Summary Rethinking Strategic Planning Part I: Pitfalls and Fallacies

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Summary - Rethinking Strategic Planning Part I: Pitfalls and Fallacies

  • 1 Introduction Text

  • Strategic planning, may be, in fact, an oxymoron
  • This article will show that planning is the very cause of failures which proponents have blamed on everyone else
  • Since the mid 1960's there has been a demise in the popular concept of "strategic planning"
  • 1.1 Planning's Presumed Pitfalls

  • In this article, planning will be defined as the formalization of processes to produce an articulated result
  • Two things stood out in a research conducted by Steiner:
    1. Absence of top management support for planning
    2. Non-congenial climate to planning
  • 1.2 The Commitment Pitfall

  • The question is if management is not only commited to planning, it is also:
    1. Is planning committed to management?
    2. If commitment to planning means commitment to strategy?
    3. Whether the very nature of planning fosters managerial commitment?
    Mintzberg believes that they are all negative
  • There is no such thing as an optimal strategy. Strategy only takes on value as committed people infuse them with energy. (Philip Selznick)
  • Planning has often been used to exercise much more blatant control over middel and lower levels of management
  • 1.3 The Change Pitfall

  • The process of planning itself impedes the change environment
  • Creativity rearranges the established categories; planning by its very nature preserves them.
  • Planning tends to favor short term change instead of long term change because its methods of forecasting are weak
  • 1.4 The Politics Pitfall

  • Planning often fosters certain political activities
  • If planning is biased, it therefore breeds political resistance
  • By putting down the informal processes of managers, discouraging commitment in favor of calculation and when acting as watchdogs of the "correct" practices, they promote the conflict between line & staff
  • What introduces a bias in favor of incremental change, generic strategies and of goals that can be quantified?
    (Strategic) Planning
  • 1.5 The Fallacy of Predetermination

  • Serious strategy making is incompatible with what?
    Strategic planning
  • To engage in planning is to assume what?
  • Long range (more than 2 years) forecasting is notoriously inaccurate
  • Visionaries create their stategies more intuitively
  • 1.6 The Fallacy of Detachment

  • The trick is to get relevant information
  • If you see the forest through the trees, all you see is a thick green carpet without any detail
  • Effective managemers rely on some of the softest forms of information available
  • Planning's predisposition to hard data detatches planners from strategy making
  • Every failure of implementation is also, by definition, a failure of formulation
  • According to Mintzberg, the true fallacy is the failure of the separation between formulation and?
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