Football men exercising, Harvard. (LOC). Bain News Service, ca. 1910

“The Pitfalls of Strategic Planning” by Mintzberg

E. Forrest Christian Reviews - Articles, Strategy Leave a Comment

Mintzberg, Henry (1993). “The Pitfalls of Strategic Planning”.California Management Review, Fall 1993:32-47.

In this ten-year old article, Mintzberg summarizes the points he makes at length withinThe Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning. Much of the material that you get out of the longer book can be gained by simply reading this article closely. The book’s still worth reading.

UGA has a summary of The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning.

Mintzberg mentions James Worthy’sBig Business and Free Men in several places across his works, which piqued my interested in him. Worthy has an interesting career. The Northwestern University library has his archives and provides the following in their catalog of Worthy’s materials:

Reflecting his belief that businessmen should assume active roles in civic affairs as well as in the corporate world, Worthy’s professional life after college alternated between the public and private spheres. He was recruited from Northwestern to work as Assistant Deputy Administrator for the National Recovery Administration, a position he held from 1933 until 1936. He spent the next several years working in private industry, most notably for Sears, Roebuck & Co, where he was actively involved in optimizing worker conditions and employee morale. Beginning in the Personnel department, Worthy stayed at Sears from 1938 to 1953 before being called back to public service as President Eisenhower’s Assistant Secretary of Commerce from 1953 until 1955. A return to Sears followed when Worthy was offered a position as Vice President, a job he filled, along with the presidency of the Sears Roebuck Foundation, until 1961. His experience and knowledge of the business world led him to become a managing partner and Chicago branch director of Cresap, McCormick & Paget, an international management consulting firm. One of his clients at Cresap was Control Data Corporation. After leaving Cresap, Worthy began a teaching career as Professor of Management, first at newly formed Sangamon State University (now the University of Illinois at Springfield) from 1972 to 1978 and then at Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management from 1978 to 1998. At Northwestern he revisited his association with the Austin Scholars by serving as the program’s Senior Fellow.

I find his dedication to his ideals appealing. Reading his list of writings shows what he valued and his wide range. I wonder why he has fallen away. He only died recently (he self-published his memoirs in 1999 or so) if he has died at all.

Football men exercising, Harvard. Bain News Service, ca. 1910. Via Library of Congress collection.

About the Author

Forrest Christian

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E. Forrest Christian is a consultant, coach, author, trainer and speaker at The Manasclerk Company who helps managers and experts find insight and solutions to what seem like insolvable problems. Cited for his "unique ability and insight" by his clients, Forrest has worked with people from almost every background, from artists to programmers to executives to global consultants. Forrest lives and works plain view of North Carolina's Mount Baker.  [contact]

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