By Roger Martin
When I ask business executives about their company's strategy — or about an apparent lack thereof — they often respond that they can't or won't do strategy because their operating environment is changing so much. There isn't enough certainty, they argue, to be able to do strategy effectively. This is an argument I hear particularly often in high-technology sectors. It is almost a mantra there, a badge of pride and superiority: "We run at breakneck speed in the world of high-tech and there isn't time to stop and do strategy. It will emerge naturally over time." The implication is that only boring corporate bureaucrats in large corporations, where the future is (apparently) certain, engage in strategy. Growth companies, it seems, have far more urgent things to do.