“When I’m asked about the best strategy I usually tease people and say, ‘Give me a moment and I’ll fish it out of my pocket,’” says CBS Professor Marie Louise Mors, laughing:
“After all it’s terribly complex because it depends on the industry, company size, what you would like to achieve and so on.
There isn’t just one answer. Strategy is nuanced and in motion. And that’s what makes it fun.”
Mors teaches the Strategy Development Course for the Executive MBA at Copenhagen Business School. She has 12 years of teaching experience at the MBA level and a PhD from the respected business school INSEAD in France. She has also spent time doing research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has been on the faculty at London Business School (LBS), whose MBA programmes are ranked at the top.
An English word will occasionally sneak into her Danish, a testament to the fact that Mors lived abroad for 24 years. She has called Sydney, Oslo, Paris, London, San Francisco, Boston and New York home but has resided in Denmark for the past five years.
Strategy is ever-changing
Mors points to a picture in her office depicting a river in Russia. She usually shows this picture to her students in an effort to illustrate what strategy entails. It was taken while she was fishing with her husband and up ahead in the river a rock crops up.
“You aren’t supposed to steer straight into the rock, but there are two ways around it. Both of them could very well be fine,” she remarks:
“Another scenario is that some years it snows a great deal in Russia, causing the river to rise and cover the rocks, in which case the raft then moves more quickly down the river. Other years there is less water and more rocks because the weather’s been dry. In that case, how do we avoid the rocks? Perhaps it entails pulling your raft ashore and walking. That’s what it’s like to work with strategy because the environment is everchanging,” Mors explains.
Effects from the pandemic, pressure to move towards a greener future, natural disaster, inflation, and innovation are intensifying the rate of change across all industries. So how do business professionals stay ahead of the curve?
Help is at hand through the professor’s strategy course.
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