Article Review and Analysis: Putting Leadership Back Into Strategy

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Article review and Analysis: Putting Leadership Back into StrategyArticle review and Analysis: Putting Leadership Back into Strategy

Cynthia A. Montgomery Harvard Business Review | January 2008

1. Summary

In this article, the author analyzes the concept of strategy as it is understood in the business world today and describes the implications, strengths and weaknesses of the current definition of the term. The author argues that the current definition has become so narrow as to have become counterproductive. Businesses who apply this current, narrow, definition are hindered from being able to bring their business to their full potential. A business which had a true understanding of the term strategy would implement a holistic (or visionary) approach to business and succeed in ways not limited by the current understanding of the term.

2. Contribution

The article makes a number of claims both with regard to the definition of the term strategy and to the strengths and weaknesses of the current approach as opposed to the author’s preferred approach.

These claims include:

I. Strategy is a much broader concept then the way the term is used in the business world today.

II. Strategy is often currently described in terms of narrow goals which are primarily focused on consolidating current gains and preventing losses.

III. Strategy as currently constituted has been reduced to a series of tactics which, while very useful in terms of analytical precision, fails to take vision into account, which ultimately falls to leaders, not analysts, to provide.

IV. This is contrary to the original conception of Strategy, which was focused on overall business vision and was focused narrowly on tactics.

V. The ultimate strategy flows directly from a company’s vision which is far more adaptable to changing circumstances.

VI. Strategy derived from vision is ultimately in the hands of the CEO who cannot outsource this job to others.

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