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Leg 8. From Itajaí to Newport (X). Corporate Strategy Renewal. Completed!


Brunel is leading the fleet at the moment. But Dongfeng and Mapfre are kicking Brunel heels! Let´s see who will win!

Let´s get loud of happiness! Today we are going to finish this race before the teams. We are so close to Newport, Rhode Island. The teams are expected to arrive in 16 hours more or less. The front-runners are Brunel, Dongfeng, and Mapfre. The wind has stabilized and its speed is around 16 knots at this specific moment. I am confident the weather won´t affect us anymore, and we can sail smoothly to our finish line.  In consequence,  let´s start with our last chapter: Summary and Conclusions. We will try to be brief, even though we have had an extensive material during the last 15 days of navigation.

1.Corporate Strategy, The Domain Selection of Our Business Ocean. We started our journey by settling the concept of Corporate Strategy: It´s the art of deciding which businesses do we want to pursue, design and execute. Corporate Strategy is done by the corporate leaders, by the owners of the company at the Board of Directors Level. It is the art of our domain selection. We discussed the importance to pursue more than just the economic value or the financial returns, but the choice of an Integral Business. An integral business is an economic activity with a holistic approach, which gives us a sense of “awe” for our life, a deep commitment for transcendence for us, our team, our stakeholders, our societies.

teaching with awe

Awe: A sense of wonder, astonishment. Our businesses must be a reverential choice for life.

We spent a few days sharing the meaning of awe. Awe comes from awesome. our business selection must be done with “awe”. It has to fill with wonder, leave us amazed, astonished, lost for words, open-mouthed. It must be a reverential choice for life. This idea of awe leads us to its core dualistic dimensions: Accommodation-Leaving our comfort zone and vastness.

Professor Mintzberg stated in his books, the selection domain of our business is complex because decisions are made by people. The corporate boards are headed by leaders. And each leader has his-her own personality, style, temperament, roles, skills, and capabilities. We explained the 11 types of leadership stereotypes: Authoritarian, Democratic, Artist, Craftiest, Designer, Teachers (Coaches), Stewards, Digital, Visionary, Transformational, Politicians and finally the Free-rider type of leadership too. Probably there are many others to add to the list, but I think we have named the most relevant. In addition, a person may hold a mix of leadership styles too. However, the point of choosing or deciding is going beyond the leadership stereotype, it goes directly to mental models. Once we understand who is who on the Board of Directors Level, who takes decisions at the BoD, the next step is to find out how they do corporate strategy. How do they think? What type of mental models they use to decide?

mental modelsA mental model is a “representation of all the things we know in some area of domain”. It is a knowledge structure created over time, that links the separate elements into a whole. Mental Core Frames affect decision-making abilities, communication effectiveness, negotiation skills, the potential for breaching ethics, competitive blind spots, interpersonal fluency, cross-cultural awareness, perceptions of reality and personal growth.

There are several methodologies used for decision making at the Corporate Board of Directors level, but our focus of attention was centered in our brains. If we don´t understand ourselves first in relation to our mental frames or mental models, we won´t be able to do the right decision making. Independently of the decision-making methodology we use.

2.Corporate C-Leaders: Are you ready to sail?. In this chapter of Leg 8, we discussed the characteristics of a good skipper (the captain or leader of a sailors team), and we analyzed each of them applying it to the corporate leaders: Intuition, Solid Understanding of Fundamentals, Inventiveness (The MacGyver effect), Calmness, Operational Knowledge of the Boats, Experience and Holding your Glass of Rum. dahl mathilda 4Please do not misunderstand the last attribute, I am not asking you to be a lousy drinker, nevertheless, the idea of it is to relax and share a bit of happiness. We don´t need to drink alcohol for that, we can drink tea or coffee or soda if you wish. In addition to these 7 characteristics, we need to add teamwork. Any sailing race can´t be done if there is no teamwork involved. Look at all the people working in VOR Alicante HQ Office. Look all the partners Inmarsat, Volvo, Vestas, Omega, Cobham, Musto, and many more which have done amazing contributions in technology, operational systems, and capabilities. Moreover, the race can´t happen without the fleet: each boat has its crew and its experienced skippers. This is the same for Corporate Leaders if we don´t delegate and promote teamwork, little we will be able to survive in our navigation efforts.

