Saturday, December 9, 2006

Strategy and Russell Ackoff: One More Time

I promise this is the last post I will do for a while talking about Russell Ackoff, but I thought this was too good to ignore. I was browsing Tom Peters' blog when I came across this entry. In his post, as well as other places, Tom criticises strategic planning as a useful business activity. To back this up, he quotes Ackoff as cited by Henry Mintzberg in his book The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning:

Recently I asked three corporate executives what decisions they had made in the last year that would not have been made were it not for their corporate plans. All had difficulty identifying one such decision. Since all of the plans are marked 'secret' or 'confidential,' I asked them how their competitors might benefit from possession of their plans. Each answered with embarrassment that their competitors would not benefit.

Imagine if the same question was asked in relation to some of the latest BI tools - especially executive dashboards. I wonder how many senior executives with a dashboard available to them made a decision that would have been different if they didn't have access to it? What would be the outcome if their competitors managed to get a glance at it? I suspect that the reactions would not be too dissimilar to Ackoff's questions, unfortunately...

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