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Strategy Bites Back

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Strategy Bites Back

It Is Far More, and Less, than You Ever Imagined

FT Prentice Hall,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Business strategy is not nearly as simple, straightforward or serious as you think. Try it with a twist.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


You’ve never read a business book quite like this one. Often with tongues planted firmly in cheek, authors Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Ahlstrand and Joe Lampel tap a variety of sources in illuminating the frequently nebulous topic of strategy. The essays, anecdotes and quotes are unique, insightful and sometimes humorous. And the book is not just nontraditional and cute: it also provides plenty of good, solid information on strategy. getAbstract recommends that you go ahead and take a big bite. Chew slowly and savor the flavor. It goes down easy.


"Strategic Thinking as ’Seeing’"

Some individuals have a special gift for being able to see what others can’t. They are called "visionaries." They are able to go deep into a gold mine and wade through all the muck to locate a shiny nugget that can be polished and perfected. It’s hard work. Visionaries have the ability to see in every direction, then conceptualize and formulate a plan of execution. They know where they want to go and where they’ve been. The key is not so much being able to predict trends as it is anticipating just when old patterns will become obsolete. Of course, visionary thinking is of little value if you are unable to execute your plans.

When visionaries allow their creative forces to "take over," they do not view obstacles as roadblocks, but merely as challenges. Once they solve the problem, they move forward without hesitation. Consider a typical advertising campaign. Ad executives hunch over a storyboard trying to come up with the perfect strategy to sell a car or a refrigerator. The logos are eye-catching, the campaign’s theme is slick and the client is enthusiastic. But as long as the ideas are not executed, the vision will not come to life...

About the Authors

Henry Mintzberg teaches management studies at McGill University and is the author of more than 130 articles on business strategy. He wrote Managers not MBAs. Bruce Ahlstrand teaches management at Trent University in Ontario. Joseph Lampel is associated with the Cass Business School, City University, London. They co-wrote Strategy Safari.

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