Consultancy March 11, 2008

More about strategy

I’m wondering whether much of our efforts to create strategy, rather like cultivating leadership skills, are based on a rather idealistic notion of what really goes on in organisations. And possibly actually conceal rather than acknowledge the very individualistic expectations of the supposed strategists…

I meant to pick up on this great post from Johnnie some time ago but I’ve been too busy working on strategies with clients! Seriously though, of course he’s right. There’s a lot of idealisation around strategies – as though a strategy is a fixed object of wisdom (preferably published in a book) that when published will reveal the way ahead. Strategies are about now, and how we see the future from this vantage point – so I am more interested in cultures of strategising than I am in trying to control the future. Having said that, I’ve experienced a lot of fear amongst some clients of wanting something different in the future – as though admitting their desire will in some way ensure it can’t be realised. Strategising means a degree of making the fantasy real to some extent and consultants can be pressurised into containing that fear by providing the framework (or offering their own wishes and interpretations of what’s possible). So I agree with Johnnie and at the same time ask my usual question which is – how are consultants and facilitators used in that process to do a job on behalf of the client system?

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