This is probably the best strategy book I have read. It is clear – the book does not complicates the already complex topic, but explains it. The book also exposes misconception about large organizations not having a strategy at all and resorting to calling desired goals a strategy. Absence of strategy is not a bad strategy; it is… no strategy.
A few quotes from the book/book site:
Good strategy is rare. Many organizations which claim to have a strategy do not. Instead, they have a set of performance goals. Or, worse, a set of vague aspirations. It is rare because there are strong forces resisting the concentration of action and resources. Good strategy gathers power from its very rareness.
Good strategy has a basic underlying logic: coherent action backed up by an argument, an effective mixture of thought and action. I call this basic underlying structure the kernel. A good strategy may consist of more than the kernel, but if the kernel is absent or misshapen, then there is a serious problem. The kernel of a strategy contains three elements: (1) a diagnosis that defines or explains the nature of the challenge, (2) a guiding-policy for dealing with the challenge, and (3) a set of coherent-actions that are designed to carry out the guiding-policy.
One of a leader’s most powerful tools is the creation of a proximate objective—one that is close enough at hand to be feasible. A proximate objective names an accomplishment that organization can reasonably be expected to achieve.
At some points, the book feels as a presence in a strategy class. The class is full of successful classmates, and the reader is not the dumbest person in the class…
Great book! Highly recommend!