The Borders Tale: What Goes Around Comes Around

If you are interested in the theories of business strategy covered in the blog post below, you may want to read Henry Mintzberg’s excellent book, Strategy Safari:  A Guided Tour through the Wilds of Strategic Management.  For example, Mintzberg and his co-authors provide a more lucent (and compact!) description of Michael Porter’s Five Forces Model […]

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The Rise and Fall of Strategy and Planning

Imagine that you could dump all the words of a million books from the past 500 years into a giant database, and look to see how various words have waxed and waned in usage over the centuries.  You could look and see when archaic words like thou and yon disappeared from popular usage.  You could […]

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Choosing the Words of Strategy

The strategist is one who is concerned about the future of his or her personal, family or organizational life, and spends time and thought considering the best possible direction upon which to set forth. Yes, this makes us all strategists.   Strategy is, simply, chosen direction.  Smaller, perhaps, than the mission or purpose of an individual, […]

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Strategy First… Then Structure

The historian Alfred Chandler of Harvard Business School wrote a seminal book published in 1977 on the history of strategic decision making at the highest levels of Corporate America , including DuPont, General Motors, Standard Oil and Sears Roebuck.  The book was called The Visible Hand:  The Managerial Revolution in American Business.  In this work […]

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Some Criteria For a Mission Statement to Meet

There are few topics in strategic planning that generate such diverse and strong opinions as what should be in a mission statement.  The statements vary from one-line slogans to multi-page documents. There are few activities that can become such as waste of time as extensive discussions about what words should be in a mission statement […]

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Metaphors Be With You: The Strategist as Poet

Strategy-making begins with an idea.  Without a guiding idea there can be no sense of direction.  Yet many articles and books about strategy do not address a most important matter:  how to generate ideas.  To conceive the essential set of ideas that we call strategy, the strategist must understand and master the art of the […]

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What is a Strategic Decision?

What is a strategic decision, and how is it different from an operational or tactical decision? Strategic decisions determine the grand direction upon which an entity will embark.  Always, strategy precedes action. The object of strategy is to bring about advantageous conditions within which action will occur.  In the military context, this means positioning forces for best advantage […]

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