Encyclopedia of World Problems

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title:8.3 Strategies in meetings

1. Strategic role of meetings

It is in meetings that strategies are elaborated and acquire their legitimation. They are the crucible in which strategies acquire form. And yet meetings, whether at the international or the local level, are often perceived as less than effective at addressing issues. Participant frustration is a common phenomenon, however it is disguised by upbeat reporting, notably to the media. Electronic meetings in the Internet world have not yet proved to be significantly more effective.


title:7.4 Unwritten rules and wishful thinking

1. Investment in strategies

The past decades have seen a great deal of enthusiasm for the formulation of strategies, programmes and plans in response to social challenges. Whether in intergovernmental organizations, such as United Nations agencies, or in other international organizations, or at the regional, national or local level, formulation of strategies has been seen as an appropriate form of action.


title:7.3 Unmentionable realities

Use of the term "strategy" has long implied an efficient, professional approach to marshalling available resources in the face of both adversity and opportunity. This view has been reinforced by its military origins, notably as cultivated by warrior kings and heroic generals, and more recently by statesmen, think-tanks and corporate strategists. Institutions like NATO thrive on strategic formulations and cultivate such options through a multitude of scenario exercises. The United Nations system has been heavily influenced by this perspective.


title:7.2 Reframing the unknown

The impact of the unacknowledged, the unknown and the unknowable on governance at this time is necessarily not an easy matter to discuss. The contribution of Donald Michael (Leadership's shadow: the dilemma of denial) is of great value in this respect. It succeeds in naming problems which recent years have demonstrated to be of greater importance than the issues on which the international community has vainly attempted to focus. It helps to explain why so many international initiatives have proved so disappointing in comparison with the expectations widely projected onto them.


title:Strategic denial

This section provides commentaries on strategic denial related to the Global Strategies and Solutions area of the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential

Related Sections

  • 7.1 Misappropriation of words of power
  • 7.2 Reframing the unknown
  • 7.3 Unmentionable realities
  • 7.4 Unwritten rules and wishful thinking
  • 7.5 Action inhibition

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