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The New Strategic Thinking

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The New Strategic Thinking

Pure and Simple


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

To develop a strategy for your business, you must learn to predict the future – without a crystal ball or tarot cards.

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Editorial Rating



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Author and consultant Michel Robert has tested his process for strategy development over the course of two decades of business experience. His method involves taking advantage of the overall knowledge of your company’s executives and involving them in developing strategy, turning them into stakeholders in the company’s future. His book is both a guide to the process and a collection of case studies of companies that have used this approach, ranging from insurance providers to heavy equipment manufacturers and developers of advanced weapons systems. Not surprisingly, Robert champions his proprietary process and often crosses the line into selling rather than teaching. Nevertheless, getAbstract finds that this can be a valuable handbook for the CEO who is considering how to set a strategic direction for growth.


Projecting the Future, in Five Varieties

Companies such as Caterpillar, Johnson & Johnson, GE and IBM, as well as newer entrants such as FedEx, Microsoft and Southwest, have succeeded in creating value over many years because their boards and senior executives have developed solid conceptual frameworks for making business decisions. They are simply more accomplished at thinking strategically than executives at companies that do not endure as long. Such successful strategic thinkers use a deliberate process that leaders can apply to any business in any industry. Utilizing this process requires you to assess the future and to discern what sorts of events could affect your business in the coming months, years and even decades.

Five types of projections can give you a sense of what the future landscape will look like:

  1. "The future ahead" - A projection based on your present circumstances.
  2. "The future beyond" - A projection of how the business environment may change within certain easily "predictable boundaries."
  3. "The future behind" - A projection based on historical patterns.
  4. "The future around...

About the Author

Michel Robert is a strategy consultant and founding partner of an international consulting firm. He is the author of Product Innovation and Strategy Pure & Simple: How Winning Companies Outpace Their Competitors.

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