Chapter 8: Business strategy and proactivity
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Business strategy has a variety of meanings, with most of them referring to an integrated, overall concept of how the firm will achieve its objectives. To develop this overall concept or plan, the strategist must be proactive about the future and point the firm in the right direction. To develop strategy is an inherently proactive process. In a sense, the strategic leader helps the organization invent the future instead of reacting only to problems facing the firm in the present. For example, strategists at the major soft-drink companies in anticipation of a growing demand for healthier soft drinks have increased their production of non-carbonated, low-calorie, fruit-flavored beverages. The school reformist, Michelle Rhee provides an example of strategic, proactive thinking at the highest level (or “very big thinking”). Rhee’s first two major initiatives toward educational reform were as CEO of the New Teacher Project and as Washington D.C. city’s school chancellor. In 2011, Rhee crystalized her plan to set up a new organization, not as a charity but as a political-advocacy and membership group. The organization, labeled Students First, would rely on funding and Rhee’s star power. Rhee planned to raise $1 billion in contributions and recruit 1 million supporters in one year.

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