Strategic Thinking in 3D: A Guide for National Security, Foreign Policy, and Business Professionals

Strategic Thinking in 3D: A Guide for National Security, Foreign Policy, and Business Professionals

by Ross Harrison

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Overview

Strategic Thinking in 3D: A Guide for National Security, Foreign Policy, and Business Professionals by Ross Harrison


Effective strategic thinking requires a clear understanding of one’s external environment. Each organization has a unique environment, but as Ross Harrison explains in Strategic Thinking in 3D, any environment—whether in the fields of national security, foreign policy, or business—has three dimensions: systems, opponents, and groups. Systems strategy involves the challenge of creating leverage against opponents by shaping the external environments they rely on for sustaining their power. Opponents-based strategy requires analyzing a competitor’s capability, motivation, and strategy, assessing one’s own competitive challenges, and then developing approaches for directly confronting the opponent. Group strategy aims to mobilize political, consumer, and market groups against the power of an opponent. Strategic Thinking in 3D makes strategy “portable” for individuals who switch careers multiple times during their professional lives, moving among public, nonprofit, and private sector jobs. Harrison uses al Qaeda’s strategy against the United States as a “capstone” case study to demonstrate how strategic success often results from the cascading effect of “wins” in all three of these dimensions. Conversely, strategic failure can come from the mutual reinforcement of “losses” across these same three dimensions. Reinforcing and integrating the concepts, Harrison shows how strategy in 3D actually works in practice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597977067
Publisher: Potomac Books
Publication date: 05/28/2013
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 1,177,236
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

ROSS HARRISON is a professor in the practice of international affairs at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and also teaches Middle East politics at the University of Pittsburgh. He has served as a corporate CEO, has been on corporate advisory boards, and has worked with an international NGO on its strategic challenges. A member of a group of colleagues (from the U.S. Army War College) that works on improving the teaching of strategy, Harrison lives in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction: Demystifying Strategy 1

Part 1 The Inward Face of Strategy

1 Setting Strategic Goals 21

2 The Primacy of Capability 35

Part 2 The Outward Face of Strategy

3 Strategy in the Dimension of Systems 51

4 Strategy in the Dimension of Opponents 87

5 Strategy in the Dimension of Groups 121

Part 3 The Power of Integration

6 Al-Qaeda's Strategy in 3D 141

Conclusion: Strategic Thinking in 3D 163

Notes 171

Bibliography 187

Index 191

About the Author 197

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