"There are strategy tools and processes that can help, but the real heart of strategy is the strategist. It's what you know, how you think, and how you get people to care enough about what you are doing to achieve your goals."That's from McKeown's new publication "The Strategy Book: How to Think and Act Strategically to Deliver Outstanding Results". McKeown is a British management consultant who has written several well-received books on business innovation, leadership and culture. His latest effort is split into 6 parts:
- Your strategic self.
- Thinking like a strategist.
- Creating your strategy.
- Winning with strategy.
- Making your strategy work.
- The Strategy Book tool kit.
Part 6 is different, comprising 28 snapshots of leading strategy tools, ranging from SWOT analysis, through Porter's 5 forces, to Kaplan & Norton's balanced scorecard, with a few exotic ones thrown in. Each snapshot is less than 2 pages long, and neatly covers the gist of how to use the tool. McKeown's comments on some tools drew a knowing nod from me (eg. the BCG matrix).
Overall, McKeown has done a good job bringing together what is effectively a strategy course in one book. I do have a few thoughts for him if he decides to put out a revised second edition:
- Use more anecdotes and war stories to illustrate the messages and tools. Explain a little more how they're relevant. And use more mid-size company examples; tales from IBM or Walmart are not always helpful or relevant to the leader in a company of 50-500 people.
- Leave the rigid chapter structure until part 3; it's slightly distracting in the earlier sections.
Disclosure: Isambard receives commissions from Amazon for purchases made through links from this website, but that doesn't influence my opinions.