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Summary 2

Crafting strategy is an article that better captures the process by which effective strategies cometo
be . Mintzberg uses the analogy of a manager being a craftsman and strategy being their
clay.Managers bring together knowledge from the past of corporate capabilities and a future of
market opportunities. Strategies are not just the plans for the future but are also formed aroundthe
patterns from the past. The key to crafting strategy is the intimate connection betweenthought and
action. When managers usually approach strategy they form a plan, but Mintzberghproposed that
strategy can also emerge without a plan. Wherever people have the capability andresources,
strategy will take place.Like craftsman, it is important that organizations put the ideas to practice.
Organizations cannotseparate the work of minds without losing important feedback. Strategy is the
responsibility of everyone in the organization, not just the people in leadership positions.When a
manager is managing strategy they do so by managing the stability of the organization. Itis key that a
manager knows when to promote change. An important element of managingstrategy is recognizing
patterns and helping them develop.The article is written with clarity, but uses examples for many
things. You must understand theexamples to understand the point the author is trying to make.
There are headings andsubheadings throughout it to help aid in easy reading. There are images to
help visual learnerscomprehend the message the author is trying to portray. Mintzberg uses logical
arguments whencomparing the potter to the manager. The article discusses the content of strategy,
but alsotouches on some of the processes that must take place. Mintzberg uses this article to
directlybuild on some of the other models, but accomplishes this by using a new analogy, the
craftsmanand the manager. The article is both a conceptual/theoretical and a practical article it uses
theconcept of the craftsman, and the practical applications pertaining to strategy
formation.Mintzberg uses many companies for examples throughout the article including
McGillUniversity, Volkswagenwerk, AirCanada, General motors, National Film Board of
Canada,Honda, and Steinberg Inc. through this article we discovered that the crafting strategy
required

synthesis of the future, present, and past. The author stated, “It is those (managers of strategy)

with a kind of peripheral vision who are best able to detect and take advantage of events as they

unfold.” Mintzberg made 3 very valuable points, Managers and craftsman go through some

similar processes to get to their final product. Crafting image better captures the process bywhich
effective strategies come to be. And strategies can form or be formulated. This articlerelates to
other articles written by Mintzberg, this is not the only one he wrote on craftingstrategy. These ideas
could be used in conjunction with many other articles on strategy. Thisarticle is very applicable to
management today. Additionally, this article would be great for anycompany looking to further
understand strategy in a way that is simple and easy to understand.This article would be great for
companies who have had a strategy form and are trying to decidewhat to do with it.

As a group we pondered a couple questions about this article, “are strategies that form
usuallystrong enough to be completely implemented?” and, “how do companies best receive
feedback from everyone to form an ultimate strategy?” Overall, this article gave our group a new
way to

view strategy and a new understanding of strategy. Because we have only read the first twoschools,
we are not completely sure how this article fits, but we can see how the examples usedcould help
one better understand strategy.
Summary 3

In "Crafting Strategy", Mintzberg wrote an incisive article on his views on strategy. He


methodicallyexplores the traditional way people view strategy as something planned by the
strategist (could be CEOor Strategic Planning department) to be implemented by others. He,
however, explains that managers'feel for the way the organization should be going can result in a
series of decisions from which a strategycan emerge. In other words, strategies are not just a plan
for the future that are deliberate but canemerge over time as firms respond to pressures in the
operating environment and are compelled toinnovate.Mintzberg uses the metaphor of a potter
which demonstrates involvement by the craftsman where thepotter uses his/her skills, experience
and dedication and makes adjustments as necessary as he/she isworking on the product, resulting in
a creative article being produced. In this way, Mintzberg shows thatformal strategic planning alone is
not enough to explain how managers develop strategies but also theintuitive knowledge of the firm
and feel for the company enables managers to come up with creativedecisions from which an
innovative strategy emerges.From his metaphor of a potter working with clay, Mintzberg develops
his argument for personal strategyof experimentation which leads to consensus strategy that follow
the trend in the industry, which arisefrom organizational people learning from the market what
customers want.The author also discusses the concept of umbrella strategy where senior managers
set broad guidelinesand leave the specifics to others in the organization resulting in a deliberate-
emergent strategy. He alsodiscusses the Process Strategy where management controls the process
of strategy formation whilstleaving the actual content to others down the organizational hierarchy.
The author explains that thesedeliberate-emergent strategies are essential in businesses that
require great expertise and innovation.Mintzberg also dispels the conventional view that change
must be continuous with the organizationadapting all the time but explains that strategic change
takes place in quantum leaps (strategicrevolutions) followed by periods of stability where change is
only marginal.Mintzberg labels "adhocracy" organizations that produce individual, custom made
products in aninnovative way, on a project basis.Although this article was written under two decades
ago, it still sounds very innovative and thoughtprovoking. I have read the article several times over
the years and I enjoy it every time. However, thearticle is not for the beginner in strategy but for
those pursuing the subject at an advanced level, beingfamiliar with literature on the subject.