The Strategy Book
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Thinking strategically is what separates managers and leaders. Learn the fundamentals about how to create winning strategy and lead your team to deliver it. From understanding what strategy can do for you, through to creating a strategy and engaging others with strategy, this book offers practical guidance and expert tips. It is peppered with punchy, memorable examples from real leaders winning (and losing) with real world strategies.
It can be read as a whole or you can dip into the easy-to-read, bite-size sections as and when you need to deal with a particular issue. The structure has been specially designed to make sections quick and easy to use youll find yourself referring back to them again and again.
About the author
What is strategy?
Part 1 Your strategic self
Shaping the future
Thinking before you plan
Becoming a strategic thinker
Selling your strategy
Part 2 Thinking like a strategist
Reacting is as important as planning
Taking risks (jumping your uncertainty gaps)
Looking over your shoulder
Knowing where grass (really) is greener
Part 3 Creating your strategy
Seeing the big picture?
Finding position, intention and direction
Looking for advantages
Making strategic decisions and choices
Adapting to your competitive environment
Part 4 Winning with strategy
Winning strategy games
Creating new markets
Getting ahead of your strategic group
Growing your business (again and again)
Going global without going broke
Knowing what you can do best
Part 5 Making your strategy work
Managing your strategy process
Meetings for strategic minds
Managing change, making strategy work
Understanding what can go wrong
Saving your company from failure
Part 6 The Strategy Book tool kit
The basic (powerful) strategy questions
Porters 5 forces of competition
Porters generic strategies
Burgelmans strategy dynamics model
Porters value chain
Core competencies and resource-based view
Nonaka and Takeuchis knowledge spiral
McKinseys 7-S framework
Ansoffs growth grid
BCGs product portfolio matrix
Kim and Mauborgnes blue ocean
Greiner's growth (and crisis) model
Treacy and Wiersemas value disciplines
Cummings and Wilson: orientation and animation
Lewins force field analysis
Kotters eight phases of change
Kaplan and Nortons balanced scorecard
Hrebiniaks model of strategy execution
Hammer and Champys business process design
Michaud and Thoenigs strategic orientation
Burgelman and Groves strategy bet model
Argyriss double and single loop learning
Mintzbergs deliberate and emergent
Johnsons white space model
Prahalads bottom of the pyramid
Staceys strategy from complexity
Max Mckeown is an author, consultant and popular speaker in the strategy field. He shares cutting edge research with clients in the real world of major corporations. Max has a PhD and MBA with a speciality in strategy and strategic change. His clients sit across multiple sectors including: Microsoft, Virgin, Sun International, 2012 Olympics, Toyota and TopShop. He is the author of several books including E-Customer, Why They Dont Buy, Unshrink and The Truth about Innovation.
“Does exactly what it says on the tin – and does it brilliantly. This book will become a well- thumbed favourite.”
Emma Leech, Director of Marketing - The University of Nottingham
“You can pick it up, read a section, apply what you have learnt and then go back to read some more.”
Sue Toon, Direct of Management Alchemy
“Recommended…contains a vast array of strategic experience, which is pertinent at any level of management.”
Laura Dziaszyk, Director of Corporate Signpost
"The Strategy Book is a must read for anybody interested in systematically exploring strategy in their organization. It is very readable, jargon-free and of enormous practical significance for planning and implementing strategy."
Prof. Cary L Cooper, CBE, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University Management School
"My God, a strategy book that actually makes sense? Imagine that... Most strategy books are either exercises in waffling and vague generalities, or mind-numbingly boring laundry lists of could-a, would-a, should-a. Max Mckeown's take on strategy is neither, and as an antidote he has given us The Strategy Book, where no-nonsense pragmatism meets imagination and adaptive flexibility. This book reads the way a good strategic plan should – guidance but not dogma, to the point but with an eye open to alternative possibilities. It just might be the cheapest form of strategic insurance ever created."
Professor Alf Rehn, author of Dangerous Ideas, internationally active speaker and consultant
"The Strategy Book is superb. Quite frankly, it's the best, most relevant book I've read since Porter's early tomes. The author has a wonderful way of encapsulating strategic thinking from almost every angle. Max Mckeown is the next Michael Porter."
John Hall, President, Freedom Health LLC
"Max has a gift to reverse engineer complexity in a way that leaders can truly navigate how to lead their business, their people and their lives with both clarity and confidence. I would say Max is a preeminent map maker of our times."
