Patterns of Strategy

Patrick Hoverstadt
Lucy Loh
23 januari 2017

Patterns of Strategy has been described as: “the first major new approach to strategy in a long time.”* It is also the first systems approach developed specifically for understanding and formulating strategy.

This extended session will introduce the Patterns of Strategy approach, some of the systems theory behind it and then we’ll move into a practical workshop where the participants will use the approach working in groups on strategic issues of their choice.

The approach drew on several strands of systems and management science: VSM, Game/drama theory, Bateson, Boyd, but primarily Maturana’s structural coupling. Where conventional approaches to strategy focus on either the market or the organisation, Patterns of Strategy focuses on the relationship between an organisation and its environment and specifically on modelling the dynamics of the strategic fit between the two.

For practitioners, some key differences are the ease of modelling and the speed with which strategic situations can be explored, options developed assessed and chosen and the direct linkage to action planning and success criteria. Patterns of Strategy is equally effective in developing strategy for competitive or collaborative situations.

*Paul Barnett, CEO Strategic Management Bureau

Lucy Loh and Patrick Hoverstadt have over 50 years’ combined experience consulting with private and public sector clients internationally and in organizations of all sizes from small to global. Both have designed and delivered postgraduate courses at several European business schools.

They specialise in using systems thinking and management science approaches to tackle complex, intractable management issues where traditional approaches consistently fail. This includes the development of Patterns of Strategy to provide a fresh and systemic approach to this key organisational challenge.