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Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans
for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be
limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI
all over again?
(1435 previous messages)
- 01:15pm Mar 24, 2001 EST (#1436
From the Preface to STRATEGIES FOR CHANGE: Logical
Incrementalism by J. B. Quinn ........... 1980
"In recent years, three disturbing tendencies have developed
in formal planning within major enterprises:
"First, planning activities in such enterprises often
become bureacratised, rigid, and costly paper-shuffling exercises
divorced from actual decision processes. In many organizations their
primary impacts have been: (a) to expand the scope of capital and
operational budgeting procedures, (b) to extend formal performance
measurement to new activity areas, and thus (c) to achieve greater
centralized control over operations. Instead of stimulating creative
options, innovation, or entrepreneurship, formal planning often has
become just another aspect of controllership - and another weapon in
"'Second," most important strategic decisions seem to be
made outside of the formal planning structure, even in organizations
with well-accepted planning cultures. .......(this is true in both
small organizatons, and well run large ones -- "illogical" as it
sometimes may seem. )
"Third, much of the management literature and technique
associated with planning has concentrated on developing more
sophisticated models of a system that is not working the way the
model builders think it is - or should be -- operating.
" Properly integrated into other decision and political
processes, formal planning can make many important contributions to
effective management of large enterprises and avoid many of the
rigidities suggested above. But often this requires a very different
approach than that recommended in much of the management literature.
" Instead of following rigidly prescribed formal planning
practices, this book suggests that managers in major enterprises
tend to develop their most important strategies through processes
that neither formal planning paradigms nor power-behavioral theories
adequately explain. Such managers consciously and
proactively move forward incrementally:
" 1. To improve the quality of information
utilized in corporate strategic decisions.
" 2.. To cope with the varying lead times,
pacing parameters, and sequencing needs of the subsystems through
which such decisions tend to be made.
" 3. To deal with the personal resistance and
political pressures any important strategic change encounters.
" 4. To build the organizational awareness,
understanding, and psychological committment needed for effective
" 5. To decrease the uncertainty surrounding
such decisions by allowing for interactive learning between the
enterprise and its various impinging environments. ( This
increases a .)
" 6. To improve the quality of the strategic
decisions themselves by systematically involving those with most
specific knowledge, by obtaining the participation of those who
must carry out the decisions, and by avoiding premature momenta to
closure which could lead the decisions in improper directions.
(Or cause a good idea to fail, because it wasn't adequately
supported -- something that happened to some good ideas in the
USSR, as it happens elsewhere.)
For Putin's initiatives on anything to work at all, he must carry
his organization with him -- he must proceed, in significant degree,
incrementally. And the quality of the information and
information processing in the feedbacks involved is CRUCIAL.
So misjudgements and lies are expensive. And too much
complication itself is expensive. Einstein's guidance is good here:
A good strategy, like a good theory, should be
"as simple as possible, but not simpler."
- 01:18pm Mar 24, 2001 EST (#1437
That means that Putin's initiatives have to be powerful, few
enough, and basically SIMPLE.
And he needs the people under him to have high levels of skill,
in actually doing their jobs, including their communication jobs.
He has to have a team that works well together not
according to the standards imitated from another culture, but
according to their own standards, judged in terms of the values
of the culture itself, and objective imperatives built into
Peace, if it is to work at all, has to have some essentail core
traits that are simple.
- 01:26pm Mar 24, 2001 EST (#1438
"If Putin had staffers who were clear about how
un-Russian these books are, and how they are un-Russian, and if
these staffers could discuss these differences with the authors in
a mutually satisfactory way (and there are plenty of other very
un-Russian books that could be discussed as well), Russian
negotiating skills would be better, interfaces in business and
other dealings would be better, and a would shift up.
"The discussions would be no good, except as
practice, unless they happened for free, as status exchanges, and
only then if, after the discussion, both sides thought the
discussion had been worth the trouble.
This is a logically incremental approach, for gathering
information, for building and testing necessary skills, and for
building the provisional kinds of trust complex cooperation takes.
Also an approach for team building.
Also for building trust, and information gathering contacts that
work, across a cultural divide that can't be eliminated, but that
needs to be bridged for defined, limited, business-like purposes.
For both sides.
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