October 1 1994 by Chief Executive
To The Editor:
I enjoyed reading your “From The Editor” column entitled, “Honor Roll” (CE: May 1994). Your perception that Napoleon was really telling Marshall Berthier that he wanted a general of division who had the ability “to capitalize on good fortune” describes the essence of strategy.
As German historian Karl von Clausewitz affirmed in “On War,” strategy capitalizes on tactical good fortune by using it to achieve the broader goals of the whole enterprise: “Tactics teaches the use of armed forces in the engagement; strategy, the use of engagements for the object of the war.” Therefore, effective strategy solves the problem of how best to use tactical success.
The threshold between tactical success and strategic follow-up is, I believe, where the opportunity to “capitalize on good fortune” is at its zenith.
John P. Cahill
READ TO SUCCEED
To The Editor:
I found the roundtable, “What Really Works In Education” (CE: May 1994), to be very interesting. I enjoyed reading participants’ comments about the role business can play in improving the quality of education in our local schools.
My company, Amdahl-a computer systems and software firm-has taken an approach similar to what several participants mentioned in the roundtable. We have started a program that targets one of the most critical issues facing educators and companies today: literacy.
Our program, “Read to Succeed,” is based on the simple premise that teachers know best how to guide and encourage their students to read. Amdahl and other program sponsors, including American Airlines and Stanford University, provide the recognition and motivation for students in five Santa Clara County schools to achieve the reading goals set by teachers.
Since January, the participating students and teachers have received recognition at half-time during a Stanford basketball game, cheered at a baseball game as guests of the San Francisco Giants, toured the San Jose Mercury News and American Airlines’ facility at the San Jose Airport, and attended a dinner in their honor at the Stanford Faculty Club. American Airlines also flew all the teachers to Washington, where they met with members of the Senate and House to discuss literacy.
We are planning to expand our program to include over 1,000 Santa Clara County students this fall, and business leaders in Dallas, Cincinnati, Miami, and New Haven have expressed interest in having this program implemented within their communities.
I believe businesses can help to improve the quality of education and to prepare young people to enter the work force of tomorrow.
E. Joseph Zemke
President and Chief Executive
To The Editor:
The CEO At Leisure article, “Bobwhite In The Brush” (CE: July/August 1994), recalled the good time I had quail hunting at Woodhaven plantation a few years ago.
I had one quibble with the article: A person would have to be a heck of a shot to go after quail with a rifle, as the author describes. A shotgun is more likely.
Dolph C. Simons Jr.