Strategic Navigation: A Systems Approach to Business Strategy

H. William Dettmer

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Level of TOC knowledge acquired:

Advanced and Intermediate


328 pages

Designed for:

Consultants, Implementers and Leaders


Strategy and Tactics and Thinking Processes


Public sector


Current Reality Tree, Evaporating Cloud, Future Reality Tree / Negative Branch, Pre-requisite Tree / IO Map and Thinking Processes




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Strategic Navigation introduces the Constraint Management (CM) model for strategy development and deployment, integrates the logical Thinking Process with time-tested principles of military thinking and planning, and applies the result to the commercial sector and non-military government agencies.

There are many parallels between the business world and the military world: both must always be wary of the competition; both must be able to adapt to rapidly changing conditions; and if either falters the results could be devastating. Yet while military leaders have employed essentially the same strategies for thousands of years, business leaders often feel the need to try the latest fad in an effort to capture lightning in a bottle and lead the company to success.

In Strategic Navigation: A Systems Approach to Business Strategy, best-selling author H. William Dettmer explains how sound, proven strategies used by great military leaders from Sun Tzu to Schwarzkopf can also be easily and effectively used in the business world. Dettmer begins the book by introducing the conceptual framework of military strategy and maneuver warfare, which dates back over 2,300 years to the time of Sun Tzu\'s The Art of War.

He first explains how the time-tested principles of war planning and military execution can be readily applied to non-military uses, such as commercial business, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies, leading to considerable benefits in coherence and focus.

Dettmer then introduces a logical, systematic tool set to help you translate the military strategy template into action, which can then be applied to nearly any industry or business type. The system described by Dettmer is quick and easy to use, flexible enough to accommodate changes in the external environment, and supports the creativity of both strategists and executors.


  • Traditional strategic planning
  • The hoshin strategic model
  • The military strategic planning model
  • The constraint management model
  • Defining the paradigm: System boundary, goal, critical success factors, and measures of progress
  • Knowledge, creativity, and idea generation
  • Analyzing the mismatches
  • Creating a transformation: Resolving conflict
  • Sun Tzu and the art of modern combat
  • Designing the future laying out strategy
  • Planning the execution
  • Putting it all together