August 19, 2004

News & Opinion: Everything You Need to Know About “Strategy”: A Baker’s Dozen Eternal Verities

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 3:32 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

“Strategy” is essentially about “knowin’ where you’re goin’.” Not, mostly, a bad idea; though with today’s market gyrations—and market gyration velocity—that’s increasingly difficult to do, a chimera, a distraction even. For me, “knowin’ who you’re goin’ with” tops the list of imperatives in a world of white water, and knowin’ that those you’re goin’ with share your passion and determination—and the flexibility of mind to adjust and adjust and adjust on a dime. All of which is to say I’m not, and never have been, a champion of the management school of thought that says, or implies, “Get the strategy right [big word, “right”!] and the rest, as in all good things, will more or less automatically follow.” In fact I think such a view—admittedly not as prevalent today as it used to be, in the wake of everything from huge bankruptcies to 9-11—is total crap.
So what do you need to know about “strategy”? That was the question I was asked recently by a rather contentious, die-hard academic strategy buff. (These ideas tend to die hardest in academic settings—where the stakes are so low.) My answer, in brief, follows:
You can find the rest of Tom Peters' paper posted over the next several days on the Excerpts Blog.