Crafting Strategy by Mintzberg

1. The article was very well written in my opinion. The examples and metaphors used by the author to explain strategy and its formation where communicated well.

2. The article was organized and easy to follow in logic. It outlined the main paragraphs and then explained further the points.

3. The author used logic but in an artistic way. He used the metaphor of the potter and clay to describe the relationship between management and strategy and how strategy emerges. His arguments were logical and balanced in evidence and creativity.


Crafting Strategy Outline

I. The potter parallel

    A.    Managers are craftsmen

    B.     Strategy is their clay.

II. Future plans and past patterns

  1. Strategy is the description of past behaviors
  2. Strategy (Greek military origins) is defined as past actions to describe an intended behavior.
  3. The key is to craft a strategy.

III. Deliberate and emergent strategies

  1. Formulate then implement.
  2. Strategy can form as well as be formulated.
  3. Strategy means control.

IV. Strange routes to effective strategies.

  1. Consensus Strategy: spontaneous decisions made from several individuals
  2. Umbrella Strategy: management set broad guidelines and strategy emerge.

V. Brief quantum leaps to strategic reorientation

   A.     No stability means no strategy!

   C.     Change and flexibility can happen in the midst of stability.

VI. Crafting thought and action

  1. Craft: dedication, experience, involvement with material
  2. Managing strategy is mostly managing stability, not change
  3. Strategic planning: is a mean, not to create strategy but to program a strategy already created.


11. The three main ideas presented in the article are the following:

                1. Organizations must make sense of the past to manage to future.

                2. Understanding pattern, reveals capabilities and potential

                3. Crafting strategy involves managing stability by evaluating the future, present and past.

12. Mintzberg states that “No stability means no strategy!” His argument does not claim that change does not take place but he states that in change stability must be managed in order to manage a strategy. I understand this concept but in reality I feel  it would be a hard concept to grasp. Where is flexibility with a plan too flexible during change that it no longer has stability? When are you not flexible enough?


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