Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning

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Free Press, Jan 31, 1994 - Business & Economics - 458 pages
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In this definitive and revealing history, Henry Mintzberg, the iconoclastic former president of the Strategic Management Society, unmasks the press that has mesmerized so many organizations since 1965: strategic planning. One of our most brilliant and original management thinkers, Mintzberg concludes that the term is an oxymoron -- that strategy cannot be planned because planning is about analysis and strategy is about synthesis. That is why, he asserts, the process has failed so often and so dramatically.
Mintzberg traces the origins and history of strategic planning through its prominence and subsequent fall. He argues that we must reconceive the process by which strategies are created -- by emphasizing informal learning and personal vision -- and the roles that can be played by planners. Mintzberg proposes new and unusual definitions of planning and strategy, and examines in novel and insightful ways the various models of strategic planning and the evidence of why they failed. Reviewing the so-called "pitfalls" of planning, he shows how the process itself can destroy commitment, narrow a company's vision, discourage change, and breed an atmosphere of politics. In a harsh critique of many sacred cows, he describes three basic fallacies of the process -- that discontinuities can be predicted, that strategists can be detached from the operations of the organization, and that the process of strategy-making itself can be formalized.
Mintzberg devotes a substantial section to the new role for planning, plans, and planners, not inside the strategy-making process, but in support of it, providing some of its inputs and sometimes programming its outputs as well as encouraging strategic thinking in general. This book is required reading for anyone in an organization who is influenced by the planning or the strategy-making processes.

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Strategic planning
Henry Mintzberg(1994) considers strategic planning as one of our most brilliant and original management strategy used. He concludes that the term strategic planning is an oxymoron
. Meaning that strategy cannot be planned because planning is about analysis and strategy is about synthesis.Mintzberg traces the genesis and history of strategic planning through its prominence and subsequent fall. He further argues that people must reconceive the process by which strategies were created. In order to emphasize on informal learning and personal vision/roles that can be played by planners, Mintzberg proposes new and usual definitions of planning and strategy. He further examines the various models of strategic planning and the evidence of why strategies failed. Therefore reviewing the pitfalls of planning shows how the process itself can destroy commitment, narrow company's vision and discourage change. He describes three basic fallacies of the process as discontinuities can be predicted, strategies can be detached from the operations of the organization and that the process of strategy making itself can be formalized. He as well provides a section in the article showing the new role of planning, plans and planners separately as a way of encouraging strategic thinking in general.
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Henry Mintzberg(1994)Business and Economics
 

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About the author (1994)

Henry Mintzberg is a visiting professor at INSEAD in France and a two-time winner of the prestigious McKinsey Award for the best Harvard Business Review article. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada -- the first fellow elected from a management faculty -- he is the author of several seminal books including Mintzberg on Management (Free Press, 1989).

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