The following notable quotes per chapter were selected because they exemplify especially well the concepts in the particular chapter given. Strategists of today can learn immensely from strategists of yesterday, and these quotes capture the essence of some wisest strategists from the past. Many users of this text like elaborating on these quotes to set the stage for the material presented in the respective chapters.
Chapter 1 – The Nature of Strategic Management
Alexander the Great – Greater is an army of sheep led by a lion, than an army of lions led by a sheep.
Bear Bryant – I will defeat the opposing coach’s team with my players, but if given a week’s notice, I could defeat the opposing coach’s team with his players and he take my players.
Joel Ross and Michael Kami – Without a strategy, an organization is like a ship without a rudder, going around in circles. It’s like a tramp; it has no place to go.
Dale McConkey – Plans are less important than planning.
Edward Deming – In God we trust. All others bring data.
Toshiba Corporation – It is human nature to make decisions based on emotion, rather than on fact. But nothing could be more illogical.
Bobby Bowden – I’m not too proud to change. I like to win too much.
Chapter 2 – The Business Vision and Mission
Proverbs 29: 18 – Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Peter Drucker – That business mission is so rarely given adequate thought is perhaps the most important single cause of business frustration.
Theodore Hesburgh – The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.
Confucius – If a man takes no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand. He who will not worry about what is far off will soon find something worse than worry.
Robert Waterman Jr. – Most of us fear change. Even when our minds say change is normal, our stomachs quiver at the prospect. But for strategists and managers today, there is no choice but to change.
Chapter 3 – The External Assessment
George Patton – If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking
Charles Darwin – It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Wayne Calloway – Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map.
George Salk – If you’re not faster than your competitor, you’re in a tenuous position, and if you’re only half as fast, you’re terminal.
William Cohen – The opportunities and threats existing in any situation always exceed the resources needed to exploit the opportunities or avoid the threat. Thus, strategy is essentially a problem of allocating resources. If strategy is to be successful, it must allocate superior resources against a decisive opportunity.
Chapter 4 – The Internal Assessment
Bruce Henderson – The idea is to concentrate our strength against our competitor’s relative weakness.
Albert Einstein – Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
William Cohen –
A firm that continues to employ a previously successful strategy eventually and inevitably falls victim to a competitor.
Robert Lenz – Like a product or service, the planning process itself must be managed and shaped, if it is to serve executives as a vehicle for strategic decision-making.
Chapter 5 – Strategies in Action
Lewis Carroll – Alice said, “Would you please tell me which way to go from here?” The cat said, ‘That depends on where you want to get to.”
Peter Drucker – Objectives can be compared to a compass bearing by which a ship navigates. A compass bearing is firm, but “in actual navigation, a ship may veer off its course for many miles. Without a compass bearing, a ship would neither find its port nor be able to estimate the time required to get there.”
Will Rogers – Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
Peter Drucker – Tomorrow always arrives. It is always different. And even the mightiest company is in trouble if it has not worked on the future. Being surprised by what happens is a risk that even the largest and richest company cannot afford, and even the smallest business need not run.
Chapter 6 – Strategy Analysis and Choice
General P. X. Kelley – Life is full of lousy options.
Rudin’s Law – When a crisis forces choosing among alternatives, most people will choose the worst possible one.
Terry Haller – Strategy isn’t something you can nail together in slapdash fashion by sitting around a conference table.
Bill Saporito – Whether it’s broke or not, fix it – make it better. Not just products, but the whole company if necessary.
Peter Drucker – Strategic management is not a box of tricks or a bundle of techniques. It is analytical thinking and commitment of resources to action. But quantification alone is not planning. Some of the most important issues in strategic management cannot be quantified at all.
Chapter 7 – Implementing Strategies: Management and Operations Issues
Harry Truman – Poor Ike; when he was a general, he gave an order and it was carried out. Now, he’s going to sit in that office and give an order and not a damn thing is going to happen.
Vince Lombardi – The best game plan in the world never blocked or tackled anybody.
