ABSTRACT

Most current approaches to strategy and planning are based on the premise of selecting objectives and working out how these will be delivered. This is a basic and conventional approach and, as many would argue, is generally successful. Here I have to acknowledge the existence of what Mintzberg and others call “the learning school”1 that sees strategy formulation as an emergent process; this is not, however, quite the same as looking at how strategy formulation manages emergent properties of the system. We still have some way to go before we really understand the relationship between strategy and chaos. In the conventional approach it is assumed that the object will be achieved if the steps are envisaged correctly and enacted successfully. However, a richer understanding of such issues can be generated by looking at the issue from a different perspective. As leading authors agree that “if one accepts the premise that the dynamic of success is chaotic (then) all forms of long-term planning are completely ineffective”,2 we have to find an alternative way to look at this subject. An alternative and frame-breaking approach is required.