Learning to Think Strategically

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In Learning to Think Strategically, author Julia Sloan presents a previously unexamined account of the relationship between strategic thinking and the learning process involved - taking learning from the academic to the everyday. This book is an original primer on how successful strategists learn to think strategically. This authoritative book traces the history of strategy, differentiates strategic thinking from planning, describes the influence of culture, streamlines the roles of rationality and intuition, and identifies five key attributes for learning to think strategically. Learning to Think Strategically asserts that learning is the critical link to strategic thinking. Learning is a "conversion tool" that can transform thinking strategically into a sustainable competitive advantage.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Strategic thinking is a discipline of major importance. Julia Sloan’s book not only stimulates managers to think more strategically, it also forces them to act more strategically. Combining learning with strategy will inspire both readers and doers of strategy to behave more strategically and to embark on strategy conversations in a renewed and more value adding way." - Flemming Poulfelt, Professor, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

"Learning to Think Strategically is a masterpiece weaving exceptional research into practical application. The power of intuition, framing, and informal learning brings strategic thinking into clear focus. Learning to Think Strategically is required reading for our MBA students." - Richard Okumoto, Lecturer at San Jose State University, USA and Chairman of the Strategy Committee at the Center for Employment Training, Inc.

"Entropic one-hit-wonder or the messy and creative success of the Beatles? Julia Sloan’s deep work with executives and corporations supports our own walks on the courageous path of the later. Her learning-based model is an individualized experience that forever and again advances the way we think about and form strategy. Sloan additionally writes in an engaging style that brings a rare clarity to this complex topic." - Dr. Douglas Scherer, Major Global Investment Firm

"This new edition of Julia Sloan’s insightful book, Learning to Think Strategically, is a wonderful addition to the growing literature on strategic thinking and management. This edition discusses the history and importance of thinking strategically and provides important insights that Julia gained from numerous in-depth interviews with successful executives from around the world. Julia discusses the significance of experience, intuition, and dialog in developing strategy and shows how successful strategic thinking transcends culture and is essential for organizational success. The book is highly informative and incisively written. It should be required reading for graduate students in management whether they are focused on the public, nonprofit, or private sectors. All leaders who wish to enhance the success of their organizations will find this work indispensable." - Dr. J. Edward Kellough, Professor and Department Head, Department of Public Administration and Policy, The University of Georgia, USA

"It has recently become clear that what distinguishes exceptionally successful leaders and strategists is their ability to critically challenge their own deeply-rooted assumptions, adapt to change, and to have the wisdom to courageously seize the opportunities that change creates. In this book, Julia Sloan, uses her long experience of working with global firms and government leaders to demonstrate how strategic thinking, as well as transformation is possible and how it is done — both from a theoretical and practical perspective. With its universal and integrated approach, this book is destined to become a standard in challenging the conventional wisdom about strategy and bringing thinking and innovation into what we do and what we plan to do." - Dr. Khalid Al-Yahya, Managing Director, Accenture Management Consulting - Middle East; Fmr Associate at Harvard Kennedy School of Government

"Julia Sloan has written a first rate book on strategic thinking. She makes a unique contribution by exploring the cognitive basis of what it means to think strategically, skillfully presenting insights that executives can use to spot strategic thinking in individuals and build strategic capacity in their own organizations. Sloan combines erudition with practical application, something that is seldom found in the literature on strategy. A must read for executives and leaders aspiring to build strategic organizations." - Ross Harrison, Professor at Georgetown University, USA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780750678797
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/15/2006
  • Series: New Frontiers in Learning Series
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Pages: 310
  • Sales rank: 1,007,642
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Julia Sloan is Principal of Sloan International Inc., a new York-based firm specializing in strategic thinking for leaders of businesses, government and international agencies operating in markets of Asia, Europe, the Middle East Africa and North America. She received her doctorate in organizational leadership from Columbia University where she teaches strategic thinking.

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Table of Contents

1 Chronology of strategy 3
2 Contemporary competing views of strategy : two sides face off 15
3 Implications of strategic history for strategic learning 27
4 Informal and formal learning defined 33
5 Formal learning refuted 39
6 Context and transfer as factors in the strategic thinking process 45
7 Preparation stage 51
8 Experience stage 59
9 Reevaluation stage 71
10 Overview of learning domains used for strategic thinking 77
11 The surf and dive learning domains 85
12 The role of dialogue in the strategic thinking process 101
13 The role of inquiry in critical dialogue 115
14 Intuition as a must-have for learning to think strategically 131
15 Framing 137
16 Shattering frames 145
17 Reframing 157
18 The roles of analysis and intuition in strategic decision making 163
19 Decision-making approaches to strategic thinking 169
20 Coordinating intuition and analysis to facilitate strategic thinking 175
21 The role of culture in strategic thinking 181
22 The challenge of introducing strategic thinking across cultures 191
23 The five critical attributes 201
24 Interplay of the five attributes 217
25 Adaptation as a strategic expectation 221
26 Developing the five essential attributes 231
27 Developing critical reflective processes 239
28 Suggestions for learning to think strategically 247
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