making by combining the resource-/competence-based view and outside-in approach (e.g. Porter) to strategy. The method can be described by the cycle presented in Figure 1.
Results According to our experiences, the theoretical and methodological outlines presented above are an appropriate point of departure in developing the strategic innovation capabilities of enterprises. The strategy sounding method was implemented in the eight Finnish SMEs. The experiences from the cases contributed to the practising and elaboration of the method in relation to the strategic opportunity identification. With some of the companies, we started a more detailed collaborative development project based on opportunity selection and retention. According to our experiences, a systemic approach to innovation seems to be an
appropriate point of departure in developing the strategic innovation capabilities of enterprises. The strategy sounding method helped managers to reflect on the company’s competences and to estimate the strengths and weaknesses from a real time perspective. Furthermore, it positively triggered the management of the case companies to reflect on their strategic opportunities. With regard to the problems of path dependency and self-reference, it is essential to examine the company’s identity and internal and external environments from the perspective of the others and of collaboratively identifiable alternative opportunities. In this way, it is possible to develop, collaboratively, path-breaking and innovative abilities of enterprises. Further research should be directed at enriching, expanding and deepening this approach and method. For example, the focuses required by large-scale enterprises, the fuzzy front end of R&D and the networked enterprises may differ in the detail.
Production matters. VTT in global trends. Kai Häkkinen (ed.)