Saturday, April 28, 2012

Organizational strategy

Brad DeLong:
The strategy that Berkeley has settled on is to seek to produce the funding stream necessary to maintain a great University by becoming a finishing school for the superrich of Asia. This may be the wrong strategy--I sometimes think so, many others think so, and you can certainly argue so. But it is the strategy that we have. And the worst strategy of all is to have no strategy. A bad strategy is vastly preferable to no strategy, or to an unimplemented strategy.
There is a lot of good stuff in this particular post.  In global terms, the critique of reducing access to education in the United States is probably the single most important point in Dr. DeLong's piece.

But I think that the point above is one that academics should pay a lot more attention to.  You may or may not agree with a particular strategy (or Dr. DeLong's specific recommendations as to how to approach the strategy) but it is critical that there be a strategy.  I have seen bad strategies work out for all sorts of unexpected reasons (nobody can know all possible variables).

But it is true that sticking to a strategy is a sensible plan.  The costs of constantly changing strategies is non-trivial and may replicate the worst elements of no strategy.  

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