Strategy requires an ability to conceive the future, see and create possibilities, and focus to choose a direction. Successful strategy is a mental discipline consisting of broad ranging, flexible, and creative thinking. Choosing the Future will help you achieve this success by studying fundamentals such as effective group thinking, knowing when to delay a decision for more information, balancing contrasting modes of thought, and transforming thought into action.
Using a cycle to show the relationship among different strategic thinking tools, Choosing the Future gives you guidance to respond to these basic questions:
What seems to be happening?
What possibilities do we face?
What are we going to do about it?
Choosing the Future will help you advance your thinking skills. Rather than telling you what to do, it teaches you to use your business knowledge to discover your own ideas and strategic direction.
Stuart Wells is Professor of Organization and Management at San Jose State University, where he serves as Director of the Center for Global Competitiveness and as Director of the Small Business Institute. As founder of the Leading Edge Consulting Group and co-founder of Corporate Wisdom, he has worked on leadership development and strategy issues with such major corporations as Clorox, Dupont, PepsiCo, and Proctor and Gamble. He is the author of several books, including From Sage to Artisan: The Nine Roles of the Value-Driven Leader.
Table of Contents
TO THINK OR NOT TO THINK? THAT SHOULD NOT BE A QUESTION * Closed Mind, Open Mind * Hey Buddy, Can You Paradigm? * Seek and You Shall Find * What's the Sound of One Mind Thinking? * More Than You'll Ever Know * The Opposing Forces of Thought * Ultimate Alchemy¦Transforming Thought into Action * STRATEGIC THINKING BASICS * The Heart of the Matter * In Search of Process * Strategic Thinking Cycle * THERE'S SOMETHING HAPPENING HERE * Acquiring Insight * Visualizing the Field * The Whirling Maze of Forces * Knowing the Players * Developing Foresight * Just When You Thought It Was Safe¦Navigating Shock Waves * Solving the Puzzle¦Detecting Patterns * Creating Crystal Balls¦Forming Scenarios * A Minor Exploratory Interlude¦Eclectic Analogies * TALKING THE WALK¦DECIDING WHAT TO DO * Identifying Strategic Levers for Competitive Advantage * Making A Difference¦Delivering Value * Moving Against the Grain¦Shifting Paradigms * Doing What You Must¦Selecting Critical Success Factors * Matching Levers with Capabilities * Balancing Offense and Defense * Playing Your Best Hand * WALKING THE TALK¦DOING WHAT YOU DECIDE * Choosing a Core Strategy * Forming the Raison d'Etre * Following One Path * Maneuvering Through Shifting Terrain * Making The Strategy Work * Setting Goals * Taking Actions *
" In ' Choosing the Future ' Stuart Wells caused me the shudder with this simply profound sentence: ' Answers are death: questions are life '. Wow! Makes you think, doesn't it? And that's what you'll get form reading ' Choosing the Future ' - questions that make you think, questions that bring you to life. Questions send us on journeys in our minds, and Stuart Wells takes us on one Helluva fascinating voyage. If you really want to fire up your brain, you've got to read this book."
Jim Kouzes, co-author "The Leadership Challenge" and "Credibility"
Chairman and CEO
Tom Peters Group/Learning Systems