Strategic Learning LO19754

Richard GOODALE (
Fri, 6 Nov 1998 11:11:05 -0000

Replying to LO19745 --


What exactly do you mean by "the traditional approach to strategic
planning?" The approach which I learned in the mid 70's, and have
"practiced" since then (is that "traditional" enough?) encompasses the

--a clear distinction between "Long Range" and "Strategic"
planning. The central element of the former involved the mathematical
extrapolation of past trends (this is what I was taught at Harvard
Business School in the late 60's- -there was no course in the curriculum
using the word "strategy" then, and at HBS, this course was then taught
by a renowned statistician). The central element of the latter was and is
the concept of "leadership"--strategy being rooted in the Greek
"strategos" = "generalship." As I and others have often said, "Colonels
plan and manage, Generals lead."

--Techniques and philosophies whose periodic "discovery" by
academics and consultants continues to amaze me. Among these techniques
and philosophies (which I have practiced under the rubric of "strategic
planning" since the late 70's) are:
--scenario planning
--360 degree feedback
--balanced scorecards
--"out of the box" thinking
--participative development of strategy
--linking business strategy to elements of organisational design
--reward systems
--information systems (formal and informal)

--The understanding of the limitation which practicalities place
on theory. One mantra which I was taught early, and have yet to see any
reason to disavow is "Strategy is both Condition and Ambition driven." We
are both what we are and what we want to be.

--A solid linkage to objective reality. Whether it be a business,
a government, a charitable trust, a community, or whatever, any
organisation must develop what it wants to do in direct relationship to
its "purpose." All organisations exist for some purpose. If they forget
that purpose, they cannot develop strategies and cannot effectively learn.

To me, "strategic planning" and "organisational leaning" are and always
have been inextricably linked. I suspect that what you and others think
of as "strategic" planning is not really strategic at all. Let me know
your thoughts on this, please.

Richard Goodale
Managing Partner
The Dorncoch Partnership

PS--in my work in strategy, women have always been prominent, as
contributors and leaders. The fact that some people hold conferences on
"Strategic Planning" which do not include, or significantly underepresent,
women, is their problem, not the problem of the discipline

IMHO, anyone who has done any important work in the area of strategy knows
that--"It's the People, Stupid!" to paraphrase James Carville. Those
people also know and value the contribution of women and all other sources
of diversity to our collective task of finding ways to help organisations
meet the challenges of the new Milleniium.


> From: Steven J. Maranville <>
> Subject: Strategic Learning LO19745
> Date: 12 October 1998 18:13
> The recent thread regarding "Strategic Planning as a Male Game" seems to
> have suggested that the traditional approach to strategic planning does
> not foster organizational learning. I would be delighted to hear from
> the
> creative minds on this list how strategic planning can be transformed
> into
> strategic learning.

[Host's Note: The gremlins lurking in the internet delivered another copy
of Steve's Oct 12 msg into the LO queue on 11/5. This is one of the things
I watch out for, but didn't catch this time; LO19745 duplicates the same
msg distributed a month ago. ...Rick]


"Richard GOODALE" <>

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