Strategy and Ontology LO26135

From: Peggy Stuart (
Date: 02/15/01

Replying to LO26129 --

Hi (again) Arthur and LOites:

I am really interested in learning more about where you are coming from on
this ... I feel this discussion is quite pivotal in my (and I hope
others') understanding of LOs.

I don't quite get why "strategy" has to be about predictability, planning
and control. I don't quite get why these terms - at least the planning
part - is so bad in regards to building a learning culture. Why can't
strategic management meet the needs of individual organizations? Why can't
strategic processes be used to support learning and change? (I would have
thought you could not have learning and change without effective strategic
processes and management.)

Maybe we could zoom out for a sec and ask ourselves "What exactly are we
talking about here when we say 'strategy?'" Do we even have an agreement
on terminology from which we could then continue our dialogue on the
usefulness of strategic processes, strategic management, etc. in LOs? For

"Strategy" is plan of action intended to accomplish a specific goal. (From

"Strategy" is how an organisation intends to fulfil its mission and vision
while reinforcing its values. (From a colleague)

"Strategy" is simply a recommendation on how a success or failure can be
repeated or avoided based on analyses of previous courses of action that
were successful or unsuccessful. (My own interpretation)

In addition ...

In the context of a hierarchical planning process (mission, vision,
values, objectives, etc.), anything below the systems-level is said to be
a tactic, not a strategy. So functional strategies, i.e. marketing
strategies, etc. are actually marketing tactics.

When we hear of a decision or a course of action being "strategic," do we
understand the person as talking about the level of importance of the
decision or course of action, or of the potential or actual scope?

Perhaps this whole discussion of strategic management in a LO should
discussed from the aspect of ontology for a bit. As Denham Grey said in
his post "Working ontologies" (LO26094)

"What the heck is an ontology??? A (shared) expression of belief, an
agreement on the terminology (and sometimes the meaning) for communication
and action. Ontologies serve to bound discourse, facilitate communication
within & across communities and networks, leverage action by gathering
agreement around values, objects, the way things are and what is 'out
there' that is important. Ontologies help to orientate new folks and act
as the stores for key learnings & distinctions accumulated through
experience. Ontologies have a large influence on identity and help with
the tacit transfer of context. Ontologies IMO are destined to become a
very influential part of knowledge work."

As such, I would be very interested how this knowledgeable and diverse
community understands the term "strategy".




Peggy Stuart <>

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