I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.

—Thomas Jefferson

To be strategic is to look over the horizon and set a course based on assumptions. When married with purpose and vision (the “why” and the “what”), strategy becomes the “how” and the “when.” It is rooted in the leader’s thinking about what matters most. Purpose and vision evolve slowly (if they evolve at all). Strategy nimbly adapts to changing conditions without losing sight of the ultimate goals.

Sally Blount, dean of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, is a strategic big thinker. Animated and personable, with the intellect of a scholar, Blount reveals her passion and intensity for organizational thinking as she uses ...

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