Welcome from the Program Chairs

Dear Colleagues:

We invite you to the 40th SMS Annual Conference, our first-ever virtual Annual Conference! 

This will be the 40th year that we have come together for an annual conference, and it’s safe to say that we have never organized a conference in a more turbulent and uncertain context.  The COVID-19 crisis has turned our world upside down, and we are all trying to learn and adjust to the new normal.  Leaders and organizations all over the world are also searching for answers and solutions to the enormous problems they are facing.  Companies need to design strategies and develop organizations that will enable them to not only survive the crisis in the short term, but also to build the foundations for a prosperous long term.  Leaders need to steady the ship while at the same time motivating a frightened and demotivated workforce to join them on the journey of transformation.

While the crisis is ever-present in our thoughts, the numerous disruptions and challenges facing organizations before the crisis have not gone away.  Following the digital revolution of the last 20 years, we are now on the cusp on another technological revolution with AI, Virtual Reality, Robotics, and Machine Learning combining to radically transform the business landscape once again. Companies—still trying to adjust to COVID-19 and the numerous disruptions that hit them over the past 20 years—need to rise up again and prepare for the next wave of disruption.  They have to do so in a political and geopolitical context that is ripe with risks and threats at every turn.  And they have to do all this in the middle of the biggest crisis that we’ve witnessed in the last 50 years.

This is an exciting time to be a Strategy scholar.  Our scholarship, insights, and theories are more in need now than at any time in our profession’s history. This is our chance to use our research to help build the world we want to be living in post-COVID-19.  We will make sure that our Conference—though virtual—will still allow for debate, exploration, and learning.  The potential to learn new things in these times of change is enormous and so is the potential for us as academics to develop ideas that will help transform our societies and world. 

We extend a warm welcome to all of you!

Program Chairs

picture of Julian Birkinshaw
Julian Birkinshaw
London Business School
picture of Costas Markides
Costas Markides
London Business School