If you're expecting this to be a substitute for an MBA course, you'll be disappointed, and rightly so. If, however, you are looking for an excellent summary of a great deal of critical business, psychology and marketing concepts, that any aspiring entrepreneur or successful business owner should know, then this is the audiobook to get your hands on.
It's 13 hours, but i'll still be giving it another listen in a few months or so, a testament to it's quality. Highly recommended.
I enjoyed the book. Some great inspiration and an inside look at Apple and Jobs. However, the writer tended to crowbar in his achievements and thinking in a way that appeared too forced when I really just wanted to hear about Jobs.
Very much worth a listen though.
I found the book helpful and covered some powerful concepts however I struggled with the complete lack of enthusiasm in narration and inconsistent tonal inflections. You will know what I mean if you listen to it.
Though the science was good, the stories to highlight the point tended to follow the somewhat annoying format
1. Person has the worst day possible imaginable
2. You learn how the brain works
3. Person uses knowledge and has the greatest possible day known to man and everything just works out.
I understand why the author has done this but it can get repetitive.
A book that sounds a bit 'dorky' like this one I normally leave alone for fear of empty words. But I am very happy to have picked this one up!
Rummelt is a very senior strategist to big and smaller firms, and have seen where they can go wrong: confusing objectives with strategy ("our strategy is to grow revenue"), strategy with excel sheets or (worst of all, and very hot right now) confusing leadership ("a will to succeed") with strategy.
Instead, he outlines a simple yet powerful method of building a strategy:
1. diagnose the situation and determine the key challenge for the organisation/firm
2. develop/create a guiding policy (Porter would say, competitive strategy) to overcome the challenge or reap the opportunity
3. develop and execute a coherent action plan.
He goes on the enrich each of these parts, which to a certain extent have been discussed elsewhere (Porter, Ansoff, Hamel, Kaplan) but not in such a concise and easy to follow way.
The strength of the book is not only in how strategies should be build and executed, but also how many companies go wrong: e.g. that your strategy needs commitment from the organization is ruthlessly attacked: if the entire organisation agrees with the strategy, there is no 'hard' choice involved. A strategy that pleases all in the end does not deliver. Though provoking and pragmatic at the same time.
What I personally found most pleasing is that Rummelt does not say that planning is better than execution, or leadership is superior or not, but that all are parts in a chain that need to fit together. You need strategy AND execution AND leaderhip AND creativity/innovation AND ...while simultaneously focusing your energy.
If you are in a leadership or management position in any organisation, private or public, I highly recommend this book for its framework, coherence and ease of understanding, combined with its focus on the essential elements and pitfalls.