Strategy, management and participation LO19784

Bob Williams (
Tue, 10 Nov 1998 18:44:56 +1200

Replying to LO19766 --

>Does anyone have some action learning style activities that will allow
>staff and managers to explore :-
> 1. The difference between strategic planning, strategy and strategic
> 2. The pro's and con's of each concept - and the relevace to their own
> 3. The strengths and weaknesses of seeing managers as strategists and
>staff as doers; and everyone as strategists and doers"

It's not uncommon for me to set up a dialogue with myself, but I usually
try to avoid this in public.

However, I don't want to rekindle discussion about the differences between
strategic planning, strategy and strategic thinking. The simple fact is
that this is Humpty Dumpty land, and the managers and staff *do* see a
difference, and I don't think semantic debates (although important to us)
will help them a great deal.

Here in simple terms are the meanings we are applying to those terms.
Please focus on the meanings rather than the definitions.

Strategic planning is a recognised process marketed by the big
consultancies, management courses and airport bookstalls. Vision,
mission, SWAT analyses, strategic goals, objectives, tasks - that stuff.
We are not following that process (although doing some of it), so we are
not seen by management and staff to be doing "strategic planning".

Strategy is a product (a tool) that allows the organisation to cope
profitably (in all senses of the word) with internal and external
environments that vary in their volatility and predictability. the
organisation has different levels of knowledge about these environments.

Strategic thinking is a way by which individual staff and managers engage
creatively with those environments and apply any knowledge gained to their
own work.

... or something like that

I hope this helps rather than hinders any planned contributions.




"At the end of the day, we all need to work our own passions
in ways that make the most sense to us" Marvin Wiesbord


Bob Williams <>

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