24 Jan 2012

Strategic thinking the organic way

Strategists have argued over the past three millennia what the best way of implementing strategy involves. They didn’t agree then and they still don’t now

To many people, strategy means plans, formal statements of goals and the laying out of the route by which those goals will be reached – the planning approach. It’s still taught and practised widely today. However, critics think that it robs management of their ability to think creatively. They don’t know what to do when the plan doesn’t fit the events, they ignore it and do what they think is best instead – often to the detriment of the business.

However, there is an alternative approach, first expounded by the ancient Roman writer, Vegetius, 2,000 years ago, which is gaining in popularity. Described by Japanese guru Kenichi Ohmae as ‘strategic thinking’, it is a more creative approach to strategy in which strategy making and the implementation of strategy become a continuous process.

Ohmae argues that the primary task of the strategist is to think about strategy constantly, making strategic decisions as and when they are needed rather than sticking to a pre-set plan.

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