According to the authors, there are three main considerations that business units ought to be privy to concerning the ecology. In a sense, businesses must be fully incorporated into the basics of the ecology and must tailor their activities in tandem with the ecology. In this strain, the ecology is described as facilitative rather than appreciative. However, the main rider is the organization in question ought to recognise the trajectory and state of affairs in the ecology and so tailor its programs, even the most mundane in consonance with the strategy.
The three limbs of strategy are productivity, robustness and niche creation. According to the authors, units must remain productive in the ecology. Productivity denotes the ability to deliver. The example used illustratively is the case on Microsoft. Microsoft ordinarily has to deliver services and products to its wide market base. In delivery, it employs the assistance and services of partner firms that necessarily provide essential services that go deep in addressing their needs. Productivity derives from the ability to perform. The company or business unit in this case would be able to perform only in a facilitative environment. Caution is thrown on the need to ensure the environment is facilitative both in the long and short run. This is because reliance on only short run success could be catastrophic like in the Yahoo and AOL cases. It remains imperative, therefore, for the units to ensure the ecology is facilitative both in the long and short term.
Another limb of strategy concerns robustness. This refers to the ability to withstand pressure, stress or tension. A robust unit will remain steadfast even in the face of turbulent market conditions. This necessarily calls for deliberate and intensive planning and execution of strategy. It is not sufficient that units make profits, or progress in their areas of speciality. It is, however, particularly vital that such units portray effective abilities to stand the tests of times. It is in that vein that the authors argue in favour of robustness. Indeed, the survival of any of the units relies heavily on the operations external to them. This implies that they may not have absolute control of external factors, many of which could have detrimental effects. However, the authors argue that business strategy must cushion the units from the effects of such adverse occurrences.
The third and final limb is the niche creation. In business, a niche denotes an opportunity. Often, this opportunity ought to be taken advantage of and utilized to the benefit of the business unit. This is compared to the ecological niche that mirrors the same characteristics as the business niche. Biological niche creation entails the taking advantage of opportunities in the ecology. Accordingly, the authors argue that units should inhere in them the ability to create niches. The business units ought to have the capacity and ability to create opportunities that would effectively position them in beneficial place in the overall business ecology. According to this narrative, the opportunities created must entail certain qualities that add positively to their standing. In that strain, a niche is expected to influence the long term objectives of the unit positively.
Another keystone that is considered is the dominant and the niche player. While the dominant player denotes the organism that has the ability to dominate over others, the niche player suffices for purposes of creating the opportunities. In business, these two characters perform the same functionalities as is of their biological equivalents. The dominant player executes the strategy that keeps the ecology running. They are the big brothers in the house whose strategy directs the path in the general business ecology. However, the niche players suffice for the creation of opportunities in the larger business ecology.
Iansiti, M., & Levien, R. (2004, March). Harvard Business Review. Strategy as Ecology, 1-11.