Feedback and Control

As it implements its strategy, the firm needs to track the results and monitor new developments in the internal and external environments. Some environments are fairly stable from year to year. Other environments evolve slowly in a fairly predictable way. Still other environments change rapidly in significant and unpredictable ways. Nonetheless, the company can count on one thing: The marketplace will change. And when it does, the company will need to review and revise its implementation, programs, strategies, or even objectives.

A company's strategic fit with the environment will inevitably erode because the market environment changes faster than the company's 7-Ss. Thus a company might remain efficient while it loses effectiveness. Peter Drucker pointed out that it is more important to "do the right thing" (effectiveness) than "to do things right" (efficiency). The most successful companies excel at both.

Once an organization fails to respond to a changed environment, it has difficulty recapturing its lost position. This happened to the once-unassailable Motorola when it was slow to respond to the new digital technology used by Nokia and others, and kept rolling out analog phones.17 Similarly, Barnes & Noble did not immediately recognize the threat posed by Amazon.com's Internet-based book retailing model; then, as a latecomer to e-commerce, it had more of a struggle establishing itself. Clearly, the key to organizational health is the firm's willingness to examine the changing environment and to adopt appropriate new goals and behaviors. High-performance organizations continuously monitor the environment and use flexible strategic planning to maintain a viable fit with the evolving environment.

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