Robust Adaptive Strategies By Beinhocker

Beinhocker introduces the concepts of strategy formation but questions the fact there is much more to the formation than just responding to past business and market environmental trends. Strategy development does require managers to make predictions out the future but developing strategy based only on the predictions about the future is “entirely” the wrong mind-set in the uncertain world. Intuition about strategy in the uncertain environment may be understated in many cases but can not be used as the primary source of decision making. Beinhocker encourages managers to start taking cues from nature and change the way we develop business strategy and rely less on their ability to make accurate predictions and more on the power of evolutions. Strategy is an evolving process and not always predictable with the conditions of the unstable environment.

Evolution in strategy is a way of looking for high points in the fitness landscape. In the landscape of strategies, the companies desire to reach and stay at the highest possible peaks in the strategy fitness landscape. There are three elements that are vital for finding high peaks and they are the following: keep moving, deploy platoons of hikers, and mix short and long jumps (adaptive walking) across the landscape.

The lesson that Beinhocker teaches in his article is the untraditional picture of what is need for successful strategy development (in the fitness landscape). Strategies are constantly building and evolving and managers must keep the working the landscape to find the high peaks of optimal strategy!

Once a strategy is found the population must be managed by creating, cultivating and committing to the strategy. The evolution process provides a powerful and effective way of solving problems and creating strategies in an unpredictable environment.


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