The major problem facing chief executives is to make sense of a spectrum of information and apply appropriate tools and techniques in driving an organisation through a complex and continually changing competitive environment. The complexity of real life can be structured as a process involving objective setting, analysing competitive positioning, choosing a strategy, implementing it and adapting to feedback over time. All these steps are crucial and organisations succeed or fail depending on the robustness of their strategic processes. This means there are no easy answers to strategic problems and the solutions offered by business gurus can be seen for what they are: popular appeals to intuition, largely devoid of any conceptual or empirical basis. Strategic planning is above all about thinking effectively, and using the strategic process approach requires a sound understanding of the other core disciplines.
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