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Author(s): Simon Huston

Journal: American Journal of Economics and Business Administration
ISSN 1945-5488

Volume: 4;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 190;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Strategy | Military | Business | Urban Planning | Intelligence | Foresight | Foresight | Gaming | Agility

Generals, entrepreneurs and planners aim to dislocate enemies, outsmart competitors or build iconic cities. All advocate ‘smart strategy’ but what are its constituents? I seek some cross-disciplinary clarification. A selection of military, business and planning literature is investigated, looking for common themes and a smart strategy framework. Strategic complexity and the limits to generalisation in turbulent times are noted. In the military, overwhelming force confronts asymmetric warfare with deception and carefully-calibrated power projections, conducted at tempo, to confuse and overwhelm the enemy. In business, making money is necessary but insufficient for a smart strategy. Other ‘smart’ criteria are ethics, delegation, talented people and continuous systems innovation. In urban planning, centralist or dispersed intervention strategies jostle with evolutionary ones but without a final resolution in complex, idiosyncratic cities with adjustment lags and spatial irresolution. Despite context dependency, our multi-disciplinary overview generates some practical business advice. A smart strategy recoils from top-down, techno-centric or managerialist litanies. Clarity of purpose, sound intelligence and judgment orientate the entity and harmonize its activities around key products/markets. Deception confuses and disorientates competitors but needs product support. Flexibility/adaptability balances informed leadership with devolved innovation, underpinned by systems upgrades and talent.
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