Imagination and Inspiration: Creating Strategy Breakthroughs in a Discordant World

Imagination and inspiration in business scholarship and practice are needed today more than ever. Our world of business performance and social welfare faces multiple discordant shocks, including climate crises, immigration barriers, technological expansions and shifts, supply chain disruptions, political realignments, trade transformations, and a global viral pandemic. Tackling these challenges requires novel solutions that build on a dynamic combination of imagination and inspiration.

Imagination and inspiration are intimately intertwined. According to Merriam-Webster, imagination is “the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality,” while inspiration is “the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions.” Together, these forces can respond to discord by creating new images and then inspiring action in response to the images.

The theme for the SMS 41st Annual Conference encouraged individual and collective imagination and inspiration toward tackling the discordant challenges we face in strategy scholarship and practice. The theme signaled the desire for novel combinations of imagination and inspiration that proactively respond to and even shape discord.

SMS 41st Annual Conference: Virtual Toronto

Conference Program Chairs

  • Mary Crossan, Western University
  • Will Mitchell, University of Toronto
  • Joanne Oxley, University of Toronto
  • George Stalk Jr, Boston Consulting Group

Meeting Date
September 18-21, 2021

Meeting City
Virtual Toronto