Strategics: The Art and Science of Holistic Strategy

Strategics: The Art and Science of Holistic Strategy

Strategics: The Art and Science of Holistic Strategy

Strategics: The Art and Science of Holistic Strategy

Synopsis

Most of what passes for strategic planning is just long-range planning, comprehensive planning, or in some cases merely program or project planning. Cook maintains that even to attempt strategy follows a coherent system of strategic thinking, strategic planning, and finally strategic action. Together these elements form the powerful concept of strategizing. This system restores strategy to its original meaning: "to lead an army." With sound, pragmatic theory coupled with detailed hands-on instruction, Cook's volume is a useful, definitive resource for executive-level management in the public and private sectors and a unique presentation for professors and students in undergraduate and graduate programs.

Excerpt

It seems that I have been involved in strategic planning my entire life, either as the person responsible for developing the plan, as the planning facilitator, or as the trainer of other facilitators. My first involvement in strategy was in the military, where I learned the art and science of strategos--"to lead an army." When I was asked to serve on the team that was to build a new university, I discovered an entirely new application of strategy. Because of that success, I have been given the opportunity to facilitate the strategic plans for numerous corporations (some Fortune 500 companies) in a variety of industry types. In addition, since 1980, my firm and I have facilitated over 700 plans for educational systems, both throughout the United States and abroad.

From all this experience I have realized two things. First, most attempts at strategic planning fail to realize the power implicit within the concept of strategy. Thus, all too often the results of planning are disappointment and frustration, and in some instances the organization suffers irreparable damage. Second, and more personal, I have discovered that the concept of strategy is far more than a methodology or a technique. It is actually a philosophical view of oneself, the world, and the way things work. Furthermore, we only know its full power by discovering our own.

Looking back, it is abundantly clear that I have been truly privileged to work with the very best organizations of their kind. And each project, each relationship, has been an opportunity for research and learning. Taken together, those experiences have provided me with a unique education, unavailable anywhere else or in any other way. It is as though 25 years ago I was planted on a huge, uncharted island, and since that . . .

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