May 31, 2012
News & Opinion: The Strategist
It was classic Shakespeare: As a field, we had hoisted ourselves on our own petard. We had demoted strategy from the top of the organization to a specialist function. Chasing a new ideal, we had lost sight of the value of what we had - the richness of judgment, the continuity of purpose, the will to commit an organization to a particular path. With all good intentions, we had backed strategy into a narrow corner and reduced it to a left-brain exercise. In doing so, we lost much of its vitality and much of its connection to the day-to-day life of a company, and we lost sight of what it takes to lead the effort.An acclaimed professor at Harvard Business School, Montgomery spent months putting together case discussions, after-hours talks, and executive strategy dilemmas to illuminate what strategy is, and how it is best handled by people with strategy as an integral part of their role. By looking at this information, leaders can develop the skills and sensibilities they need to become strategists themselves.
Before, they say, they thought about strategy as a set of problems to be solved - the way it is so often approached in both practice and school. Now, however, they're thinking about strategy as a way of life for themselves as a leader, a set of questions to be lived.This book is an important read for anyone in a leadership role, to help them define, communicate, and live according to their strategic plan to create alignment, purpose, and success.
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.