The Royal College of Defence Studies updates strategy making guidebook

The Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) has updated its core strategy document, 'Getting Strategy Right Enough', to take into account major international developments since it was published six years ago, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Front page of Making Strategy Better. Text: A guide for more effective strategy-making and its application. The new publication, 'Making Strategy Better', has been revised for more effective strategy making and strategic orchestration in an age of persistent competition and a resurgence of state-on-state aggression on Europe’s periphery.

Making Strategy Better was produced over eight months in consultation with academia, distinguished practitioners and RCDS alumni. Its launch coincides with start of the RCDS Global Strategy Programme 2023.

The new publication provides a selection of ideas, tools and behaviours to help a strategist explore an issue or situation and remain aware of the associated ambiguity and uncertainty.

Sir George Norton, Commandant RCDS, said:

“As we welcome the next cohort of future strategic leaders to our Global Strategy Programme, we launch Making Strategy Better, our new guidebook for strategy-making and strategic orchestration.

“It is the product of much engagement and includes a new assessment framework and decision-making tools. It will be the handrail for our strategy learning for the next few years.”

Sir George added:

“Making Strategy Better represents our next step in contributing to the delivery of gold standard strategic learning at the RCDS. It places an emphasis on iterative strategy-making and delivery, enabling us to deliver strategy learning that is more practical in its approach.”

Air Vice Marshal Phil Lester, the editor of Making Strategy Better and Senior Directing Staff at RCDS, said:

“Making Strategy Better builds on its predecessor and offers a more dynamic and less linear approach to strategy. It is the start of a formal programme to assess, review and refine our core strategy aide.”

RCDS is a global leader in delivering strategic education. Its primary role is to develop strategic leaders, thinkers and strategists who can make and orchestrate strategy in a manner that allows for the complexity and ambiguity of the time. RCDS focuses on the making of strategy at the level of government, both nationally and internationally.