On the Fly: Executing Strategy in a Changing World

On the Fly: Executing Strategy in a Changing World

by Stephen J. Wall
     
 

Bombarded with advice from a variety of experts, many businesses believe they have to choose between the rigorous, far-ranging analysis entailed in traditional strategic planning and a more flexible, less structured approach that enables them to respond quickly to changes in their environment. They may even think they have to sacrifice a clear, coherent sense of

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Overview

Bombarded with advice from a variety of experts, many businesses believe they have to choose between the rigorous, far-ranging analysis entailed in traditional strategic planning and a more flexible, less structured approach that enables them to respond quickly to changes in their environment. They may even think they have to sacrifice a clear, coherent sense of organizational direction in order to adapt successfully to new market trends and developments.

Yet as seasoned consultant and author Stephen Wall demonstrates, the most successful strategy-making processes are those that actually combine the best elements of both approaches. Organizational focus need not be achieved at the expense of flexibility and responsiveness; broad, on-the-spot participation in strategy- making by those closest to customers can coexist with both a consistent overall strategy and the discipline usually associated with more hierarchical strategic planning.

On the Fly presents a model for allowing strategies to evolve in response to external changes, while still making use of the analytical tools that can help to predict the likely success of possible different actions. It addresses the importance of involving people at all levels of the organization while also acknowledging the importance of control and the different roles that strategists at different levels will need to play.

Wall’s previous book, The New Strategists, emphasized the need for business strategies to evolve in response to continuous change and the differential advantage to be gained by drawing on the creative energies of all of an organization’s employees. On the Fly expands on these ideas to propose a revolutionary new approach to strategy development. It shows how two-way communication, continuous learning, and fluid processes can be used to develop strategic skills throughout an organization, and how to ensure that those skills are deployed in support of the company’s overall strategy.

Drawing on examples from a broad range of businesses–including British Airways, Hewlett-Packard, Pfizer, and Sun Microsystems–Wall describes a wide variety of innovative approaches that meet the needs of both companies and their customers. At the same time, he offers concrete guidelines for encouraging creativity while containing risk, and for maintaining strategic focus while still achieving maximum flexibility.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Wall, a consultant in strategic management and leadership, argues in this engaging and well-written book that in spite of their aversion to the process of strategic planning, organizations actually need strategic focus now more than ever." —CIO Magazine, Feb. 1, 2004 issue
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Management consultant and author Stephen Wall uses examples from many industries to describe several innovative ways businesses, including airlines, pharmaceuticals and computers, can succeed through strategy development. His business model focuses on two-way communication, continuous learning and fluid processes. On the Fly presents guidelines for encouraging creativity while containing risk, and maintaining strategic focus while achieving maximum flexibility. Wall also addresses the importance of involving all employees in the plan for action. Copyright © 2004 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471464846
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
01/09/2004
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

STEPHEN J. WALL is a Managing Director and Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Leader of Right Management Consultants, a leading organizational consulting and career transition firm with 300 offices worldwide. He is the coauthor of two other books, The New Strategists and The Morning After.

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