Bloomberg: Does Russia Have a Strategy for Dealing With Oil's Slide?
Interview #2: A question and answer session:
Transcript from notanotherbookreview.blogspot.com
Q. Having no background in Economics, it's the vision part of Strategy, predictions based in fact, that had me speculating about a kinship to a novel--an alternative reality created from a set of facts. Yet Strategy is a science, not an art form, with laws. Dr. Vladimir Kvint explains:
"The main law of Strategy is the Economizing of Time. If you are late, you lose a certain amount of resources. But you can be first in the niche of opportunities. Strategy has a similarity to ontology, the philosophical study of being. In both, facts are very important. According to Plato, time is also less important than descriptive of the world. But facts are not as important in Strategy as in ontology, because in strategizing the future facts belong to the past reality. This may be irrelevant to the future beyond the horizon."
Q. If strategically the present is already past, how does a strategist work?
"What a strategist does is assemble informative resources that already exist into a statistical baseline. Assembling resources and developing strategy takes time. By the time a Strategy is ready for implementation, what was current is already past. For strategists current does not exist. You have to understand the future for it to work. "
Q. Here we are back to vision, why is Bill Gates the best example of why "common sense" is a bad adviser?
"When Gates said he could see his grandmother one day sitting at a computer in her kitchen, people laughed. But he could see through time. It was also against common sense, when Kennedy said that man would reach the moon. Yet, in just a few years, a man planted a flag on the moon. Both Gates and Kennedy had strategies behind their visions."
Q. Of course facts in novels are fictional, unlike economic forecasts. In 1989 you published a prediction that "by 1992 there will be no country called the Soviet Union" and in 1990, this was the cover story of Forbes. That insight was uniquely based on specific economic studies. Yet what do you believe about Strategy that's in common with Napoleon?
"Strategy is more important than any weapon. There is much writing about this by great leaders, such as Sun Tzu, Caesar, as well as Napoleon's Maxims. He describes as the two major criteria for Strategy--time and space with the domination of time. "
Q. How is the strategic process applied to the global market?
"Just as strategic development and thinking are always different from common sense, the strategic planning process is different from operational day to day planning. The point of Strategy is to help achieve a shortcut, an asymmetrical path to success in the best case scenario. I take Aristotle's consideration and concept of the 'Good Life' first and foremost. A strategist must learn how to formulate strategic priorities according to the values and interests of people and nations. Strategy keeps one centered in the major strategic objectives."
Q. What exactly is the Global Market?
"The Global Market includes developed and emerging market countries, as well as developing and underdeveloped countries. A strategic scheme reflects the market cooperation between consumers, companies, governments and multilateral institutions around the world. It must account for for real-time cooperation and competition.
Q. So how do you define strategy in this context?
"Strategy is wisdom with a defined vector to success and an assessment of resource limitations. Planning is the implementation of Strategy. It is the execution of a defined Strategy within the constraints of time and resource availability"
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Kvint's most recent strategy textbook has been met with wide acclaim. Here are some notable endorsements from influential researchers including Nobel Laureate Edmund Phelps:
'This pathbreaking book studies the concept of strategy, surveying its development from ancient times to the present and showing how it is basic to both economic growth and the quality of life. Strategists, Kvint explains, work to find new perspectives and to project new scenarios into the future. This original, deep and practical book is a must-read for all of us who want to understand modern economies.'
- Edmund Phelps, the 2006 Nobel Laureate in Economics and Director, Center on Capitalism and Society, Columbia University, USA
'Drawing on 45 years of experience in global markets, gained as a student, teacher, and active advisor across sectors and regions, Vladimir Kvint offers a wise and powerful theory of business strategy and provides a roadmap to practitioners which, if followed with discipline, will inform tactics and lead to long term success.'
- Sharon P. Smith, President, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, USA
'Kvint does a superb job of clearly explaining business strategy and the global market environment. The book is very timely and it is well suited for executives in strategic implementation as well graduate students in business, economics, finance or international affairs. Strategy practitioners and their firms will gain tremendous insights from this excellent explanation of the concepts.'
- Y. Joseph Ugras, Dean of the College of Professional and Continuing Studies, Lasalle University, USA
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