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The 101 for formulating a sound business strategy
am 17. Oktober 2013
A tremendously informative book. Trust me, this is one of the most fundamental and no-nonsense business books on strategy. Sure business and management literature on strategy does fill whole libraries, but there is probably not a single book that explains in straight forward language, supported by believable and verifiable examples, how strategy formulation is done. The value of this book can't be stressed enough! It is a non-academic manual how to approach the process of strategy formulation. Lafely and Martin tell us, what strategy is and what it isn't. Strategy is about winning, winning in your "playground", which is the business area you chose to act and "play" in. And this brings you directly to the underlying principle of strategy: strategy is about choice, it is about your deliberate decision what to do and what not to do. To formulate your business strategy the authors present a cascade of "5 choices", which you have to go through and make, in order to become successful. You have to formulate a "winning aspiration" as a start. Then you have to decide "where to play" and "how to win". You have to think about and determine what your "core capabilities" are and which "management systems" to have in place to see your strategy implemented and working to plan. But this is not all, Lafely and Martin offer a framework and an approach to actually engage your management team to build a strategy from scratch. When you read through this book, you realize this to be a perfect manual with all the positive and also sometimes negative examples, where things either turned out as planed or sometimes not and the reasons behind it. What I liked most about this book is the understatement. The authors do not say: do this or that and follow our way and you will be successful. They rather advice us that the presented framework and "playbook" will help you to shorten the odds for failure in a general very competitive and volatile business environment. You will also realize that applying the framework to your company will be a longer process and hard work, and success will not come overnight. But as P&G has been tremendously successful over the last decade, one realizes that there is a lot of sound "strategic" advice in this book. Definitely 5 stars.