How Do Today's Managers Use Scientific Management?

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Long Range Planning, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 73 to 81, 1988 Printed in Great Britain

0024-6301 j88 $3.00 + .OO Pergamon Journals Ltd.

73

A Strategic Planning Process for Public and Non-profit Organizations John Ad. Bryson

approach to strategic planning ispresented for use by public and non-profit organizations. Benefits of the process are outlined and two examples of its application are presented-one involving a city government and the other a public health nursing service. Requirements for strategic planning success are discussed. Several conclusions are drawn, namely that: (7) strategic planning is likely to become part of the repertoire of public and non-profit planners; (2) planners must be very careful how they apply strategic planning to specific situations; (3) it makes sense to think of decision makers as strategic planners and strategic planners as facilitators of decision making across levels and functions; and (4) there are a number of theoretical and practical issues that still need to be explored.

A pragmatic

he does is to think and act strategically every minute of the game, in keeping with a simple game plan worked out with his coaches and key teammates in advance. Let us explore Gretzky’s statement further. What must one know and be able to do in order to make-and act on-a comment like Gretsky’s? One obviously needs to know the purpose and rules of the game, the strengths and weakneses of one’s own team, the opportunities and threats posed by the other team, the game plan, the arena, the officials, and so on. One also needs to bc a wellequipped, superbly conditioned, strong and able hockey player-and it does not hurt to play for a very good team. In other words, anyone who can assert confidently that he or she ‘skates to where the puck will be’ knows basically everything there is to know about strategic thinking and acting in hockey games. Wayne Gretzky is respected primarily for his extraordinary offensive scoring ability. But defensive abilities obviously are important, too. Whereas Gretzky is a great offensive strategist, General George Stedman of the U.S. Army in the Civil War was an experienced defensive strategist. At one point he and his men were badly outnumbered by Confederate soldiers. A hasty retreat was in order, but it made sense to give the lame and wounded -and the General, too!-a chance to put some distance between themselves and the enemy before a full-scale retreat was called. The General and his men then would be in a position to fight another day. Stedman had no thick strategic plan in his back pocket, either. At most he probably had a general battle plan worked out with his fellow officers and recorded in pencil on a map. Again, strategic

I skate to where

I think

the puck will be. Wayne Gretzky

Men, I want you to stand and fight vigorously and then run. And as I am a little bit lame, I’m going to start running now. General George Stedman U.S. Army in the Civil War

Not all of the readers of Long Range Planning may be familiar with either Wayne Gretzky or George Stedman, but their two quotes capture the essence of strategic planning (often called corporate planning in Britain). Wayne Gretzky is perhaps the world’s greatest offensive player in professional ice hockey. He holds the single-season scoring record for players in the National Hockey League-by such a wide margin that many consider him the greatest offensive player of all time. His quote emphasizes that strategic thinking and acting, not strategic planning per se, arc most important. He does not skate around with a thick strategic plan in his back pocket. What

John M. Bryson is Associate in the Hubert H. Humphrey Director of the Strategic University of Minessota, MN

Professor of Planning and Public Affairs Institute of Public Affairs and Associate Management Research Center at the 55455, U.S.A.

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Long

Range

Planning

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February not any

1988 and decisions among key...
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