There are two significantly different approaches to the design and implementation of strategic transformation, whether at organization, program, or country levels:

Typical Consultant Strategy Mechanistic Approach Complex Adaptive System Transformation Approach
Relies on certainty – When there is none Delivers in uncertain and complex real world
Top down – relies on crystal ball Top down / bottom up
Theory driven (not practice-based) Pragmatic and tangible, implementation by public /private sectors as a complex program
Relies on up front integration (is not agile) System of systems enables plug and play of components and iterative integration through an enabling system
Relies solely on strategies to drive industry development Integrates policy, active government intervention and industry leadership
Mechanistic – based on unreliable up-front centralized planning Iterative, opportunistic and flexible
Stick to plan the consultants designed – not agile or responsive Double Loop Learning – deep first principles reviews between iterations
Relies on general consultants with no implementation experience Developed and managed by leading experts & practitioners who managed complex strategic transformation in real world

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