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Lords of Strategy: The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World Hardcover – Mar 3 2010
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This enjoyable book deserves consideration for your physical or virtual bookshelf.” The Journal of Product Innovation Management
I must say that you’ve written a great book that reads almost like a juicy tell all.” Consulting Magazine
Even though we are only 4 months into 2010, it is pretty likely this is going to be the best business book of the year for me. If you are considering, currently in, or recently graduated from, an MBA program, you really must read this book. If this book had been written 10 years ago, it would have saved me a good deal of trouble making my own career decisions.” RibbonFarm.com
Named one of 5 Smart Books” on the origins of the strategies SmartMoney.com
Kiechel has done a real service in bringing his subject to life. The book serves as a primer as well as a history, and as such almost any executive or B-school student would do well to pick it up.” The Conference Board Review
engaging book” - Strategy + Business
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If you are looking for a book that will give you insight into the strategy consulting world, this book is once again perfect.
Do not, however purchase this book if you are looking for strategies to become a better consultant, or you are looking for tips on strategy. This is not a book to give you strategy, this is a book that tells the story of how strategy consulting came to be. If you are looking to improve your consulting game, go read the McKinsey Way
He sees the best strategists as objective intellectuals who see patterns of evidence and put them through conceptual frameworks to produce pragmatic insights. This largely began in the sixties and seventies when strategy began to be systematized and integrated. Cost, customer and competitors were the three primary areas strategists looked for patterns to exploit. In the nineties, the practices were more fad-like including reengineering and total quality management. This was the era I practiced in and I felt like the lone voice extolling the virtue of a simple but robust strategic planning process. I jumped for joy when in June, 1997, BusinessWeek had on their cover, The Return of Strategic Planning: Once More With Feeling. Which was the pivot point for Taylorism-like monitoring and measurement processes becoming more humanistic and holistic in their design.
The author tells some great industry stories but what struck me is just how important the role of strategy and management consultants is to business. The influence that such a small number of people and firms have had on modern business is truly staggering.Read more ›
For You have considered my trouble;
You have known my soul in adversities,
And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a wide place." -- Psalm 31:7-8 (NKJV)
I haven't had this much fun reading a business book in many years, and never this much fun reading an intellectual history. Walter Kiechel has succeeded in capturing the detail of how strategy developed as an area of corporate focus while generously exhibiting the rich ironies involved.
If this is your first intellectual history, keep in mind that the purpose is to capture the progression of an idea, a concept, or a related series of perspectives. It's not easy to do, especially if much of the history isn't written down. The best method is to talk to a lot of people who were involved relatively near to the time that the developments occurred. The author appears to have done a very thorough job in this regard based on my experience with working in the Boston office of The Boston Consulting Group from 1971-1974 and interactions with many of the leading characters in the book during those years and since then.
I thought that the portrayal of Bruce Henderson was especially well done. Bruce was a man whom many people didn't understand. Working with him was certainly one of the most unusual challenges of my career.
The book is filled with little observations that land like bombshells for the unsuspecting. One of my favorites in the book was that only 4 percent of Harvard Business School alumni subscribe to the Harvard Business Review.Read more ›
The "lords" to which the book's title refers include Henderson, of course, as well as Bill Bain, Fred Gluck, and Michael Porter. Kiechel devotes a separate chapter to each and frequently refers to all of them throughout his lively narrative. Moreover, he also discusses the significance of several others who - to varying degree - also participated in the "invention" of corporate strategy.Read more ›
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