Being Strategic : Plan for Success; Out-think Your Competitors; Stay Ahead of Change
STRATEGY? TACTICS? CONFUSED?
How many times have you sat in a meeting and heard someone use the word "strategic?"
As in: "We're not being very strategic about X." or "We need a strategic plan for project Y." And, if your organization is like most, everyone in the meeting nods wisely, the meeting drones on, people endlessly debate how to approach the situation at hand, with - generally - no one the wiser as to what "strategic" really means.
Next time, respond: "Being strategic means consistently making those core directional choices that will best move us toward our hoped-for future. Is this what we're doing?"
Everybody talks about strategy, but there is a big gap between discussing strategy, defining strategy and actually being strategic -- so you can accomplish something.
This book helps you approach business--and life--strategically, explaining what strategy is, why it's important, and how to do it. Being Strategic offers you a step-by-step model and skills for strategic thought and action that are broadly applicable and thoroughly practical:
� First, get clear about the problem you're trying to solve
� Then, figure out where you're starting from
� Now, imagine your "castle on the hill," the future you want to create.
� Identify the "trolls under the bridge"; the obstacles in your path
� Next, outline the path to the castle: your core strategies and the tactics for implementing them.
� Re-evaluate your strategy and your tactics as conditions change
Framed around the story of 13th-century Welsh nobles building an actual castle, and weaving in dozens of real-life examples from her practice, which has helped restaurateur Danny Meyer and many others, noted consultant Erika Andersen offers a complete course in turning around a business, or a life.
In this accessible but overly ambitious debut, top consultant Andersen walks readers through a step-by-step guide to strategic thinking and action. She describes the process of formulating and executing strategy through the historical example of the 800-year-old castle at Criccieth, a massive construction project envisioned and overseen by Welsh nobleman Llewellyn Fawr. Through an imaginary narrative of Llewellyn's conversations with his wife and peers, Andersen culls the process of strategic thinking: clearly defining the challenge and considering the potential obstacles before taking action. While the castle analogy is appealing and helpful, midway through the book Andersen introduces case studies of several imagined companies to illustrate additional points, leaving the reader to wonder what happened to Llewellyn and his castle. Andersen's strong voice and experience in strategy coaching comes through, but she confuses her business reader with personal growth messages. In the end, her valuable lessons are watered down as she attempts too much by extending her deliberate thinking process beyond the business world to Strategy as a Way of Life. (June)
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St. Martin's Press
May 25, 2009
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