I love this book. Its short, its simple to read and it cuts through the bullshit and cuts straight to the chase (just like what it promised on the intro). I also love my coffee moments with a brand new book, so I though it would be a need idea to have my own 'Executive book summary' postings. Here goes.
Smart people and gurus have been writing about management for close to 100 years by now, and they've offered virtually every 'solutions' to just about every darn business problems. Yet still the most common question STILL being asked everyday around the world is:
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHAT TO DO ...AND HOW DO YOU GET IT DONE?
If you are very very busy to grab the book, and want to learn the main pointers in a jiffy. Read this summary.
- Over time, companies have to adapt to their environment. Some of what works today will work for some time into the future; some things need to be abandoned fast. The challenge is to decide what to keep doing and what to change.
- If you don't make a difference, you don't matter.
- You cannot make a diference to everyone. Find your niche!
- As a strategist, you have 3 basic tasks: (1) to choose what to focus and how to move faster long the value path than your competitors, (2) to persuade a critical mass of key people to support you so that it actually happens and (3) to build capacity for the future.
- You two best weapon - imagination and spirit of your people.
- Business is about relationships. Its a conversation between stakeholders. So organizations are "managed conversations". Use strategic conversations as the ultimate source of competitive advantage. This is the pivotal leadership task.
- If you intend to inspire a business revolution, involved people in 'big conversation." Spend more time in the trenches not in your ivory tower. Be with the walkers (or better runners!) not the talkers.
- Strategy is change management. Thinking and doing are tightly interwined. To separate, it is better not to do any at all.
- Your business logic must make sense. If common sense does not prevails, your organization will not survive for long.
- Th future will see a race to create innovative business models. Delivering superior value requires the reinvention of everything you do and the way you do everything.
- Forget about changing the culture of the organization. Focus on action as that will change 'the way we do things around here" faster than anything.
Manning structred the whole book in a step by step manner as any strategic planning process do (yawn....) but the above is the key summary which I find is the main highlights.
In The Art of War, Sun Tzu devoted the entire chapter three for planning, which is what this book is talking about. But if we were to plan for the unknown tomorrow, we will have many questions. The wise way to solve an unknown tomorrow is to keep on asking more and more questions. And Manning says its well when he quote "the first answer is seldom the only one or the best", so keep diggin and godspeed.