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CAP_320_MindofStrategist - Draft 7 HOW TO DEVELOP THE MIND...

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Draft 7 HOW TO DEVELOP THE MIND OF A STRATEGIST © James E. Lukaszewski, APR, Fellow PRSA White Plains, New York, U.S.A. Published by The Lukaszewski Group Inc., Ten Bank Street, Suite 530, White Plains, New York 10606-1933, 914.681.0000. Copyright © 2001, James E. Lukaszewski. All rights reserved. ISBN 1-883291-34-8. ___________________________________________________________________________________ INTRODUCTION Strategy is one of the more mysterious areas of public relations practice. For many, being a strategist or a strategic advisor is considered to be at the top of our professional practice activity. Still, merely using the adjective “strategic” or the noun “strategy” does not get us to the table, where management objectives are debated and decisions made. The strategist has to develop a management- oriented mindset, behaviors, and attitudes that attract management attention. When discussions of strategy and being a strategist come up, several questions generally arise: How do I get to the table? How do I stay at the table? How can I get better control of the boss? How can I have true influence over the boss? What do I do once I get to the table? What can I do to keep from getting shot down by the lawyers and management consultants? What are some of the questions I should be prepared to answer? What exactly is strategy? There’s a great cartoon series called “Wizard of Id.” One of the classic cartoons pictures the King handing his court jester, his public relations person, a news release. The jester takes one look at the news release and says to the King, “This is just not news, your Highness.” The King replies, “Stamp it secret.” Now, that’s strategy. Federal Express is probably the most successful example of fully integrating strategy, goals, visions, values, and mission into three simple words: Absolutely, Positively, Overnight ® . Walt Disney’s mission strategy, “We make people happy ® ,” demonstrates that effective strategies are exceedingly understandable.
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How to Develop the Mind of a Strategist © Page 2 General Electric’s legendary CEO, Jack Welch, began his term as chief executive by clearly and unmistakably stating the company strategy. Each product category would be #1 in its category; if #2, there must be a plan and deadline to become #1, and if neither, there must be a plan for exiting GE. This is a powerful, motivating combination of strategy, goals, vision, values, and mission. In his first five years as Chairman, Welch shed more than 200,000 people. He gained the nickname, “Neutron Jack,” but he overcame it. Yet, today he is considered the most successful manager in American business because he found a strategy that helped his employees build the most successful major company in modern times. The most effective goals and the strategies to achieve them are simple, positive, focused, time sensitive, understandable, and achievable. How do your mission, vision, values, and business strategy measure up?
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