Strategic/Scenario Planning LO3771

Mon, 20 Nov 95 16:56:11 EST

[...Host places this in reply to LO3642, which started this thread...]

Over the past few weeks we've heard discussions on the "planning"
approach of which Igor Ansoff is arguably the strongest proponent, and
Mintzberg's "logical incrementalist" approach to strategy formulation
and implementation.

We've heard these discussions in the systems thinking and organizational
learning context - but it doesn't really seem like systems thinking is
quite the same as either of the first two approaches. ST has much
larger scope, and with the aid of the other disciplines and quantitative
modeling fills core deficiences in the other two approaches.

However, in response to the "it's all conversation" school, we need to be
careful that 'talking' is not all we're doing. For one, as Shayne Gary
points out in LO3707, quantitative modeling adds value when no more
conversation can help and can correct situations where discussion can
efficiently lead you to the wrong conclusions. Where else and how does
quantitative modeling help in the strategy process?

Managers seem to operate based on 'rules of thumb' - and the system
archetypes are possibly a step in this direction. But the archetypes were
developed out of years of work with *quantitative* models, and even the
very system dynamicists that were responsible for their development
renounce using them as templates for diagnosis of corporate problems. The
archetypes are great for stimulating discussion, but their use beyond that
is minimal. To move from discussion to generating actionable knowledge to
action requires more. What deterrents are there to the use of
quantitative modeling in the strategy process? And how strongly do they
consider and balance the usefulness vs. ease-of-use of such modeling.

 Mark Choudhari