Activate the existing collective intelligence with machine learning
Year after year, vast amounts of valuable strategy information from many stakeholders pours into our organization. Given the big volumes of data and the complexity of our businesses, we hope to gain insights across markets and divisions, but find that the flood of information pushes us to human limits and the effort required to evaluate it often outweighs the insight gained in the end.
As part of the strategy and planning process, not only quantitative data is collected, but also a lot of qualitative information. Standardized templates contain the accumulated knowledge of brilliant minds about underlying assumptions and their interpretations, descriptions of trends in the environment, opportunities and risks, strategic and operational challenges, and so on. All this is stored in a multitude of folders and files and often in different languages. In addition, there are different formats, different levels of detail and qualities that hinders its valuable "activation". Instead of exploiting this treasure trove of data to the maximum and generating knowledge to do the right things, it is usually only well archived.
For strategy work, it is crucial to intelligently connect, cluster and correctly evaluate the knowledge already available of many people from the markets in order to be able to actively work with the findings at key points in the strategy process. In practice, gathering information of markets, competitors, customers, opportunities or even ideas for innovation from the submarkets is the smaller problem. It is more a matter of being able to handle the abundance of qualitative and quantitative information correctly and to draw the right conclusions from it. This is undoubtedly a mammoth task, but the use of machine learning makes it less daunting.
Many companies are not aware that they already fulfill several prerequisites for the use of such innovative approaches. With the appropriate amount of data available and the right choice of methods, they can discover and lift the data gold and at the same time open new gates of "strategic insight". Especially in strategy work in more complex organizations, there is no shortage of use cases.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence address one of the core questions of strategic management: How do we get from data to information and, via this, to actionable knowledge? Intelligent algorithms provide us with a change of perspective and a new approach to answering relevant questions of strategy development and strategic planning – especially in more complex businesses.
Here are a few examples of practical, versatile and technically scalable use cases in the context of strategy work:
With technologies such as text mining, natural language processing (NLP) and predictive modeling, it is possible for the first time to use the complete historical and constantly growing strategy data treasure automatically. And this at any time and always up to date.
For strategy development, this means an extraordinary gain in quality, because strategy content is discussed in a cross-functional and over time in a fact-based and insight-oriented manner. Thanks to the latest technologies, justifiable and comprehensible answers can be given to questions that were practically impossible to answer using old methods.
In doing so, we are not necessarily dependent on data sources external to the company. The use of existing knowledge from the market and product-related areas is the most effective and efficient way to gain new insights and bring the strategic dialog to a new level of quality. The prerequisite is the active involvement of the many people who know the submarkets and their rules of the game in detail.
It is right and good to permanently preserve the quantities of quantitative and qualitative high-quality strategic information for the organization. To actively use this hidden treasure of information is even smarter and possible. We should start now to actively leverage the knowledge in the organization. It is the only way to increase necessary agility and to mobilize those self-organizational forces that are crucial for success in dynamic times. The company will be surprised what the company already knows!
Article 1: Revolutionize your Strategy Development
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