Be Your Own Strategy Consultant

Demystifying Strategic Thinking — The Cunning Plan

Laura Brown, Tony Grundy

Publisher: Thomson, 2002, 447 pages

ISBN: 1-86152-980-5

Keywords: Consulting, Strategy

Last modified: Sept. 14, 2009, 9:41 a.m.
  • What is strategic thinking?
  • What is its real value?
  • What happens if we don't do it?
  • How can it advance your career?

The Answers to these questions can be found in this accessible book which guides you through the complex maze of strategic thinking.

This comprehensive book explains in clear terms exactly why strategy matters and how best to translate strategic ideas into reality, allowing you to become your own strategy consultant, and drive strategy from within. Written by two experienced strategy consultants, this easily digestible guide uses examples from contemporary business to define strategy and show how to make it count. Features include:

  • Comprehensive guide to analysis and option generation, including the applications and drawbacks of each strategic technique
  • Step-by-step explanation of the implementation process
  • Questions and exercises showing you how to use your strategic tools and test your learning
  • Views on the value of strategic thinking taken from interviews with senior managers and directors
  • Case studies on managing strategic change at major companies (including Dyson, BMW, Rover and Marks and Spencer)
  • Guide to applying strategic ideas when managing projects

This is essential reading for any strategic manager who needs to get to grips with strategy and strategic thinking, and will also be especially useful reading for MBA students (and will be indispensable for all MBA projects).

  • Part One Demystifying Strategic Thinking
    • Chapter One
      Demystifying Strategic Thinking
  • Part Two Everyday Strategic Analysis
    • Chapter Two
      Demystifying Strategic Analysis, Part 1: The External Environment
    • Chapter Three
      Demystifying Strategic Analysis, Part 2: Strategic Positioning
    • Chapter Four
      Creative Options and Breakthrough Strategic Choice
    • Chapter Five
      Demystifying Implementation
    • Chapter Six
      Valuing Strategic Thinking, Part 1: The Academics
    • Chapter Seven
      Valuing Strategic Thinking, Part 2: The Managers
  • Part Three Managing Strategic Change
    • Chapter Eight
      Strategic Change at Champney's Health Resort
    • Chapter Nine
      Case Study: Creating Improved Performance at Marks and Spencer
    • Chapter Ten
  • Part Four Strategy in Practice
    • Chapter Eleven
      Strategic Behaviour and the Strategy Process
    • Chapter Twelve
      Becoming Your Own Strategy Consultant
    • Chapter Thirteen
      Managing a Strategic Project
    • Chapter Fourteen
      Conclusion: Everyday Strategic Planning (or ESP)
    • Appendix I
      Acquisition Evaluation: Operations Due Diligence
    • Appendix II
      Managing the Acquisition


This is worthwhile reading!

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Very Good ******** (8 out of 10)

Last modified: May 21, 2007, 3:18 a.m.

This is a very ambitious book, that partly meets its goals of being a practical strategy book with implementation advice, all while trying to demystify the concepts of strategy. Unfortunately, it is only some 400 odd pages, when it should have been around 2.000-3.000 to be able to fulfill its ambitions. The reduction in pages, means that some important/well-known concepts are ignored and that the explanations becomes too short to help someone that hasn't been through a strategy course already.

Still, this is not a bad book, even though it doesn't live up to its ambitions. I would recommend any newly minted MBA or anyone that hasn't been practising strategy yet, to read it. I found it enjoyable myself as well, even though some glaring omissions (in my view) is very apparent at even a cursory reading.


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