William Fulmer – You want your people to run the business as if it were their own.
Mary Kay Ash – Pretend that every person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’”
David Hurst – The formulation of strategy can develop competitive advantage only to the extent that the process can give meaning to workers in the trenches.
Dean Smith – UNC Basketball Coach – A leader should take the blame for losses and give the players credit for victories.
Chapter 8 – Implementing Strategies: Marketing, Finance/Acct., R&D, and MIS
Bermard Reimann – The greatest strategy is doomed if it’s implemented badly.
Sun Tzu – Weak leadership can wreck the soundest strategy.
Peter Drucker – There is no perfect strategic decision. One always has to pay a price. One always has to balance conflicting objectives, conflicting opinions, and conflicting priorities. The best strategic decision is only an approximation – and a risk.
Peter Drucker – No business can do everything. Even if it has the money, it will never have enough good people. It has to set priorities. The worst thing to do is a little bit of everything. It is better to pick the wrong priority than none at all.
Henry Mintzberg – Most of the time, strategists should not be formulating strategy at all; they should be getting on with implementing strategies that already have.
Chapter 9 – Strategy Review, Evaluation, and Control
R. T. Lenz – Organizations are most vulnerable when they are at the peak of their success.
A. Hax and N. Majluf – Planners should not plan, but serve as facilitators, catalysts, inquirers, educators, and synthesizers to guide the planning process effectively.
Dale McConkey – Strategy evaluation must make it as easy as possible for managers to revise their plans and reach quick agreement on the changes.
Seymour Tilles – Complicated controls do not work. They confuse. They misdirect attention from what is to be controlled to the mechanics and methodology of the control.
Peter Drucker – Unless strategy evaluation is performed seriously and systematically, and unless strategists are willing to act on the results, energy will be used up defending yesterday.
Chapter 10 – Business Ethics/Social Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability
Michael Johnson, CEO of Herbalife – Integrity = Longevity
Alan K. Simpson – If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.
C. Max Killan – If business is not based on ethical grounds, it is of no benefit to society and will, like all other unethical combinations, pass into oblivion.
Good ethics is good business.
Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Chapter 11 –
Donald Kress – The real question isn’t how well you’re doing today against your own history, but how you’re doing against your competitors.
Ronald Dulek – Sad but true, U.S. businesspeople have the lowest foreign language proficiency of any major trading nation. U.S. business schools do not emphasize foreign languages, and students traditionally avoid them.
Ten Inspirational, Strategic Planning Relevant Quotes
From Great National Football League (NFL) Coaches
1) “Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” — Vince Lombardi, Head Coach Green Bay Packers (1959-67)
2) “Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence…If you’re in control, they’re in control.” — Tom Landry, Head Coach Dallas Cowboys (1960-88)
3) “On a team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.” — Bill Belichick, Head Coach New England Patriots (2000-Present), New York Jets (1999), Cleveland Browns (1991-95)
4) “If you want to win, do the ordinary things better than anyone else does them day in and day out.” — Chuck Noll, Head Coach Pittsburgh Steelers (1969-91)
5) “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” — Vince Lombardi, Head Coach Green Bay Packers (1959-67)
6) “Try not to do too many things at once. Know what you want, the number one thing today and tomorrow. Persevere and get it done.” — George Allen, Head Coach Los Angeles Rams (1957, 1966-70), Chicago Bears (1958-65), Washington Redskins (1971-77)
7) “You fail all the time, but you aren’t a failure until you start blaming someone else.” — Bum Phillips Head Coach, Houston Oilers (1975-80), New Orleans Saints (1981-85)
8) “Success demands singleness of purpose.” — Vince Lombardi, Head Coach Green Bay Packers (1959-67)
9) “Stay focused. Your start does not determine how you’re going to finish.” — Herm Edwards, Head Coach New York Jets (2001-05), Kansas City Chiefs (2006-08)
10) “Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.” — George S. Halas, Head Coach Chicago Bears (1933-42, 1946-55, 1958-67)