Summary of The Mind of the Strategist

The Art of Japanese Business

First Edition: 1982 more...

Buy the book

The Mind of the Strategist book summary
Classic Japanese business strategy starts with a very Zen idea: If you ask the right question, the answer will be clear.


9 Overall

9 Applicability

9 Innovation

9 Style


This book, first published in Japan in 1975, is a somewhat dated classic, since the first edition appeared at the high water mark of Japanese competitiveness. Japan's economic doldrums since 1990 probably ensure that few business people will emulate it now. In a way, the fact that the bloom is off Japan's chrysanthemum makes this book more useful and relevant than it was a quarter-century ago. Now that people aren't starry-eyed about Japan, it's possible to sort through the recommendations, take them with a grain of salt and find their deeper usefulness. The author is a famous McKinsey consultant, so the book is packed with charts and jargon. Ignore the jargon, the obsolete observations about how U.S. companies organize themselves and the anachronisms about Soviet-style central planning, now a relic. Focus instead on the examples and asides. getAbstract also notes that this is a must-read for anyone working in Japan or competing against Japanese companies, if only because so many Japanese managers give it to their new hires as part of their training programs.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Japanese business people think about strategy; and
  • How you should conceptualize and execute your strategy.


The Point of Beginning
Japanese companies have astounded the world with their competitive drive and success, so everyone wonders what their secret is. Surely such remarkable achievement must derive from some equally remarkable formula or insight. How paradoxical it is that these world-...
Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

About the Author

Kenichi Ohmae, a director at McKinsey & Company and co-leader of its strategy practice, has written several best-selling books on strategy and several scientific papers on nuclear engineering.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

By the same author

Contained in Knowledge Pack:

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category