Item description for Essential Managers: Strategic Thinking by Andy Bruce & Ken Langdon...
Overview Concise treatment of dozens of business techniques, approaches, skills, methods, and problems are presented with numerous photos and charts.
Publishers Description The four new guides in this best-selling series are ideal for managers at every level. These compact references -- the most accessible single-subject business guides on the market -- demonstrate techniques and skills useful in any work environment.
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Studio: DK ADULT
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.99" Width: 4.99" Height: 0.24" Weight: 0.3 lbs.
Release Date Aug 15, 2000
Publisher DK Adult
ISBN 0789459728 ISBN13 9780789459725
Availability 0 units.
More About Andy Bruce & Ken Langdon
Bruce is the founder and chief executive of SofTools Limited, a management consulting and software company. He has a general business background, and has spent the last 10 years helping a variety of organizations to redefine strategic direction and implement change programs.
Reviews - What do customers think about Essential Managers: Strategic Thinking?
Basic, essential, and very well-presented Jun 26, 2007
During a recent business trip, I stopped by an airport store and saw a display of several volumes of the "Essential Managers" series. I purchased this one as well as John Seymour and Martin Shervington's Maximizing Performance, read both while en route home and was surprised, frankly, to find each to be remarkably comprehensive within a 69-page narrative. Obviously, the subject of strategic thinking is vast and complicated. No single book could possibly cover everything, nor do Bruce and Langdon make any such claim. What they offer is a focus on fundamentals, as do the volumes that comprise the Harvard Business Essentials series.
First, Bruce and Langdon share their definition of strategy, examine the strategic process, suggest how to balance pursuit of both short- and long-term goals, prepare for strategic success, and anticipate what may lie ahead. Next, they explain how to analyze the given situation in terms of influences, customers, competition, and the given organization's available resources (e.g. the skills and capabilities of its people). Then Bruce and Langdon focus on the strategic planning process itself (definition of purpose, determination of competitive advantage, setting of operational boundaries, selection of points of emphasis, and estimation of probable costs of implementation. They conclude with a series of observations and suggestions concerning strategy implementation.
As I read this book, I was again reminded of Oliver Wendell Holmes' comment, "I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity." To me, that comment suggests the essential value of the "Essential Managers" series, at least of the two volumes I have read thus far. Here's another point. What Bruce and Langdon have to say about the fundamentals of strategic thinking is consistent with what other experts on the subject suggest, notably Peter Drucker, Henry Mintzberg, and Michael Porter. As I read this book, I was also reminded of what Drucker observed in 1963: "There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all."
However different they may be in every other respect, all under-performing organizations fail to formulate an appropriate strategy and/or do not implement it effectively. One key word is "appropriate" because a strategy that was appropriate only a few years ago (or yesterday) may no longer be appropriate now. Another other key word is "effectively." With all due respect to the importance of knowing what to do and how to do it, former Texas football coach Darrell Royal is right: "potential" means "you ain't done it yet." Credit Andy Bruce and Ken Langdon with providing a remarkably comprehensive discussion of what to do and how to do it. It remains for those who read their book to apply what they have learned.
I wish I had this book when I was a young corporate rat. Mar 13, 2001
I bought this book actually out of curiosity. It was pocket-size, and also visually very appealing. After perusing it, I have this feeling that this book is more intended for very young executives and/or new supervisors.
In terms of basic steps, the book is just fine. In a nutshell, there are some two dozen of "strategic thinking" topics, which have been artfully rolled into the 72 brightly designed and easy-to-read pages, studded along the way with colurful boxed tips, 101 of them to be exact. It is designed for easy reading. There is even a simple but fun test at the end pages.
Highly recommended for all beginners into the management field, as well as for older kids, who wants to learn how to think strategically. I wish I had this book when I was a young corporate rat.
For a deeper treatment on the subject, I would suggest a quick browse of books in my Strategic Thinking Bookshelf (listmania).