Walter Kiechel III is the former Editorial Director of Harvard Business Publishing, former Managing Editor at Fortune magazine, and author of The Lords of Strategy: The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World. He is based in New York City and Boston.
Like Satan in the book of Job, I've been going to and fro in the earth over the past few months, in my case talking to corporate executives, consultants, and former consultants. Among my questions to them: How are you thinking about strategy these days? Is the highest of managerial arts — or sciences, if you prefer — dead, as some allege? And what's hot on the corporate rialto by way of consulting work?...
(Book Excerpt: The Lords of Strategy..., on BusinessWeek, March 2010)
A fair-minded observer might reasonably conclude that while strategy and its champions may not have been a main causal factor in bringing on the global financial crisis, they did not do much to avert it, either. Looking more widely across the burned-over economic landscape of 2008 and 2009, a disappointed student of the revolution could even be tempted to entertain notions along the lines of, "What good was strategy, anyway?