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Strategy in the Contemporary World

Strategy in the Contemporary World (6th edn)

John Baylis, James Wirtz, and Colin Gray
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date: 07 December 2023

p. 38522. The Practice of Strategylocked

p. 38522. The Practice of Strategylocked

  • Colin S. Gray
  •  and Jeannie L. Johnson


This chapter focuses on the requirements of what a good practice of strategy should be. It first provides an overview of the importance of strategic expertise and the reasons why good strategists are hard to find. It then highlights the qualities a good strategist needs to be effective, along with the obstacles to competent strategic performance and the flaws of contemporary strategic education, including insufficient attention to strategic classics and strategic history. It also offers a remedy called The General Theory of Strategy, the core components of which are: understanding the nature and character of strategy, making strategies based on seven contexts (political, sociocultural, economic, technological, military, geographical, historical), and executing strategies. The chapter concludes by calling for a regular reassessment of strategic plans and engagements, driven by questions that examine the extent to which strategy has enabled, and will continue to enable, achievement of political objectives.

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