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The Executive Guide to Strategy

Book Description

Although it is fundamental to business success, the discipline of strategy remains elusive to many of us. Indeed, if asked to provide a simple definition of the term, many experienced business leaders may not have it at their fingertips. But finding the right strategy—the formula for ongoing success that differentiates your firm and unlocks your capacity to create value—is well worth the effort.

This collection, originally published by Booz & Company, contains essential strategy articles from strategy+business. Although these works range from pragmatic on a day-to-day level to quite high-minded, all share at least one trait. Each stands to make a substantial contribution to your understanding of strategy and your ability to create and implement the right strategy for your organization.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: A Strategic Imperative
  2. Executive Summaries
    1. Strategy: An Executive’s Definition
    2. Strategy or Execution: Which Is More Important?
    3. How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy
    4. The Right to Win
    5. Is Your Company Fit for Growth?
    6. How Leaders Mistake Execution for Strategy (and Why That Damages Both)
    7. The Two Levels of Strategy
    8. The Thought Leader Interview: Cynthia Montgomery
    9. Strategic Bets
    10. 10 Clues to Opportunity
    11. Seven Chapters of Strategic Wisdom
    12. Professor Chandler’s Revolution
    13. Blank Checks: Unleashing the Potential of People and Businesses
  3. Strategy: An Executive’s Definition
  4. Strategy or Execution: Which Is More Important?
  5. How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy
    1. The Case for Capabilities
    2. Portfolio Coherence
    3. Identify, Build, Divest
    4. Thinking outside the Cave
  6. The Right to Win
    1. The Basic Tension in Strategy
    2. The Value of Position
    3. Execution Strikes Back
    4. Michael Porter’s Advantage
    5. Adaptation and Experimentation
    6. Concentration at the Core
    7. Strategy as a Way of Life
  7. Resources
  8. Is Your Company Fit for Growth?
    1. Setting Clear Priorities
    2. Optimizing Your Costs
    3. Reorganizing for Growth
    4. Sustaining the Gains
  9. Resources
  10. How Leaders Mistake Execution for Strategy (and Why That Damages Both)
  11. The Two Levels of Strategy
  12. The Thought Leader Interview: Cynthia Montgomery (with video)
    1. The Capstone Course
    2. The Education of a Strategist
  13. Strategic Bets
    1. A Test of Leadership
    2. Preparing for Upheaval
    3. Anatomy of a Strategic Bet
    4. Facing Up to Uncertainty
    5. Heroic Leadership
  14. Resources
  15. 10 Clues to Opportunity
    1. 1. This product should already exist (but it doesn’t).
    2. 2. This customer experience doesn’t have to be time-consuming, arduous, expensive, or annoying (but it is).
    3. 3. This resource could be worth something (but it is still priced low).
    4. 4. This discovery must be good for something (but it’s not clear what that is).
    5. 5. This product or service should be everywhere (but it isn’t).
    6. 6. Customers have adapted our product or service to new uses (but not with our support).
    7. 7. Customers shouldn’t want this product (but they do).
    8. 8. Customers have discovered a product (but not the one we offered).
    9. 9. This product or service is thriving elsewhere (but no one offers it here).
    10. 10. That new product or service shouldn’t make much money (but it does).
  16. Seven Chapters of Strategic Wisdom
    1. Structure and Self-definition
    2. The Competitive Position
    3. An Emergent Backlash
    4. Paranoia Strikes
    5. The Evolving Irrationalists
  17. Resources
  18. Professor Chandler’s Revolution
    1. Integrated Learning Bases
    2. A Born Storyteller
    3. The Fates Step In
    4. The Next Epic
    5. The Microsoft Antitrust Suit.
    6. Enron.
    7. Japan’s Economic Problems.
    8. The Chemicals Industry.
  19. Resources
  20. Blank Checks: Unleashing the Potential of People and Businesses
    1. The Concept of a Blank Check
    2. How Blank Checks Work
    3. How Blank Checks Drive Growth
    4. Dealing with Failures
    5. Tips for Managing Blank Checks
    6. Driving Organic Growth
  21. Resources
  22. About the Authors