Summary of Strategic Renaissance

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Strategic Renaissance book summary


8 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style


Evan Matthew Dudik says businesses do not select their strategies based on scientific thinking, but on anecdotal evidence. This trend has contributed to the explosion of new and changing ideas about what businesses should do. The resulting churn of activity is reflected in the many different approaches that books and consultants advocate. Dudik calls for a return to building and testing theories scientifically, arguing that no one-size-fits-all business strategy exists. Instead, managers should create and test hypotheses to determine an effective approach. Dudik also suggests applying effective warfare strategies and tactics to business. Overall, this is a fairly innovative, refreshing take on developing strategies, although presumably market research is set up to do some of this testing. Paradoxically, Dudik’s battlefield analogy seems like one more use of anecdotal evidence to bolster a theory. Generally, however, recommends this thoughtful, helpful book, noting that its primary strength lies in explaining the use of scientific methodology to test business presumptions.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why a list of successful companies that use a particular strategy does not prove the effectiveness of a strategy;
  • How scientific thinking and methodology can help correct errors in assessing strategies; and
  • How to create a successful strategy.

About the Author

Evan Matthew Dudik is the president of Evan M. Dudik & Associates, a consulting firm in Vancouver, Washington. He was a company president, a McKinsey and Co. consultant and a lobbyist. His articles on corporate strategy have appeared in The Wall Street Journal and The Journal of Business Strategy He received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas.



Corporate Stargazing
Most corporate strategy today is based on a thought process similar to that used by devotees who defend astrology by citing occasions in which someone’s horoscope came true. You cannot prove a theory by using examples. You can prove a theory using scientific testing...

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