Strategic Learning LO19772

Steven J. Maranville (
Mon, 9 Nov 1998 10:10:54 -0800 (PST)

Replying to LO19759 --

Replying to LO19754 and LO19759 --

Hello Richard and Fred:

I agree with both of your conclusions that strategic planning SHOULD BE
strategic learning. Nevertheless, I continue to hear managers say, "Our
strategic planning process is a mind-numbing annual ritual that we endure
so we can get our real work done." Rather than strategic learning, this
sounds like learning to go through the motions.

IMHO, strategic planning should foster reflection (strategic thinking)
about how the firm can best gain competitive advantage. Richard (LO19754)
describes the traditional Harvard Business Schoo model of strategic
planning. This model, though, seems to represent what Fred (LO19759)
refers to as a "mechanistic" approach. It is this approach that seems to
inhibit learning through a "paint-by-the-numbers" mindset.

Reflection appears to be the key to any learning--including strategic
learning. Therefore, the central concern of strategic processes ought to
be the enabling of reflective thought. I am intrigued with Fred's concept
of strategy-making as "conversations." I would like to hear more about
these practices and others that facilitate strategic learning. Thanks for
the discussion on this issue.


Steven Maranville <>

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