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Rethinking Strategy

How business reinvented ideas that were conceived in war

 

 

LEADERSHIPSir Lawrence Freedman is Professor of War Studies at Kings College, London. In this video from the RSA, he explains how a set of ideas conceived on, and for, the field of battle were adopted by business leaders in the 1960s. In the years since then, leadership theory and business strategy have become hot topics for C-level executives throughout the world.

So, given Freedman’s assessment of strategy’s military roots, how can organisations rethink what it means today? This video presents his personal view.

The Strategist believes that, all too often, business leaders reach for military or martial terminology to describe how they lead their organisations and how they think about what they do. This mindset can lead them astray, particularly in scenarios that require actions that are more intuitive, sensitive, responsive, emotional, or customer-service-led. But at least it demonstrates that they are leading people, rather than abstract concepts.

Like most of the thought leadership that comes from the RSA, this is a fascinating and informative talk. It’s always good to be reminded of where we’ve come from, as much as where we’re going.

 

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