As some Disney executives have just learned, simple strategic factors do not always guarantee a easy win. ... I would not be surprised if these gambling executives live on the philosophy of "Going Big or Going Home."
In this non-efficient economy, the successful strategists who do not have the deep pockets of Disney or the Elite 1000 companies, must cautiously read the configuration of their grand competitive situation before creating the proper "mix and match" scenario.
There are many variations of the "Five Critical Strategic Factors" (the matrix of connectivity, the cyclical phase of the situation, the strategic state of the situation, the efficacy of leadership and the effectiveness of the process-driven logistics) that are in play. ... To prevail in a pseudo transparent competing situation, the chief decision makers regularly probe for the best tactical match-up. (Based on the Sunzi's The Art of War essay, we preferred to categorize this step as the tactical imbalance of strategic efficiency. Sawyer translation refers to it as the tactical imbalance of strategic power. )
Some chief decision makers have occasionally performed a scenario modeling session to determine whether they have the strategic efficiency (or the strategic power) to prevail over their competition. ... Whether they properly employ the right scenario modeling scenario process, is a different situation.
Following is an abridged list of questions that the Disney executives could have asked themselves, before deciding on releasing the film:
- What is the usual social psychological state of the audience for that specific time period? ..
- What other films would they be competing again?
- What are the current trend of political, economic and social influences that could benefit or hurt this film?
- Other than the named superstars, what is the other value that would attract the audience to this movie?
- Based on the answers from the previous questions, does the match-up favored your film or your competitor's films?
- If it was an even parity situation, what are the technical specifics that could give us the strategic power (strategic advantage) over the other competing films?
Other Scenario Modeling Questions
- How do you verify and validate the quality of intelligence behind the given choices?
- How are you estimating the factors behind your advantage?
How Disney's Bean Counters Will Bury 'The Lone Ranger'
Here’s the recipe for making a summer blockbuster: Buy a proven franchise, lock down one of the most coveted release dates of the year, and spare no expense to get an A-list actor, producer, and director. Unfortunately for studio executives, that’s also the recipe for a flop, as the team behind The Lone Ranger is realizing all too clearly this morning.
Questions From the Compass Desk
- To compete in our non-efficient unpredictable economy, are you performing any relevant strategic scenario modeling sessions?
- Do you know what variables and what factors to look for?
- If you are a reader of Sunzi the Art of War (AoW), how do you assess "The Big Tangible Picture" of your setting?
- Do you know how to estimate its configuration?
- In an extreme competitive setting, what would you do if your competitor's were going to thaw your plans?
- Do you have the courage and the resources to counter-move him/her?