Summary of The Strategy Book

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8 Overall

9 Applicability

7 Innovation

8 Style


Max McKeown, also the author of The Innovation Book among other strategy books, describes how to bring strategy out of the executive suite, off the shelves and into your business. Though oddly structured, his manual bursts with practical advice based on case studies and illustrated by more than two dozen strategic tools and models. McKeown advises that no strategy works unchanged for more than one organization. Thus, he urges you to adapt and change your strategies and your plans constantly to stay relevant in the face of external uncertainty and volatility. Aspiring leaders and strategists can use his good ideas and should appreciate his ability to steer them in the right direction, but may want to round out their planning by further investigating specific techniques, tools and models. getAbstract suggests that readers digest the book slowly, skipping ahead to read the descriptions of strategic tools and methods when the author first refers to them in earlier chapters. 

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to engage in strategic thinking,
  • Why you must temper careful planning with agility and
  • How you strategize your organization to sustained success.

About the Author

Max McKeown, PhD, who has a background in psychology and behavioral sciences, is a frequent public speaker on strategy. He also wrote #Now, The Innovation Book and Adaptability.



Think. Strategize. Plan.

Good strategy describes the best path to achieving your goals by maximizing the resources you have. Early examples include the strategies of the ancient Greek and Chinese militaries, notably, those of Sun Tzu, whose book The Art of War still influences corporate and military leaders. Some leaders approach strategy analytically, others creatively. The best strategists combine the two, emphasizing one or the other depending on their objectives and their situation. Don’t rely exclusively on any specific type of strategy. Instead, make your strategy fit your needs. Think before you plan, strategize or act. To think through your needs, consider your organization holistically, along with the challenges and opportunities it faces. Align your thoughts with the organization’s mission, aspirations and resources. Study outside events and conditions as well as internal factors. Involve as many of the people in your organization as possible – including critical external stakeholders – to gain diverse ideas and perspectives. Know your existing strategy. Read and reread your annual reports and strategic plans when available.

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