Strategic Thinking in 3D: A Guide for National Security, Foreign Policy, and Business Professionals (Hardcover)

Strategic Thinking in 3D: A Guide for National Security, Foreign Policy, and Business Professionals By Ross Harrison Cover Image

Strategic Thinking in 3D: A Guide for National Security, Foreign Policy, and Business Professionals (Hardcover)


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Effective strategic thinking requires a clear understanding of one’s external environment. Each organization has a unique environment, but as Ross Harrison explains in Strategic Thinking in 3D, any environment—whether in the fields of national security, foreign policy, or business—has three dimensions: systems, opponents, and groups. Systems strategy involves the challenge of creating leverage against opponents by shaping the external environments they rely on for sustaining their power. Opponents-based strategy requires analyzing a competitor’s capability, motivation, and strategy, assessing one’s own competitive challenges, and then developing approaches for directly confronting the opponent. Group strategy aims to mobilize political, consumer, and market groups against the power of an opponent. Strategic Thinking in 3D makes strategy “portable” for individuals who switch careers multiple times during their professional lives, moving among public, nonprofit, and private sector jobs. Harrison uses al Qaeda’s strategy against the United States as a “capstone” case study to demonstrate how strategic success often results from the cascading effect of “wins” in all three of these dimensions. Conversely, strategic failure can come from the mutual reinforcement of “losses” across these same three dimensions. Reinforcing and integrating the concepts, Harrison shows how strategy in 3D actually works in practice.
ROSS HARRISON is a professor in the practice of international affairs at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and also teaches Middle East politics at the University of Pittsburgh. He has served as a corporate CEO, has been on corporate advisory boards, and has worked with an international NGO on its strategic challenges. A member of a group of colleagues (from the U.S. Army War College) that works on improving the teaching of strategy, Harrison lives in Washington, D.C.

Product Details ISBN: 9781597977067
ISBN-10: 1597977063
Publisher: Potomac Books
Publication Date: May 1st, 2013
Pages: 224
Language: English
"I strongly recommend this book to all strategists—it will certainly get you thinking about strategic thinking."—Michael R. Matheny, Strategos

"Anyone interested in strategy should read this book."—Lt. Col. Sean Kern, Air Force Research Institute

"Strategic Thinking in 3D is accessible, thought provoking, and pragmatic for a wide range of individuals who may wrestle with the challenges of an uncertain and competitive environment. The value in Harrison's work is not that it provides answers but asks the questions that drive leaders and their organizations to explore factors which may have strategic effect and substantive impact—then enables the crafting of viable strategies."—Charles D. Allen, Colonel (USA Retired), Parameters

"Strategic Thinking in 3D does much to expand the traditional understanding of strategic theory from a narrow subject lacking commonality between multiple fields of activity to a universal framework for achieving one's goals."—Alexander B. Gray, Naval War College Review

"Ross Harrison's Strategic Thinking in 3D provides an incredibly practical primer on strategy that is as useful to military professionals as it is to business leaders."—Marine Corps University Journal

"Professor Harrison illustrates the power of lateral thinking by exploring diverse 'external' arenas where strategy is required, while also making readers aware of the vital importance of 'internal' readiness to conduct strategy. This book deserves a wide readership in the worlds of foreign policy, university teaching, professional training, and business. Harrison’s framework can help would-be strategists everywhere."—Chester Crocker, James R. Schlesinger Professor of Strategic Studies at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and former assistant secretary of state for African affairs