The central theme of the paper is on the aspect of innovation and gaining competitive advantage and strategic intent. However, the argument that that author seeks to present is that it is essential for managers to be ambitious and strive to gain a strategic advantage. However, the author aims to offer the difference between companies in different regions. In the western countries companies focus on trimming their ambitions to match their resources with sustainable advantages (Gary and Prahalad 148). However, the other argues in some regions the firms and manager often start with very high ambitions that are not even within their resources. While some might say that this is a right approach since it keeps the company in check, the author seeks to show that such ambitions might not be sustainable. From his view, Japanese companies focus on leveraging resources through the acceleration of the pace of learning in the organization and trying to attain a seemingly impossible goal.
The author is seeking to present the argument that having a strategic intent is essential for any business success. However, the scope of the plan should be determined by many things. One of the elements should be the resources that the company has. While the company might have strategic goals that might go beyond their resources, these resources should be within their foreseeable reach. It would not be prudent for a company to have strategic intent of reaching a turnover of about a billion yet its income is within the ranges of $500000. While the goal might make the company seem that it has a focus for the future, one thing that seems clear is that the company might not be able to achieve this target and thus it will make the workers fell delusional.
However, the idea that he presents about the companies in Japan might be quite workable. In this case, the companies develop a strategic goal that might seem impossible, but the leaders make the employees own these goals and make the employees have the desire to succeed. The approach is workable because it makes each of the employees to work on a specific purpose that would eventually lead to the attendance of the eventual goal. However, the culture of employment in Japan is different from other regions in the world. In this region people often have a feeling owning the company. Thus the approach works.
The strength of the argument is in the way he analyzes companies that have developed a strategic goal and successfully achieved it. His analysis of companies such as IBM, Ford and Kodak and the approaches helps to strengthen his argument. However, he does not provide a comparison of his argument with the view of other authors. In this way, he could have helped to make his argument even compelling.
The knowledge from the article is entirely necessary since it has provided me with an understanding of strategic intent and the role that it has in an organization. One thing that seems to be more workable and one that I would seek to apply in the organization is the idea of setting achievable goals. One clear thing is as a leader one should ensure that the strategic goal is within the resources that the company has. Besides, the employees should be able to own the strategic goals. Through this, they would be able to work towards achieving a common goal.
Gary H. and Prahalad C.K. Strategic Intent