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Strategy Builder: How to create and communicate more effective strategies

Book Description

A visual and interactive guide to building and communicating strategies that actually work

YOUR STRATEGY HAS SEVEN SECONDS TO CAPTIVATE ITS AUDIENCE... So how are you going to present it? A big wordy document? A lengthy address? Slides full of bullet points?

The best way to engage and involve people is through pictures. Strategy Builder shows you how to creatively combine the best strategy frameworks to orient and animate strategy discussion and development in your team. This visual, interactive guide, with illustrations by Visory, uses real world examples and practical tips to help you:

  • Discover the five key foundations that every strategy should be built upon

  • Draw compelling and unique pictures that capture your organization's distinct strategies

  • Develop your skills as a leader of strategy discussions

  • Understand how to use interactive drawing to engage others and achieve 'buy in'

  • Additional online resources available for instructors

  • For more information visit

    Praise for Strategy Builder:

    Cummings & Angwin are pioneers in introducing novel approaches in teaching and applying the principles of strategy --Robert M. Grant, Bocconi University, author of Contemporary Strategy Analysis

    At last someone has grasped this idea and come up with a way to help us demonstrate strategic plans and ambitions in a creative new way. --Vikki Heywood CBE, Chair of The Royal Society for the Arts

    This wonderful book is the first to solve a near-universal problem: communicating strategic ideas is just as hard and just as important as coming up with them in the first place, and both are visual activities. The question is not "Do you understand?" but "Do you see?" --William Duggan, Professor, Columbia University, author Strategic Intuition

    This book shows how to draw an organization's strategy so you see what's been considered, what's not been considered, and how things are related,. Strategy building is presented as a fun and involving learning process.The approach is revolutionary in that it enables not only the development but also the easy sharing of strategic understanding. --Roger L.M. Dunbar, Emeritus Professor, Stern School of Business, New York University

    What a great idea! They layout is also really thoughtful; it makes you immediately want to get out a pencil and start doodling. --Adam Martin, Customer Solutions Director, The Brakes Group

    As a time pressed executive it was a delight to find a book that I can dip into to find the best strategic frameworks - those that have proved the test of time and academic scrutiny as being truly useful in the workplace. Even better for an inveterate scribbler: endorsement that a picture and 'permission to play' with ideas visually really does say a thousand words and more! --Sarah Mitson, Global Business Director, TNSGlobal

    This is an invaluable resource for any executive wanting to improve engagement in strategy development and communication. The accessible layout means that the book itself can play an active and inspiring role in strategy discussions. --Matt Thomas, Director, Braxton Associates, Strategy Consultants

    At last a book that grasps the implications of recent psychology: people think visually as well as verbally. The authors provide powerful visual devices that will both help managers conceive better strategies and enable their people to execute them more effectively. --Richard Whittington, Professor at Saïd Business School, Oxford University

    A powerful approach to make strategy more engaging again! Strategy Builder is landmark book is destined to make an important impact to the field of strategy, strategizing and strategic management. Executives across the board (and students of strategy) will find the core message of this book counterintuitive and compelling. The idea of "drawing" strategy may seem like child's play, yet all great strategists and philosophers know that it is through such "serious play" that allows us to see things differently so that we can see different things. --Robert Wright, Professor of Strategy, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

    Table of Contents

    1. Strategy Builder Team
      1. Authors
      2. Illustrators
      3. App Development
      4. Production
    2. Part One: The Concept
      1. Notes
      2. Opportunities for a New Way of Developing Strategy
        1. 5. The need for a third way between the oversimplicity of PowerPoints and the overcomplication of the typical strategic plan
        2. 4. A need to reduce the distance or separation between managers and other stakeholders
        3. 3. An opportunity to seek other ways to convey complex ideas and possibilities
        4. 2. Recognizing that what they teach in business school can, and should, change to embrace forgotten and new insights
        5. 1. An opportunity to find a way through the framework and idea overload and inertia
        6. Notes
      3. Seven Strengths of Drawing Strategy
        1. 1. Drawing strategy aids memory retention (and more)
        2. 2. Drawing strategy provides an effective action orientation
        3. 3. Drawing strategy promotes new thinking that builds on the shoulders of giants
        4. 4. Drawing strategy enables effective prototyping and ‘design thinking'
        5. 5. Drawing helps you see what you think and enables new possibilities to come into view
        6. 6. Drawing can bring people together to enable collective understanding
        7. 7. Drawing strategy can move people beyond the ‘boilerplate' and numerical short-termism
        8. Notes
      4. What Strategy Builder Does
    3. Part Two: Design
      1. User's Guide to the Strategy Builder's Framework Profiles
        1. Design features
          1. 1. World ratings and rankings
          2. 2. Simple, matter-of-fact explanations
          3. 3. A ‘real-life' storyboard and storyline
          4. 4. Space
          5. 5. Drawing tips: for getting started, enhancing your creativity and key ‘take-outs'
          6. 6. Common pitfalls
          7. 7. Menu suggestions for fruitful combinations
          8. 8. Mutation possibilities
          9. 9. Signposts towards further knowledge
      2. Environmental Ecology
      3. Competitive Positioning
      4. Resources and Capabilities
      5. Strategic Growth Options
      6. Managing Performance Strategically
    4. Part Three: Realization
      1. Note
      2. Well-Built Strategies, Simply Conveyed
      3. Six Stratographic Principles
        1. 1. Good stratography attracts and focuses the eye
        2. 2. Good stratography spreads the eye
        3. 3. Encouraging the eye to wander, engage and find relations
        4. 4. Good stratography facilitates zooming in and out
        5. 5. Mimesis: good stratography relates to human actions and directions
        6. 6. Synaesthesis: good stratography unites different senses and behaviours
        7. Notes
      4. Get Building
        1. How to be a Part of the Strategy Development Revolution
    5. Image Credits
    6. End User License Agreement