3. From the Past to the Future: Corporate Strategy Renewal. brain capacitiesIn this chapter, we developed the importance of our brain development for righteous integral decision-making. Since Corporate Strategy is the art of Decision-Making about our businesses, we must start by understanding the neural mechanisms at play in decision-making in our brains. We explored the ladder of reaching wisdom. The idea of Corporate Strategy Renewal is nothing else than to make WISE decision making, how to rejuvenate our brain capacities and focus to change individual attitudes, assumptions, behaviors, and emotions acquired by our brains over the years (applied to corporate strategy). The key aspect to grasp is that with aging, our brains can rejuvenate through our emotions. What distinguishes generation X from Millennials and Gen Z is the emotional maturity we ladder of absrhave reached by learning from mistakes.

Throughout its lifetime, the human brain undergoes more changes than any other part of the body, Brain development is not my area of domain but we believe in education and learning as the key foundation to the ladder of reaching wisdom. In consequence, it is important to state that brain development is not only physiological, it also involves several other levels of development such as Aptitudes, Emotions, and Spiritual. And it seems to me (this is my own personal view), if we rejuvenate our brains,  this could become the origin of successful brain transformation to become “wiser” in “corporate strategy”. In consequence, there is a lot to learn about how we learn. There is a lot to learn about how can we train our brains to be wise. Our past determines how we see our present, and how we will shape our future.

Underwater-Light-2.gifAccording to Professors Bartlett and Ghoshal, there are two opposite possible behavioral contexts when going from the past to the future. We saw the Corporate-sclerosis context inherited from the past, and then we explored the new management renewal context. These contexts opened us the door to see in deep detail the Three Phased Process of Corporate Renewal by Bartlett and Ghoshal. And we used the example of the ABB Corporate Renewal from 1998 to 2018.

Eliescalante Leg 8 Corporate Strategy Renewal 3 03
The Bartlett-Ghoshal Model has three phases: Simplification (Instilling Discipline and Support), Integration (Building Stretch and Trust) and Regeneration (Balancing Discipline, Support, Stretch, and Trust).

4. Corporate Entrepreneurship. In this chapter, we understood what is the meaning of corporate entrepreneurship: It is the effort of promoting innovation from an internal organizational perspective through: The assessment of potential new opportunities, The alignment of resources, The exploitation and commercialization of those opportunities” *(McFadzean, O´Loughlin, Shaw – 2005). It is important to realize that corporate entrepreneurship can be used interchangeably with the term intrapreneurship.

5. Finally yesterday we saw an informational paintbrush of Corporate Leadership when change happens. This theme will be expanded during our Newport Stopover because when learning about innovation, we must revisit the concept of change again in a few days.


This is our contribution to Leg 8. I hope you have enjoyed this topic. Since it is the specific area of the domain of my company, I was really happy to share with you only the fundamentals. By now I am a bit exhausted. It takes to stretch and discipline to deliver such extensive themes in less than 15 days. Writing is my passion, however, after crossing the Atlantic ocean, flying next to the Bermuda Triangle, being dragged by the Sargasso Seaweeds, and watching chocolate chip cookie dough to fell down from a cardboard box rudder, I am hungry for some real cookies and coffee. We all deserve them.gif cookies.gif

Happy Advent to Newport. And hugs for all the fleet. And for my beau Alex Lozano Artolachipi, I miss you to the infinity and beyond. Much love to you!. 

Thank you!

Disclaimer: All the presentation slides shown on this blog are prepared by Eleonora Escalante MBA-MEng. Nevertheless, all the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.

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