Javid Khan, new SPS Fellow and group strategy and business planning manager at National Grid has held a number of strategic positions at National Grid after completing an MBA at Warwick Business School. He explains why a complex business environment requires the expertise of professional strategists.
Why was the SPS Fellowship important to you?
It recognises the extent of my experience of strategy formulation and implementation both at an academic and practitioner level. It also recognises my passion for the subject and my commitment to further learning and continued professional development in the area.
How important is the increasing professionalisation of strategy?
The challenges of an increasingly complex business environment mean that strategy development and implementation require renewed focus. Therefore the role a strategist can play in helping shape the future direction of a firm, encourage debate, and challenge and review decisions becomes fundamentally important.
From a strategist’s perspective, a recognition of their profession, skillset and access to some of the latest thinking, research and practical models is a valuable proposition: the SPS does help a great deal in this regard.
What are the key strategic challenges you are dealing with at the moment?
Within my role at National Grid I am working on a diverse range of issues. This includes supporting the executive and board with our strategy review cycles as well as supporting the implementation of initiatives on the ground.
This brings a fabulous wealth of issues like energy policy, utility regulation, mergers and acquisitions and operational considerations. How these impact the business both now and in the future means that as a team we have to think about the ‘so-what’s’ of this diverse set of challenges, present the moves that we can make now and forecast what impact they will have on the world around us.
What developments in strategic planning particularly interest you?
The world has become a more unpredictable place and what I find particularly interesting is how organisations take account of the inherent uncertainty when developing their plans. Second, organisations often have ambitious and disjointed change programmes: how these are connected together in business plans and what is being done to de-risk their collective delivery is an interesting challenge a lot of companies are facing.