In this definitive and revealing history, Henry Mintzberg unmasks the process that has mesmerized so many organisations since 1965: strategic planning. One of the original management thinkers, Mintzberg concludes that strategy cannot be planned because planning is about analysis and strategy is about synthesis. That is why, he asserts, the process has failed so often and dramatically. Mintzberg traces the origin and history of strategic planning through its prominence and subsequent fall. He argues that we must reconcieve the process by which strategies are created by emphasizing informal learning and personal vision. Mintzberg proposes new definitions of planning and strategy, and examines in unusual ways the various models of strategic planning and the evidence of why they failed. Reviewing the so-called 'pitfalls' of planning, he shows how the process itself can destroy commitment, narrow a company's vision, discourage change and breed an atmosphere of politics. In a harsh critique of many sacred cows, he describes three basic fallacies of the process - in that discontinuities can be predicted, that strategists can be detached from the operations of the organisation, and that the process of strategy-making itself can be formalized. Mintzberg devotes a substantial section to the new role of planning, plans and planners, not inside the strategy-making process, but around it, in support of it, providing some of its inputs and sometimes programming its outputs, as well as encouraging strategic thinking in general. This book is essential reading for anyone in an organization who is influenced by the planning or strategy-making process. It is also suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate students undertaking corporate strategy, strategic management and business policy courses.