Stanley K. Ridgley, Ph.D., is an associate clinical professor of management at LeBow College. His DVD lecture series and book “Strategic Thinking Skills” were released last summer. He will be teaching Intro to Entrepreneurship in the winter, spring and summer terms.
Why did you decide to write this book?
I collaborated with a teaching company (The Great Courses) and we decided to produce a book and DVD series and focus on where my expertise lies. We agreed that strategic thinking skills are right up my alley.
What is it about strategic thinking that you aim to communicate through the book and DVD?
That the topic of strategic thinking is extremely broad, and the facets are interconnected. People usually think about strategy from their own frame of reference. They may think about it from a military perspective, or an economic perspective, or an entrepreneurial, etc. What needs to be communicated and what I aim to communicate is that these are all pieces of the same puzzle, and in order to be a successful strategic thinker one must step back and examine all parts to the whole.
Who do you think might enjoy the book and DVDs?
The book is primarily geared at students; I am actually assigning this in my classes. This book is applicable across a wide range of disciplines. Strategic thinking skills are not acquired overnight, but when concentrated on become a habit. This is effective because the aim is to shape the long term.
What do you aim for readers to get out of the book and DVDs?
That in order to be a successful entrepreneur, one must have a strategic personality.
Oprah, Steve Jobs, Madonna — these are all great examples, and they are all referenced in the book. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a powerfully focused strategic thinker. These are all a range of diverse people, engaged in different professions, all drawing from the same well of knowledge and skills.
What approach do you take to teaching?
The very best instruction should change the student’s day — you should be a different person when you exit the classroom than the one who walked in because you will have learned something. You will have been exposed to something new, so the way that you look at the world will have been transformed. What I strive through my teaching is not to encourage memorization of tables and data, but a way of looking at the world that makes them better, that helps them understand how the world works.
Ridgley also recently published a book titled Business School Presenting, now available at Amazon.com.