The business world has made far-reaching changes. A confluence of technological, social, political, and economic events have caused radical changes in the way in which companies, markets, and customers behave. In the face of that changing environment, some companies have known how to adapt and distinguish themselves in contrast to their competitors, and others have not been able keep up with the transformations.

Those who have fallen behind their rivals usually are not able to perceive any important strategic change or disruption in their industry, wrote Nicholas Kachaner, senior partner and managing director at The Boston Consulting Group, and Peter Kunnas, former BCG executive and currently senior director at Oracle. And even if they do notice new shifts, they are incapable of putting in place an appropriate strategy, and if they define a strategy, they aren't able to execute it. In other words, such companies do not have the strategic plans, leaders, or the execution capacity needed to confront the convulsions in their environment.

?How can a firm survive in environments where it is increasingly difficult to plan for the medium and long term, with constant market swings, disruptive trends, and unpredictable behavior of consumers confronted with technological developments never seen before?

The answer, according to experts consulted by Latin Trade is in the face of change, change. Although this solution seems easy, it's not. For years, organizations have been anchored to rigid long term strategic planning models that defined where the company wanted to be in 20 years, where they were at the outset, and how to get to that point, under leadership that followed the road map and ensured full compliance with the plan.

However, in an environment in which companies must face demanding stakeholders, more markets with more customers and more choices, more obstacles to creating value and increasingly frequent and disruptive changes, even the best theories, models, and management practices have stopped being effective because, according to these experts, what is needed is not more control but more flexibility.

"Strategies must be more adaptive and flexible to interpret the changes in business models and in technological paradigms. The process of strategic planning has evolved. Now what's needed is versatility and adaptability. It's better to do something quickly and well managed than perfectly but late," said Jorge Becerra, senior partner and...

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