Book Review #1: Your Strategy Needs A Strategy

Book Title: Your Strategy Needs A Strategy
ISBN: 978-1-62527-586-8
Publisher: Harvard Business Review

Written by three top Boston Consulting Group executives, “Your Strategy Needs A Strategy” is comprehensive review of the overall strategy implemented by modern business, including Facebook, Mars Inc, and Quintiles  The book is very well-organized from its structure, content and writing style. Additionally, it provides review of the five different strategy environments and five strategy archetypes (described below). It reviews through each strategy archetype- explaining their strategy approach in simplified charts, different regulations and situations faced by the proper companies, and how core ideas of the strategy environments made these companies choose their strategy, and how they succeed in difficult business situations.

Strategy Book
“Your Strategy Needs A New Strategy” is a top guide book to rebuilding, refocusing and revitalizing your business.

The book starts with the introduction of various strategies applied throughout the business between 1950s and 2014, explaining the five different strategy platforms that authors has established while at Boston Consulting Group. Some of these strategies include Five Cs, Ansoff Matrix, SWOT Analysis, Red Queen Effect, First-Mover Advantage, Value Innovation, Adaptive Advantage, Strategy Map and several other strategic approaches.

The book was written after conducting 25 in-depth interview of leading top companies CEOs, a detailed survey of 150 firms from industry ranging from banking, pharmaceuticals, tech companies, major Fortune 500 corporations, and evaluation of their strategies under different market environment.  It provides a strategy palette, which is a unifying choice frame in choosing the right strategy – The palette help leaders match their approach their strategy to the circumstances at hand and execute it effectively, to combine different approaches to cope with multiple or changing environments, as leaders, to animate the resulting collage of approaches. Each approach, in-depth, is reviewed from Chapter 2 to Chapter 8, exploring the following:

  • What defines and characterizes the approach
  • When to use it
  • How to apply the each successfully – how to formulate a strategy & execute it, with understanding of its implications for information management, innovation, culture, organization and leadership
  • Tips & Traps to guide the practical application of the approach

Under this book, the five different strategy environments are categorized as following:

  1. Classical:  “I can predict it, but I can’t change it”..
  2. Adaptive:  “I can’t predict it, and I cant’ change it”..
  3. Visionary:  “I can predict it, and I can change it”..
  4. Shaping:  “I can’t predict it, but I can change it”..
  5. Renewal:  “My resources are severely constrained”..

The author categorizes a company’s strategy into five archetypes, as shown below:

  1. Classic: Be Big
  2. Adaptive: Be Fast
  3. Visionary: Be First
  4. Shaping: Be the Orchestrator
  5. Renewal: Be Visible

I found this book well written toward various business professional. Not only the case studies were relevant to the development recent new companies, including 23andme and Facebook business framework, but also introduced world leading international brands, Huawei, Mahindra and Tata, along with classic business case study of Mars Inc in developing their competitive edges. The book had comprehensive information in its strategy formulation, illustrating strategy maps, comparison charts, case reviews, interviews from CEOs, and summary review checklist.

The most important takeaway is within its chapter 8, where as a manager or leader of an organization, what type of leader you can be: (1) The Diagnostician, (2) The Segmentor, (3) The Disruptor, (4) The Team Coach, (5) The Sales Person, (6) The Inquisitor, (7) The Antenna, and (8) The Accelerator. Under these 8 different types of managers, it shows how you, as a manager, can delegate and impact your organization.

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