Friday, 29 January 2010

Is strategy dead?

An article appeared on the Wall Street Times the other day suggesting that even if strategy was not quite dead - it was not looking too well:
During the recession, as business forecasts based on seemingly plausible swings in sales smacked up against reality, executives discovered that strategic planning doesn't always work... (Full article by Joann S. Lublin and Dana Mattioli is here)
This was my response:

Ossified strategic plans have always been dead. But managing the future has always been and will always be - absolutely critical to business success.

In my book, the best strategic leaders spend their time creating 'stractegies' rather than 'strutegies' - where the emphasis is on dynamic action rather than glossy pages. To do this, leaders need to generate the conditions where creativity, commitment and complexity are brought together and used in search of shaping (rather than succumbing to) the future. Ideally, strategy is not something that lives in a few glossy pages, or indeed in an (expensive) consultant's report.

Instead strategy should live in all the minds & actions of those working in and with the organisation.

Effective strategy is not created top down in my view - it is built, person by person, from the outside in.

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