Tangible Strategies

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To begin, the post mentions the idea that a good strategy is one that can be touched, e.g. a new product, implying that a tangible nature is a necessity for any successful approach. Mintzberg, Ahlstrand, & Lampel (2009) supply a variety of approaches, many of which can be applied to the particular situation of Capgemini, and yet none of these strategies, from those based on patterns to those that are deliberate or to those that are emergent, is particularly striking as being something one can touch. If tangibility is indeed a primary goal for Capgemini, perhaps the strategy employed needs to be rethought. Still, there are some who doubt even the validity of overarching strategy in general: “Any company that has made it past the start-up stage is optimized for efficiency rather than for strategic agility—the ability to capitalize on opportunities and dodge threats with speed and assurance” (Kotter, 2012). The sense of gracefulness described is more redolent of a reactive policy than of a true strategy, as strategies are more commonly viewed as large, lumbering, ponderous entities far from able to easily “dodge threats.” Yet Capgemini seems to be having success with what it is doing right now, particularly when it comes to exploring new areas of growth in a grassroots way. Burgelman (1983) puts forth points on internal corporate venturing (ICV) that would likely support Capgemini’s grassroots approach to the area. The suggestions therein that such development takes place on multiple levels ties right in with the notion that lower-level staff must carry equal stake in the endeavors as the managers do.

However, the threats faced by the company, in spite of its current success, cannot be ignored. For example, it has been said that “The fundamental structural transitions in a wide variety of industries brought about by major catalysts such as deregulation, global marketing and competition, technological discontinuities, and changing customer expectations are imposing new strains on managers around the world” (Prahalad & Hamel, 2007). Naturally, such strains are still being felt even today in 2013. In addition, as the poster has stated the particular area of inquiry is Healthcare and Life Sciences, and it has been established that the company operates out of Paris and primarily serves the European market, to find strategies to overcome such threats, one must look more specifically to those topics. For example: “Total quality management (TQM) promises much for service industries yet it has been little used in European healthcare” (Øvretveit, 2000). This, as well as the previously discussed areas, offers room for improvement for Capgemini. 

References

Burgelman, R. A. (1983). A process model of internal corporate venturing in the diversified major firm. Administrative Science Quarterly, 223-244.

Kotter, J. (2012). Accelerate!. Harvard Business Review, 90(11), 44-58.

Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B., & Lampel, J. (2009). Strategy Safari (2nd ed.). Essex, United Kingdom: Harlow.

Øvretveit, J. (2000). Total quality management in European healthcare. International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 13(2), 74-80.

Prahalad, C. K., & Hamel, G. (1994). Strategy as a field of study: Why search for a new paradigm?. Strategic Management Journal, 15(S2), 5-16.