John Wiley & Sons Strategic Engineering Cover In the face of increasing complexity, uncertainty and difficulty in the design and implementation of.. Product #: 978-1-78630-642-5 Regular price: $142.06 $142.06 In Stock

Strategic Engineering

Arcade, Jacques


1. Edition June 2021
320 Pages, Hardcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-78630-642-5
John Wiley & Sons

Buy now

Price: 152,00 €

Price incl. VAT, excl. Shipping

Further versions


In the face of increasing complexity, uncertainty and difficulty in the design and implementation of reforms, companies, organizations and institutions must strive to capitalize on the prevailing disarray by acting wisely in overcoming it.

Strategic engineering is part of an integrative, tool-based approach, inspired by the life sciences and ?creative recursion?. This book is structured into three parts, which correspond to the three main phases of the strategic engineering approach: observe and discern; judge and arbitrate; act and intervene. Strategic Engineering has wide appeal, relevant to senior leaders, decisionmakers, managers and practitioners within businesses, government and local authorities. It is also intended for those who wish to develop their capability in anticipatory or transformative management within economic, sociopolitical and strategic contexts.

Foreword xi

Introduction xv

Part 1. Observing and Discerning: Contextualizing the Situation and Recommending a Consistent Set of Options 1

Chapter 1. Understanding the Strategic Landscape 3

1.1. Understanding the decision-making situation 4

1.1.1. Identifying the variables and factors that make up the situation 4

1.1.2. Detecting the context of the situation through structural analysis 5

1.2. Representing the context of the action 15

1.2.1. Addressing the situational context through nested frames 16

1.2.2. Conceptualizing the strategic landscape as a system with three macrocomponents 17

1.2.3. Reconstructing the multilevel landscape system 26

1.2.4. Configuring the intervention as a system connected to the landscape 32

1.2.5. Specifying the interactions of the "landscape" and "intervention" systems 32

Chapter 2. Imagining and Directing Plausible Futures 37

2.1. Exploring the future through the use of scenarios 37

2.1.1. Reorienting scenarios as a core element of foresight 38

2.1.2. Building frames or scenario profiles 39

2.1.3. Sketching morphological profiles 43

2.1.4. Adopting a two-step procedure 45

2.2. Reinforcing and fleshing out the scenarios 60

2.2.1. Enriching and completing global scenarios 60

2.2.2. Periodically updating the scenarios 63

2.2.3. Using scenarios for strategic purposes 65

Chapter 3. Developing Relevant Strategic Initiatives 67

3.1. Defining objectives and considering options 67

3.1.1. Specifying and defining the main orientations 68

3.1.2. Drafting consistent action profiles 69

3.1.3. The case of the industrial future of a department in Ile-de-France 72

3.2. Transforming options into project concepts 75

3.2.1. Creating the tree of objectives 75

3.2.2. Detecting the critical conditions for achieving objectives 77

3.2.3. Summarizing each option in the form of a logical framework 80

3.2.4. Aggregating projects into coherent programs 85

3.2.5. Considering the plan as a metaprogram of actions 88

Part 2. Judging and Arbitrating: Evaluating and Reconfiguring Recommendations to Decide on a Successful Intervention 91

Chapter 4. Defining Priorities and Gauging Courses of Action 93

4.1. Clarifying preferences and comparing options 93

4.1.1. Setting up the overall performance appraisal system 95

4.1.2. Structuring and weighting criteria according to their hierarchical breakdown 97

4.1.3. Determining the estimators and scales of appreciation of the options according to the operational criteria 100

4.2. Evaluating options according to the macrocriteria to inform the decision 100

4.2.1. Appreciating congruence with the context of intervention as a springboard for pragmatism 101

4.2.2. Assessing future validity as an indicator of future pluralism 106

4.2.3. Assessing the adequacy of the strategic reference as a guarantee of finalism 111

4.3. Gauging the options according to their propensity to immerse themselves favorably in the strategic landscape: interpreting and appropriating the triad of macrocriteria 113

