“2020 is not far from now. Businesses are taking decisions today that will affect their performance in 2020.” With these words, Tim Wolf opened the 16th Annual Conference of Strategic Management by Horváth & Partners in Stuttgart on May 11th, 2016. The conference showed impressive examples of how strategy work has changed companies in the way they think, align their business models, and succeed in the marketplace. The first-class speakers included Chef Strategy Officers and board members of Media-Saturn Holding GmbH, Bosch subsidiary BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, DEKRA SE, and AXA Konzern AG, as well as Prof. Dr. Thomas Hutzschenreuter of TU Munich and Ibrahim Evsan, a thought leader in social media and digital leadership. As an expert in digitizing strategic management processes, SOLYP Informatik GmbH supported the conference yet again as official event partner.

Innovation and differentiation—these have always been the two strategic pillars of Sto SE & Co. KGaA, the world leading producer of a broad range of next-generation building envelope solutions and coating systems for building construction, maintenance, and restoration. In an executive interview with the CEO Magazine, the Spokesman of the Executive Board Rainer Hüttenberger now talks about the successful history of the traditional family-run company headquartered in Baden-Württemberg and takes a look into the future which Sto is already well-prepared for thanks to setting the right strategic direction.

Nothing is more constant than change. This is particularly true for the past 10 to 20 years. Our once analog world has changed to become more global, virtual, fast-paced, volatile, and networked. And in the future, the pace of change will increase even more. Keeping up with this is a real challenge, especially for medium-sized family-run businesses. But despite growing uncertainty and constant change, many of them still neglect long-term strategy work. That is a fatal mistake. It is precisely in times of uncertain and volatile markets that business owners should deal intensively with their companies and their goals. It is no exaggeration when I say: "A business as usual attitude should not and will not exist." Therefore, don’t get stuck in the satisfaction trap because your business is doing well and solid. "Those who God wants to destroy, He gives them 30 years of success," they says. So be prepared for changes in almost all areas.

For the fifth time already, strategy professionals from different industries met at the SOLYP Strategy Circle in Frankfurt am Main last Thursday to network and share their knowledge, experience, and ideas in a small and familiar setting. As keynote speakers, Janina Kaiser of K+S Group and Mirko Rajs and Marcus Schueler of the consulting firm MHP offered valuable insights into the strategy work of their organizations sparking fruitful discussions among the participants.

Lasting success is the result of good strategic decisions. And these are based on effective strategic thinking. One who knows that better than almost anyone else is the German native US-investor Peter Thiel. The billionaire is one of the founders of the online payment provider Paypal and started his own investment firm Clarium in 2002.