Based on an acclaimed professor's legendary strategy course at Harvard Business School, The Strategist offers a radically new perspective on a leader's most vital role.
"Are you a strategist?" That's the first question Cynthia Montgomery asks the business owners and senior executives from all over the world who participate in her highly regarded executive education course. It's not a question they anticipate or care much about on opening day. But by the time the program ends, they cannot imagine leading their companies to success without being - and living the role of - a strategist.
Over a series of weeks and months, Montgomery puts these accomplished executives through their paces. Using case discussions, after-hours talks, and participants' own strategy dilemmas, she illuminates what strategy is, why it's important, and what it takes to lead the effort. En route, she equips them to confront the most essential question facing every business leader: Does this company truly matter? In doing so, she shows that strategy is not just a tool for outwitting the competition; it is the most powerful means a leader has for shaping a company itself.
The Strategist exposes all business leaders - whether they run a global enterprise or a small business - to the invaluable insights Montgomery shares with these privileged executives. By distilling the experiences and insights gleaned in the classroom, Montgomery helps leaders develop the skills and sensibilities they need to become strategists themselves. It is a difficult role, but little else one does as a leader is likely to matter more.
©2012 Cynthia A. Montgomery (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
What I liked about this book: It brings interesting examples of strategy driven business turnarounds. The author presents the "Strategy Wheel" which is a simple and straightforward framework for aligning functional areas to the company's central strategic purpose. (Can be used as a complement to Porter's Value Chain)
What I didn't like about this book: In my opinion this is a book for people who are not yet very familiar with the Business Strategy concepts. If you have read Michael Porter's books or "The Blue ocean Strategy", you may get bored.
The narrator is too slow, even for a non native english speaker
Recommended: Understanding Michael Porter (Magretta)
I found the book very slow without enough meaty content. There were some good points but they were too few and the examples were terribly drawn out. The content seemed repetitive and the history of Apple computer seemed like yet another review with little additional insight and frankly seemed like filler material.For me, the dramatic, soft tone of the narration didn't fit with the content (and it is not because she is female). It lacked a certain business energy that may have made the drawn out book seem even slower. Made me wish I was reading it. I was looking for an insightful, educational book on strategy. This wasn't it.
Not if it is a business book. She is probably great with fiction.
There were some good points that made me think but they were too few and far between.
Short, sound content. Just enough case histories to apply the method outlined in the book.
The only other strategy book that is this valuable, is Blue Ocean Strategy - at least the first half. This one is much easier to apply.
Better at 1.5x
If you are looking for a business book on strategy that will be of value - that is, sound and directly applicable, then this is the book for you. You'll want to own it in hardback, too, after you listen to it. Worth your time.
Must read for any entrepreneur looking for some focus and action!
Real-life examples, case studies.
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