Mintzberg - the Fall and Rise of Strategic Planning

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 384
  • Published : October 21, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Harvard
 Business
 Review
  January
 1994
 
  The
 Fall
 and
 Rise
 of
 Strategic
 Planning
  by
 Henry
 Mintzberg
 
 
When
 strategic
 planning
 arrived
 on
 the
 scene
 in
 the
 mid-­‐1960s,
 corporate
 leaders
 embraced
 it
 as
 “the
 one
 best
  way”
 to
 devise
 and
 implement
 strategies
 that
 would
 enhance
 the
 competitiveness
 of
 each
 business
 unit.
 True
  to
 the
 scientific
 management
 pioneered
 by
 Frederick
 Taylor,
 this
 one
 best
 way
 involved
 separating
 thinking
  from
 doing
 and
 creating
 a
 new
 function
 staffed
 by
 specialists:
 strategic
 planners.
 Planning
 systems
 were
  expected
 to
 produce
 the
 best
 strategies
 as
 well
 as
 step-­‐by-­‐step
 instructions
 for
 carrying
 out
 those
 strategies
 so
  that
 the
 doers,
 the
 managers
 of
 businesses,
 could
 not
 get
 them
 wrong.
 As
 we
 now
 know,
 planning
 has
 not
  exactly
 worked
 out
 that
 way.
 
  While
 certainly
 not
 dead,
 strategic
 planning
 has
 long
 since
 fallen
 from
 its
 pedestal.
 But
 even
 now,
 few
 people
  fully
 understand
 the
 reason:
 strategic
 planning
 is
 not
 strategic
 thinking.
 Indeed,
 strategic
 planning
 often
 spoils
  strategic
 thinking,
 causing
 managers
 to
 confuse
 real
 vision
 with
 the
 manipulation
 of
 numbers.
 And
 this
  confusion
 lies
 at
 the
 heart
 of
 the
 issue:
 the
 most
 successful
 strategies
 are
 visions,
 not
 plans.
 
  Strategic
 planning,
 as
 it
 has
 been
 practiced,
 has
 really
 been
 strategic
 programming,
 the
 articulation
 and
  elaboration
 of
 strategies,
 or
 visions,
 that
 already
 exist.
 When
 companies
 understand
 the
 difference
 between
  planning
 and
 strategic
 thinking,
 they
 can
 get
 back
 to
 what
 the
 strategy-­‐making
 process
 should
 be:
 capturing
  what
 the
 manager
 learns
 from
 all
 sources
 (both
 the
 soft
 insights
 from
 his
 or
 her
 personal
 experiences
 and
 the
  experiences
 of
 others
 throughout
 the
 organization
 and
 the
 hard
 data
 from
 market
 research
 and
 the
 like)
 and
  then
 synthesizing
 that
 learning
 into
 a
 vision
 of
 the
 direction
 that
 the
 business
 should
 pursue.
 
  Organizations
 disenchanted
 with
 strategic
 planning
 should
 not
 get
 rid
 of
 their
 planners
 or
 conclude
 that
 there
  is
 no
 need
 for
 programming.
 Rather,
 organizations
 should
 transform
 the
 conventional
 planning
 job.
 Planners
  should
 make
 their
 contribution
 around
 the
 strategy-­‐making
 process
 rather
 than
 inside
 it.
 They
 should
 supply
  the
 formal
 analyses
 or
 hard
 data
 that
 strategic
 thinking
 requires,
 as
 long
 as
 they
 do
 it
 to
 broaden
 the
tracking img