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August 19, 2004

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

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 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.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.