Competent strategic thinkers are exceptions to the rule and rare in the business world, writes executive coach Greg Githens. Aiming to change that, his new, comprehensive playbook How to Think Strategically is excellent and insightful, coming with a healthy dose of authoritative advice and a multitude of examples.
Delving into the nature, purpose, and scope of strategic thinking, the text combines theory with practice and offers specific, actionable tips for becoming a competent strategic thinker. Several of its concepts are memorable, delivered through straightforward lists that include the “Four X-Factors of Strategic Thinking” and the “Twelve Microskills of Strategic Thinking.” Each element of every list is explained in clear and thorough terms.
In-depth case studies draw upon a wide and unusual variety of figures, including Christopher Columbus, Oakland A’s strategist Billy Beane, and IBM executive Lou Gerstner. Gerstner’s example—he led “one of the most remarkable business turnarounds in history”—spans two chapters and illustrates the striking difference between strategic and tactical decisions. It also incorporates a number of the strategic principles discussed in the book.
Several charts and tables help explain various aspects of strategic thinking, and the writing is clear and concise, while its engaging imagery—one chapter describes “Shoulder Angels” representing “dullness” and “sharpness”—distinguishes it among business books.
Careful in its research and organized in a logical fashion, How to Think Strategically is a deft business text. Both effective and complete, the guide is convincing, pushing its readership toward success and toward becoming a more skilled leader. It will be of significant value to senior executives and managers alike.
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