All the current books cited above emphasize the implementation of strategy rather than its formulation, the topic that so preoccupied the early business writers on strategy. The separation between formulation and implementation always was an artificial one, done for pedagogic purposes only, or so its proponents claimed. Now practitioners are bringing the two together again. One feels that Napoleon would have approved of that. The great general disliked the word plan because of its connotations of fixed, unchanging design. Instead, he liked to talk about strategic “preparations.” And he believed to the end of his life that “The art of war is simple, everything is a matter of execution.”
David K. Hurst, [email protected]
David K. Hurst, a regular contributor to strategy+business, is the author of Learning from the Links: Mastering Management Using Lessons from Golf (Simon & Schuster Inc., Free Press, 2002). A speaker and writer on management, Mr. Hurst also wrote Crisis & Renewal: Meeting the Challenge of Organizational Change (Harvard Business School Press, 1995) and was a visiting scholar/practitioner at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, N.C., in 1998–99. His writing has appeared in Harvard Business Review, the Financial Times, and other leading business publications.