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This is the only strategy book that you and your teams will ever need – a self-contained framework in a book.
It will take you from the basics and fundamentals of strategy to a level of depth that even experienced executives will find relevant and useful.
STRATEGY FOR EXECUTIVES
Strategy for Executives is a self-contained strategy framework which introduces the core concepts of business strategy and its implementation tools from scratch, so that you don’t need any previous knowledge or experience.
The book is based on the author’s more than 15 years of real-life experience working for two Fortune 500 companies, complemented by extensive multiyear research which included a number of specializations in multiple business fields. The idea is to build your strategy knowledge from the ground up through a “unified” framework, avoiding the confusion that comes from learning this complex but critical subject from multiple sources.
The Building Blocks of Strategy
We begin our journey from the very start with a contemporary definition of what strategy means nowadays, explaining with real-life examples the clear distinctions that exist between the strategy at the business level, and in a company that owns multiple business units. We also introduce ten fundamental rules that must support the strategy of any business, and describe the three plans that you need to implement these rules. This chapter lays the groundwork for a solid understanding of the more advanced concepts in the following chapters.
In this chapter, we explain the underlying mechanics of profit creation, establishing important clarifications about value, profits, profitability and how they relate to your strategy, introducing fundamental concepts that are critical such as Value Propositions, Value Chains and Business Models. This chapter also provides you with a fresh take on classic concepts like Economies of Scale and Learning Curves, introducing new concepts along the way that tie into other lessons such as Value Networks.
We open the second part of the book, introducing Strategic Positioning as the only path to “defendable profitability” and explaining how companies can only achieve this by offering differentiated products or lower relative prices than competing alternatives. We also introduce the use of Perception Maps to track the results of market efforts and adjust the strategy accordingly, and explain how to use sales and distribution channels as an extension of the product to help increase demand and sales.
In this chapter we explore business strategy in a dynamic context and start by understanding the underlying drivers that lead to the “commoditization” of your products and services. We also explain in detail the process to find and protect a defendable market position, and provide some insights to explain the loss of relevance of some of your brands. In this chapter we also explore how companies like IBM, Walmart, Netflix and UPS are using data analytics to create superior profitability.
From Market to Operations
Here we explore the operational side of your strategy and explain how your business’s value chain can become an effective barrier against commoditization, at the same time that we introduce some ideas to help you keep alignment between marketing and operations. We also discuss the decisions that you need to make with respect to which activities should remain part of your company’s operations and which others should be outsourced, introducing a framework that you can use to test the defensibility of your market strategy from an operational standpoint.
Growing the Core
We start the third part of the book describing a number of ways to grow your core businesses, followed by the introduction of a few less conventional paths to growth that some companies have been able to implement successfully, including the creation of complementary products and the “productization” of your value chain to offer the things that you excel at as services to other companies. We also provide a description of the multiple ways in which you can enter international markets, and then dive into the optimization of earnings, exploring innovative ways to increase your revenues through non-conventional pricing and business models, and through the optimization of your business’s operations.
Creating New Products and Services
This chapter will take your growth efforts into a whole new dimension with the introduction of a number of frameworks to help you improve your existing products, develop new ones and even create entirely new markets. This is a meaty chapter that starts with a condensed description of Clayton Christensen’s “disruption” model, which sets the stage to explore innovative ways that you can start using today to create customer value around existing and non-existing markets.
We start this chapter with a clarification of common misconceptions about profits, cash and assets. We discuss the cash management disciplines that help great CEOs deliver superior performance for their shareholders, and the metrics that you should use to track the financial success of YOUR strategy. We also introduce a capital allocator toolkit with the ten financial levers that you can use to create shareholder value, and provide you with a concise framework to evaluate your capital allocation decisions.
Making Strategy Happen
This chapter introduces the building blocks of a solid execution system and provides you with specific guidelines for the design of your organization to improve your ability to implement the strategy and track its performance. We cover this system step by step, and towards the end of the chapter we explore the management of key stakeholders in some detail, as well as the creation of powerful coalitions where you work with other companies, including competitors, to get things done in your industry.
The Human Factor
In this chapter, we explore the people side of your company, discussing the role of A-players and providing a few recommendations to help you create high-performing organizations. Through a series of short lessons, this chapter discusses a number of areas that are critical for strategy such as corporate culture and governance, and explores activities that can help you achieve your strategic goals more effectively such as the internalization of consulting services and the in-house training of your staff.
“This is the only strategy book that you’ll ever need”
This book has been written so that you don’t need any previous knowledge of strategy or business experience, as it will gradually take you from the basics to a level of depth that even experienced executives find powerful and useful.
The final result is a concise guide that will help you understand and build a winning strategy from the ground up, supported by numerous examples of modern organizations including General Electric, Amazon, Netflix, HBO, NextEra Energy, Kodak, Google, GoPro, McKinsey and Co., Rolls Royce, Walmart, Uber, Align Technology, United Parcel Service (UPS), FedEx, Sony, IBM, Dr Pepper Snapple, Square, and Procter and Gamble among others.
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The only strategy book that you and your teams will ever need – a self-contained framework in a book.