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Download The Lords of Strategy: The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World epub

by Walter Kiechel III,Robertson Dean

Imagine running a business without a strategy. It would be akin to driving blindfolded, to building a house without a blueprint. Yet just fifty years ago business “plans” were mere extrapolations of the status quo, heedless of the forces that determine the fate of today’s organizations: competitive threats, customer needs and business costs. The concept of strategy changed all that, paving the way for the creation of the modern corporate world.

The Lords of Strategy recounts the birth and evolution of strategy―arguably the most influential business paradigm of the past half century―and the trials and triumphs of the surprising disruptors who invented it. Principal among them were four men―Bruce Henderson, founder of the Boston Consulting Group; Bill Bain, creator of Bain & Company; Fred Gluck, longtime managing director of McKinsey & Company; and Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter―each obsessed with pinpointing how companies achieve competitive advantage over others. This insider account reveals the industry’s pioneers as “idea junkies”: a new breed of intellectuals who wielded concepts as weapons for fighting business battles. Their relentless efforts to plumb the depths of competition exploded much of the prevailing wisdom, galvanized executives into action, and forced companies to understand themselves as never before.

An important audiobook by one of management’s keenest observers, The Lords of Strategy provides listeners with a deeper understanding of the world they compete in, and a sharper eye for what works―and what doesn’t―when forging strategy.

Download The Lords of Strategy: The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World epub
ISBN: 144187237X
ISBN13: 978-1441872371
Category: Business
Subcategory: Management & Leadership
Author: Walter Kiechel III,Robertson Dean
Language: English
Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Library edition (September 8, 2010)
ePUB size: 1187 kb
FB2 size: 1749 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 302
Other Formats: mbr mobi lit lrf

As a history of the evolution of ideas and concepts that make much of strategy oriented discussions in modern enterprises, the book succeeds in building an engaging narrative of how strategy as an intellectual pursuit has driven the development of consulting firms over the past century. Once you complete reading this book, you'll understand and appreciate how the latest bestseller book/theme in strategy often stands on the shoulders of people with profound ability to borrow ideas and simplify them.

I do wish that the book went beyond the idea that Strategy is a vocation will go further into a metamodel of how people make or break organizations and markets. For a book written post 2008 , we hear less of how the lords of strategy ( past and those evolving now) understand the impact of widespread access to information and data as well as the ability to rapidly process information to develop and prove/disprove hypotheses.

However, the book is an absolute must-read for anyone with an interest in the profession of strategic planning and strategy consulting.
This is an exhaustive and thorough examination of the history and development of strategy in corporate america. It provides a complete framework for the examination of the various tools and techniques the large consulting firms use, who created them and why they came to exist. A must-read for any strategy practitioner serious about understanding the tools she is using.

From a pure history perspective, this book is fantastic. It does not seek to impart to the reader an ability to develop or apply strategy, rather it gives the practitioner a solid understanding of where the tools came from and how their use has evolved.

Unfortunately, it appears the author was not writing to a general business audience as his use of words found only in the higher reaches of academia and references to obscure social contexts will drive many readers away. The author clearly posses a strong command of the english language, I prefer books where it is used to enhance readability.

I would have rated the book 4 stars but the choice of obscure words and references brings this book back to a 3 star rating from me.
There's a select audience for this business book, but anyone who has a interest in the history of business strategy will find this book very interesting. The reason for 4 stars versus 5 is that I am racking my brain to find a lot of useful and applicable information in the book to help me become better at building a strategy. In my MBA class I was looking for some pearls of wisdom from the book but some of the best tips are the books that are referenced in this one. In summary, if you are very interested in the history of the strategy business, you will love this book.
This book has been four years in my bookshelf but earlier I only had read the preface. The book puts the well-known methods of strategy in historic context and describes how they have been developed as well as the people behind them. It also describes the stories of some big consultancy firms. There are many other summaries, but here are lots of anecdotes and even humour, the book is fun.
I'm not going to describe the content by rewriting, just some of the impressions and conclusions I got from it.
The author says not much has happened since the 1990s. Strategy has lost at least some of its relevance and attraction.
The book reaffirms my long-time perception (as a consultant) that strategy as we have learnt to know it is a tired discipline. It lives the era of Brezhnevian stagnation. Not all, maybe half of it is obsolete even toxic, waste of money and time, like in advertising, but which half? On the other hand, huge and fast value migrations prove that there is a need for something new that timeshifts and teleports the ideas of the 1970s to the reality of the 2010s.
But unlike the author, I think much has happened in the last twenty or so years, there is a tacit "new strategy" but still as a patchwork of fragmented ideas, nobody has yet written a big synthesis, like Michael Porter wrote on "classic strategy" a generation ago. "New strategy" is still pieces of rock in need of sculptor and glue.
Concepts and pragmatic tools - one-pagers such as the growth-share matrix, the five forces framework and the value chain aka business system - have been formative to strategy and legitimated it. In the 1960s, the big issues to be solved were portfolio and positioning, due to deregulation, antitrust legislation and growth. In the 1980s and 1990s the issues were process management and execution. I guess today the big issue is digital transformation. The author searches for a new strategy of the 2000s in four dimensions, risk management (in the aftermath of the 2007 financial crisis), networking and boundaries, purpose, and people.
My other perception is how shaky the foundations of "classic strategy" are. The chair needs more legs. Maybe, in addition to economics, "new strategy" must look more at technology together with system and complexity theories.
A common explanation of the diminishing relevance is the increased dynamics. There is very little about dynamics in "classic strategy". I guess this should be seen as a methodological challenge and as an increased need instead of lost relevance. Something "new" is needed, more practical than "disruption", and it must handle dynamics and technology with entrepreneurial people.
The only critique is that - probably due to the journalistic background of the author - in some places the writing style is long, curly and unstructured. For a non-English and maybe not so intellectual reader like me some words are too rare. This is like fine dining and slow food when I expect fast food that comes from a clear menu. But now I also understand why some articles in Harvard Business Review have been similar, as the author writes, they have been ghostwritten by journalists.