Organizations face the ever-pressing need for change and innovation. The traditional approach of deliberate strategy design is giving way to a more agile and dynamic concept known as “emergent strategy.” This shift brings with it an emphasis on coherence, which is an essential characteristic for sustainable success. In this article, we will explore the critical need for adopting emergent strategy design over deliberate strategy and the role coherence plays in ensuring a seamless organizational transformation.

Emergent strategy in Organisation


In an era marked by unprecedented challenges and uncertainties, the ability to adapt and evolve is paramount for the survival of any business. Traditional, long-term, and pre-planned strategies, often referred to as “deliberate strategies,” are proving to be less effective in an environment where change happens rapidly.

The Emergence of Emergent Strategy

Emergent strategy, on the other hand, is a responsive approach that allows organizations to adjust and adapt to real-time changes. It is not about sticking to a fixed plan but rather being open to unexpected opportunities and challenges as they arise. Emergent strategy offers the flexibility that is crucial in today’s business landscape, especially in the context of organizational transformation.

The Role of Coherence

To successfully navigate the intricate landscape of emergent strategy, coherence becomes an indispensable element. Coherence refers to the alignment and consistency of actions, decisions, and values within an organization. In the context of emergent strategy, coherence ensures that even as the strategy evolves, there is a consistent thread that runs through the organization’s actions and decisions.

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Key Benefits of Emergent Strategy and Coherence

Agility and Responsiveness

One of the primary advantages of emergent strategy is its ability to enhance an organization’s agility. In a world of real-time changes, the ability to respond quickly and effectively can be the difference between success and failure. This strategy allows for the timely identification of emerging trends and customer needs, enabling businesses to pivot as needed.

Continuous Learning and Adaptation

Emergent strategy encourages a culture of continuous learning and adaptation. It recognizes that a strategy is not a one-time plan but an ongoing process that evolves with the organization. This approach fosters innovation, empowers employees, and ensures the organization remains relevant and competitive.

Risk Mitigation

By remaining open to change and being agile, emergent strategy helps organizations mitigate risks. It allows for the early identification of potential challenges and the ability to take corrective action promptly. This risk mitigation strategy is particularly vital during organizational transformations.

Enhancing Coherence

Coherence ensures that as the organization adapts and evolves through emergent strategy, it maintains alignment with its core values, mission, and vision. This consistency instills trust in both employees and customers, as they can rely on the organization to uphold its principles even in times of change.

Implementing Emergent Strategy and Coherence

To embrace emergent strategy and coherence effectively, organizations need to take specific steps:

  1. Cultivate a Learning Culture: Foster an environment where employees are encouraged to learn, adapt, and share insights. This culture is essential for the emergence of innovative strategies.
  2. Data-Driven Decision-Making: Use data and analytics to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the strategy. Data-driven decision-making enables quick adjustments based on real-time information.
  3. Engage and Empower Employees: Employees are often at the forefront of change. Engage them in the process, seek their input, and empower them to make decisions in line with the organization’s goals and values.
  4. Communication and Transparency: Maintain clear and open communication about the evolving strategy and its rationale. Transparency is crucial for ensuring coherence and buy-in from all stakeholders.
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In a market marked by rapid change and uncertainty, organizations must rethink their approach to strategy. Deliberate strategies, though valuable in some contexts, can no longer be the sole focus. Embracing emergent strategy, while maintaining coherence, is the way forward. It offers the agility, responsiveness, and innovation necessary for thriving in a world of constant flux.

By adopting emergent strategy and ensuring coherence, organizations can not only survive but also thrive in the face of ongoing transformation. The journey toward organizational excellence begins with a mindset that values adaptability, learning, and alignment with the core values and mission. It’s time to embrace the future of strategy.

If you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to reach out. We look forward to your feedback and suggestions.

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