4.3.1. A subtle mix of key priorities 113

4.3.2. An evolving assessment of the intervention according to the macrocriteria 115

4.3.3. Using fundamentally circumstantial multicriteria assessment 116

Chapter 5. Revealing Areas of Potential and Adopting a Decision-making Logic 119

5.1. Modeling the decision problem and scrutinizing the spaces of freedom and opportunity 119

5.1.1. Considering strategic initiatives in terms of composite options 120

5.1.2. Revealing the scope of plural actions 128

5.2. Making wise use of uncertainty and ambiguity 132

5.2.1. Adopting a strategic posture according to the level of uncertainty 132

5.2.2. Exercising circumspection in an almost inextricable situation 135

Chapter 6. Recomposing Solutions and Making the Best Decisions 137

6.1. Reconciling requirements and risks by combining simulation and optimization 138

6.1.1. Conducting a cascading arbitration and selection process 138

6.1.2. Adjusting inconsistent interventions by adapting them to constraint 139

6.1.3. Developing a robust trade-off in a reasonably uncertain future 141

6.1.4. Guarding cautiously against contingencies and any eventuality 144

6.1.5. Changing the conditions to modify or transform the intervention 149

6.2. Interpreting optimized solutions to support the decision 150

6.2.1. Visualizing the results in a triptych of dashboards 150

6.2.2. Revealing performance levels for the objectives-criteria 152

6.2.3. Describing the composition of the options and exploiting the room for maneuver 154

6.2.4. Identifying saturation and estimating the pressure of constraints 156

6.2.5. Detecting and estimating the value of proactive deposits 159

Part 3. Acting and Intervening: Judiciously Guiding Action to Generate a Virtuous Dynamic 161

Chapter 7. Identifying Predispositions to Act and Generating Compromises 163

7.1. Deciphering the power relationships and power factors of the actors 164

7.1.1. Schematizing the conceptual approach and introducing key concepts 165

7.1.2. Determining the power effect (or leverage) 170

7.1.3. Conducting a structural analysis of the actors in terms of their strengths or powers 172

7.1.4. Interpreting the power relationships according to the stature and posture of the actors 174

7.2. Extending the analytical framework to a metasystem incorporating actors and objectives 180

7.2.1. Globalizing the existence of each actor on the basis of their relations to the subsystem of factors and objectives 181

7.2.2. Aggregating the existence of each objective based on its relationship to the two subsystems of objectives and actors: visible and/or hidden preponderance and prevalence 183

7.2.3. Extending the relational existence of each actor by adding successive dimensions 183

7.2.4. Measuring the overall coherence and the capacity for relational convergence of the metasystem 185

7.3. Interpreting the dialectic of transformation of the interplay between actors 186

7.3.1. Diagnosing dynamic power accesses 187

7.3.2. Interpreting the dialectic of power access regimes 191

Chapter 8. Breathing Lasting Vitality into the Long Term 197

8.1. A gradual movement towards a good start 199

8.1.1. Mobilizing a triad of key skills to guide action 200

8.1.2. Bringing together the three dimensions of performance evaluation: finality, pluralism with regard to the future, and pragmatism 201

8.1.3. Driving and animating wise actions: a conceptual insight 204

8.1.4. Promoting a dizzying rise towards beneficial action 209

8.2. Working for sustainable viability, generating vitality 212

8.2.1. Gaining directivity through continuous monitoring and evaluation of finality: a dialogical spiral between voluntarism and conservatism 212

8.2.2. Gaining insight and agility through the permanent regulation of pluralism and pragmatism 214

8.2.3. Stimulating the emergence of sustainability through a proven experience of overall performance 217

8.3. Ensuring the completion of the vortex elevation 219

8.3.1. Gaining access to prosperity, sustainability, and vivacity as completion of directivity, perspicacity, and agility 220

8.3.2. Tending towards vitality as a sublimation of viability and a complement to prosperity, sustainability, and vivacity 220

Chapter 9. Forging a Guidance System and Deploying Skills 223

9.1. Reinvigorating practices of anticipation 225

9.1.1. Differentiating and making normative approaches more flexible 225

9.1.2. Comparing and enriching the results at the different stages of the process 226

9.1.3. Committing to reinvigorating the process of forward thinking or strategic planning 229

9.2. Making the process more fluid and sustainable through deployment plans and projects 234

9.2.1. Considering the main structures involved 234

9.2.2. Strengthening institutional anchoring and organizational learning 234

9.2.3. Preserving the logic and prerogatives of the preceding parts 235

9.2.4. Opting for a strengthened approach capable of percolating through the organization 236

9.2.5. The case of a project to strengthen technical-institutional capacities in strategic foresight 237

9.3. Practicing, integrating, and appropriating the strategic engineering approach 240

9.3.1. Thinking of organization and action as holomorphic 240

9.3.2. Organizing conferences, specific training courses, or on-site strategic engineering projects in a modular manner 242

9.3.3. Promoting and developing advanced strategic engineering instruments 247

Conclusion 249

Postface 251

Glossary 255

References 265

Index 273
Jacques Arcade is a statistician-economist and teaches on various Master?s programmes (Sciences Po Rennes, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 13 and the IRTS Foundation). He is a chief technical adviser to the United Nations and heads consultancy firms, leading many initiatives for forward-looking thinking and strategic innovation.