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The Mind of the Strategist

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The Mind of the Strategist

The Art of Japanese Business


15 мин на чтение
10 основных идей
Аудио и текст

Что внутри?

Classic Japanese business strategy starts with a very Zen idea: If you ask the right question, the answer will be clear.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


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.


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-beating firms have no formal processes of strategic planning, lean or nonexistent planning staffs and rudimentary technologies. With all these deficiencies, they still manage to penetrate new markets and establish dominance in a wide range of industries.

In fact, although Japanese companies don't usually have an army of strategic planners, they do have some remarkable strategic insights. Usually those insights reside in one person, often the person who founded the company, perhaps a man with scant formal education. Instead of a thorough grounding in analytical methodologies, this man usually has an intuitive understanding of how the market works and where the company must position itself. These insights are creative, usually unorthodox and often radically new.

This kind of strategic visionary leader is becoming obsolete. In both the East and the West, the pressure of organization...

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.

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