Review of Strategy That Works

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Rating

9 Overall

9 Applicability

9 Innovation

9 Style


Review

The authors of this extraordinarily well-written, clear and concise strategy and leadership guide share a rare grasp of prose, sentence structure, emphasis and readability. Thus, a round of applause to Paul Leinwand, the global managing director of capabilities-driven strategy and growth with Strategy& (the consulting arm of PwC) and to former Strategy& global CEO Cesare Mainardi, writing with Art Kleiner, author of The Age of Heretics

Their stellar prose at times slows the reading in the best possible way. In the opening chapters, many sentences, however simple and easy to read, nonetheless lay out complex theses that require the reader to stop and think. The authors present complex ideas with unusual clarity unmarred by jargon. getAbstract recommends this sound, readable, applicable counsel to pretty much everyone running or starting a business of any size.

About the Authors

Paul Leinwand, the global managing director of capabilities-driven strategy and growth at Strategy&, also co-authored Cut Costs and Grow Stronger and The Essential Advantage. Cesare Mainardi, who held senior leadership positions with Booz Allen Hamilton, is the former global CEO of Strategy&. Both are adjunct professors at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Art Kleiner wrote The Age of Heretic and Who Really Matters, and is on the faculty at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

 

After their gripping early chapters, the authors disappointingly present the same case studies that most business or strategy books seem to cite. Any business reader should be already well versed in the tactics of such exemplars as IKEA, Natura, Apple, and several others among the usual suspects. Perhaps this book would have greater immediate utility without all its examples – including these familiar touchstones – but the authors have their audience to consider. A more condensed work might not serve business students and professors, executives and entrepreneurs as well as this does. And, even if you’ve seen the descriptions of these familiar firms before, the authors find the specific facets of each case history that tellingly support the book’s core ideas.

The authors don’t so much start their book at the end as they end the book with its beginning. Usually, business authors use the end of the book to reframe their message. Instead, here the wrap-up offers a call to action. The book presents the following valuable lessons and highlights:


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