Business Book Review

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Reinventing Strategy - by Willie Pietersen - Reading Suggestions & CONTENTS

Reading Suggestions & CONTENTS
About the Author

Reading Suggestions

Reading Time: 14-16 Hours, 288 Pages in Book

Due to the fact that Reinventing Strategy was published in 2002, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with it. If so, then you’re probably also aware of the three critical leadership questions the book addresses: (1) What is the environment in which our organization must compete and win? (2) What are those few things our organization must do outstandingly well to win and go on winning in this environment? (3) How will we mobilize our organization to implement these things faster and better than our competitors? In an economic environment that has become increasingly merciless over the past two years, these issues are even more pressing now than they were then.

Thus, we suggest that if even if you’ve already read Reinventing Strategy, these turbulent times represent the perfect time to revisit it as a means of kick-starting the Strategic Learning process you may have put on the back burner two years ago. If this is the case, or if this is your maiden voyage, you will want to read the book from start to finish in the order presented. As Pietersen notes, Strategic Learning is a self-reinforcing cycle that combines learning, strategy, and leadership into one organic process that, in its entirety, offers an effectively innovative way of leading companies. “The key to success [and to realizing its full benefits] is to think of it as a holistic, emergent process.” And, this requires a complete, methodical reading of the work.

If you need to revitalize your Strategic Learning process because it has become stalled (due to lack of attention), or if you merely want to fine-tune particular phases that need a bit of tweaking for better results, you can perhaps get by, reading specific chapters. If this is the approach you take, please take time to read the acknowledgements, foreword, prologue, introduction, and the last chapter, “Creating an Environment for Success” in their entirety. We would also suggest that you read all of the case studies throughout the work (they’re clearly marked). They do an excellent job of illustrating the effectiveness of Pietersen’s methodology in real-life situations, they demonstrate the practical procedures of implementation, and they will alert you to some of the important material you might overlook by skipping and skimming.

With that said, we must emphasize that we don’t recommend this approach. Pietersen is rare find—an articulate writer with the uncommon ability to write with a simplicity that is never simplistic and to distill volumes of conceptual analysis into pithy and compelling one-sentence (and/or paragraph) essentials that bring much needed clarity to critical business issues. Thus, his book deserves (to borrow a concept from noted theologian Marcus J. Borg) to be read again for the first time so as to give your organization and yourself the opportunity to stay ahead of the curve and achieve superior breakthrough performance again and again.

Chapter 1: The New Playing Field
Chapter 2: The Challenge of Change
Chapter 3: The Search for an Answer
Chapter 4: The Strategic Learning Process
Chapter 5: Winning the Battle for Insight
Chapter 6: Defining Your Focus
Chapter 7: Aligning the Organization
Chapter 8: Transforming the Culture
Chapter 9: Overcoming Resistance to Change
Chapter 10: Implementing and Experimenting
Chapter 11: Strategic Learning as a Path to Personal Growth
Chapter 12: Creating an Environment for Success


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