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Strategic Thinking Skills | [The Great Courses]

Strategic Thinking Skills

Start making savvier decisions and outsmart your competitors with greater confidence and ease with this simple and comprehensive guide to the skills, tactics, techniques, tools, case studies, and lessons behind strategic thinking. Professor Ridgley has crafted these 24 lectures as an accessible way to engage with thinking that will help you think-and act-more strategically in business and in your own life, whether you're the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or you're preparing to embark on a new career path.
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Publisher's Summary

Start making savvier decisions and outsmart your competitors with greater confidence and ease with this simple and comprehensive guide to the skills, tactics, techniques, tools, case studies, and lessons behind strategic thinking. Professor Ridgley has crafted these 24 lectures as an accessible way to engage with thinking that will help you think-and act-more strategically in business and in your own life, whether you're the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or you're preparing to embark on a new career path.

These lectures are loosely organized around several key topics central to effective strategic thinking, including: principles of conflict (in which you'll follow the development of strategic theory from its roots in great military campaigns to its modern applications in business); competitive intelligence (which plays an increasingly important role in strategic thinking); and tools of strategy and analysis (which can aid your understanding of the forces that shape our future and can help you make sense of a rapidly changing world).

Central to these lectures are the tools and tricks that strategic thinkers have used to better approach problems and seek lasting solutions. Among those you'll learn how to use are the indirect approach (which offers you a much greater utility in achieving your objectives without approaching your opponent head-on); the value chain (a method that divides your team or organization into its value - producing activities so you can better inform yourself on its internal strengths and weaknesses; and the four actions framework (in which you ask yourself four questions to challenge your established logic in an effort to gain a stronger competitive advantage).

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (153 )
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4.0 (135 )
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Performance
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  •  
    John Patten 07-17-14
    John Patten 07-17-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Lectures run a bit shallow"
    What would have made Strategic Thinking Skills better?

    Retitle it "Strategic lessons from history": this is 95 percent historical review and about 5 percent relating history to other things (like football…lots of football metaphors).


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Not sure


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    It's nonfiction, so sure.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Mostly disappointment that I hadn't chosen something else.


    Any additional comments?

    This series reminded me of so many self-help business books: they're fine but not really very meaningful or helpful. A collection of stories from battles through history with some rather obvious lessons falls short of what I've come to expect from Great Courses.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 08-12-13
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 08-12-13 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another Good Great Courses Offering..."

    although I would not rank it as high as I did Novella's lectures on The Deceptive Mind, mainly because the latter comes from a point of view of science and psychology, and this lecturer defines strategic thinking in terms of politics, business, the military and sports, and so it is not as scientifically in depth as many of the Great Courses, although this is still a fine learning experience,

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Seattle 02-24-14
    Kindle Customer Seattle 02-24-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Makes me hate mid level Officiers"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This lecture was cr*p. Some mid-level Officer who equates everything to either his military experience or hyper macho sports references. His lecture was more a story on military history including him reading entire sections of military history books rather than strategic thought process.

    I wish I had my money back. The only way this lecture would be worth while is if I was a mid-level Officer who longs for my days in the military, you will get the same from the Military Channel as you will get from this lecture. 99% of this lecture has very little to do with real life strategic thought. Just get a copy of "The Art of War", it's free and is more relevant. Ridgley is just another huckster with a degree.


    Would you ever listen to anything by The Great Courses again?

    yes


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Professor Stanley K. Ridgley?

    Stan's lecture was simply horrible that had little to do with the way he delivered the course and more to do with the lack of meaningful content.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    Send this guy back to the military as that is the only place that appears to give his sad life meaning.

    10 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vida Viliunas Deakin, ACT Australia 10-06-13
    Vida Viliunas Deakin, ACT Australia 10-06-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is not a great book"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The narrator did not seem to comprehend what he was reading.


    What could The Great Courses have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Better narration - the subject matter remained a little disapointing: cliched historical examples and sporting references that were not meaningful to non-Americans


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Professor Stanley K. Ridgley?

    Someone who had rehearsed the material.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Some good suggestions in chapter 10 - a long wait for something useful.


    7 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carlosweb10 Lima Peru 09-06-13
    carlosweb10 Lima Peru 09-06-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Strategic aspects to be considered when thinking"
    Where does Strategic Thinking Skills rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    in between the 20 first books


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Strategic Thinking Skills?

    The scenary and systemic thinking


    Have you listened to any of Professor Stanley K. Ridgley’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    not yet


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    Intuition


    Any additional comments?

    It has an analitycal perspective of the different aspects involved in a strategy and how to think through it

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jose Fairfax, Virginia, United States 10-31-13
    Jose Fairfax, Virginia, United States 10-31-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Great Course!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Strategic Thinking Skills to be better than the print version?

    I wish I would have "red" this before, very helpful for anyone in the managerial world.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Albuquerque, NM, United States 10-29-13
    Chris Albuquerque, NM, United States 10-29-13 Member Since 2011

    cleith

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    "Very Excellent Material on Strategy - Top 10"

    Very Excellent Material on Strategy - Top 10. If you are a student of strategy, then this is a book that you must listen to. Very good content very applicable to the real world and business.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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  • A Manning
    London
    11/22/13
    Overall
    Performance
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    "sows seeds for action- accessible and enjoyable"
    Would you listen to Strategic Thinking Skills again? Why?

    I'd listen to this again- it's got a lot of interesting anecdotes; is well read; well structured and made me think about things to do


    What about Professor Stanley K. Ridgley’s performance did you like?

    engaging to listen to and kept my attention


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    it caused me to think about things in a different way and consider specific things I'd do


    Any additional comments?

    A great overview of strategic thinking, peppered with anecdotes and examples to bring it alive. With examples from the battlefield to the boardroom; the past to the present; from failures to success. And for that reason, giving it a wide appeal, and the opportunity to think through the relevance of different ideas.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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