Jennifer Sertl, President Agility3R and co-author Strategy Leadership & the Soul
‘It’s unusual for a management book to encourage readers to ask uncomfortable questions about their own products, leading to uncomfortable answers, and then to stimulate the inspiration and imagination to address those issues effectively. Max explains a range of perspectives and tools with admirable clarity. However, we don’t lose sight of the underlying challenges and risks in strategy development and implementation. This is a book that disturbs and demystifies in a creatively helpful way.’
Professor David A. Buchanan, Author of Organizational Behaviour, Cranfield University
“Max de-clutters corporate speak and opens up strategy to everyone. His no nonsense approach to corporate strategy will teach you to look at your business like never before. In person, his insight is scalpel sharp and this book is a masterclass in improving your strategic thinking. You will learn to ask the big questions that need to be asked to get the core of strategic success.”
Steve Fortune, Global Leadership Development at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
‘I love this book. Max Mckeown has the gift of making complex ideas accessible as well as enjoyable. One of the biggest challenges facing organisations today is making strategy come alive – especially with respect to innovation. Max demystifies the strategy process, bringing it to life with great examples. He challenges the reader to really think- as well as have the guts to take action. With its rich array of strategy tools, this book will help any reader bridge the ‘theory-practice gap’ to produce results which really matter.’
Professor Linda Holbeche, Author of The High Performance Organisation, Centre for Leadership Innovation, University of Bedfordshire
"This book fills a gap in the strategy literature between toolkits, frameworks, implementation and the individual. Max Mckeown provides not only an array of fine examples from a wide range of organizations, but also challenges the reader by presenting strategy as both an everyday performance and as a down to earth art. It is a book which will appeal to practitioners and students alike and it provides a richness and a challenge to the often stultified frameworks which have come to characterise strategy".
Professor David Wilson, Author of Strategy: Analysis & Practice, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick
"Having worked with Max on innovation I had high expectations for The Strategy Book. In short - worth the wait, this is a great and truly helpful book which I fully expect to reference back to for years to come. Max has the ability to articulate clearly the challenges most organisations face in shaping their futures - and with consummate swagger, mixed with real life, powerful examples - guides you through strategic thinking relevant to not only today, but you and the job you do."
Geir Holmer, ex-Virgin Media , Independent Consultant
"After thoroughly enjoying (and benefiting greatly from) The Truth About Innovation, I was anxiously awaiting Max's next winner...and I think it's here! The Strategy Book totally demystifies 'strategy' for us non-MBA-types struggling to keep pace with the growing demands on our creativity and ability to lead from the front everyday...I look forward to this book hitting the shelves as I will be investing in a few copies for my team - material that we will refer to as a working guide to the strategic and planning process...and beyond! Another brilliant one from Max!!!"
Rahim Dawood, Manager, Systems and Technology
"This book is highly recommended reading and also a useful tool for military thinkers. It has a very good structure making it easy to embrace the powerful ideas inside.”
Harri Ohra-aho, Brigadier General of the Finnish Defence Forces
" If you want to become a better strategic thinker, read Max’s new book. Succinct and to-the-point, he captures the essence of strategy. With a passion and style all of his own, he connects insights from leading strategy gurus to successful practices in leading companies.”
Simon Collinson, Professor of Strategy, Henley Business School
"Max has his very own style of talking strategy - crossing all corporate and conventional boundaries. McKeown continues to walk the talk as a restless contributor for unconventional ideas. Follow the grandmaster of Innovation into new dimensions of strategy for the 21st century. A great book that’s also fun to read."
Jan-Henrik Andersson, Operations Director Metro AG
“I have not read every publication on strategy and now I don’t have to worry about that challenge anymore because I have just finished “The Strategy Book” and I feel confident that I will never find a better book on the subject. Let me get a little thesaurus-giddy for a moment – superb, excellent, splendid, authoritative, sure-footed, impressive, thorough, accessible, essential, etc, etc. I think you get the picture….Max McKeown has taken every aspect of strategy, maintained the seriousness of the subject, deconstructed it’s complexities and rebuilt his findings in a practical, no-nonsense way that makes his book unstuffy and easy to read. It is that rare thing, an academic book that informs and entertains in a universally appealing way….. As you plan and chart your way through life and career, “The Strategy Book” will always be a very good friend to you”.
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