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I want to qualify my review by saying I come from an advertising strategy background so was looking for something different - more craft, process and principles. There are some, but much of the book is long histories and case studies of business practice, which may be great for many readers but wasn't really for me.
Has some useful points that I will take forward- however some weren't that new to me as I have luckily been introduced to strategies being action based before through university. I skipped quite a few pages when it was using examples as I was interested in learning the main points rather than pages of examples from the cold war or a business. It probably depends how you learn as some people may find the examples more useful than me.
Like a lot of these types of books the real content is rather thin. This is beefed up with lots of retrospective examples used to prove the points being made. (If a good strategy is so obvious and mechanical, why don't all companies just do it and get it right?)
There is one glaring error with the description of the demise of the computer systems (service) engineer. The role being described disappeared because computers became more reliable and it was not cost effective/ necessary to maintain systems at component/ board level. Integration of computer systems is a complex and skilled job and still exists!! Computers do not as a norm integrate themselves.
I would recommend this book although with a few words of caution. After a strong first chapter the book descends into an indulgent sets of stories from the author burying the insights with too many words. The book would benefit with some editing and focus on its messages.
There is some really great content in this book. It has certainly given me food for thought I will carry forward when developing and contributing to strategy.
However, I can’t give it 5 stars, because I found the author’s narcissistic writing just plain irritated me. He puts down the executives of several manor blue chips through the book, quite unnecessarily. Based on the way, he openly slates organisations I’d think twice before engaging him as a consultant. It might have been valuable if he’d also shared some good examples of strategies others had developed and not just his own.
This has some strong points to make and its core messages of independent thought and strategy as hypothesis are genuinely interesting and valuable insights. However they are put across largely through case studies of "bad strategy," most of which are very lengthy and technical and warrant skimming, and though it makes sense to draw from his own extensive experience it can often read like he is just stressing that he is right and everybody else is wrong. Some of his "storytelling" is truly cringing. This is largely focussed on manufacturing, which the blurb did not make clear, and the focus of its case studies make it hard to apply the thought to anything other than the large scale companies he talks of. Valuable insights but be prepared to skim