The Lords of Strategy
Author: Walter Kiechel
Publisher: Harvard Business Press
Journalist and editor Walter Kiechel recounts the birth and evolution of strategy, arguably the most influential business paradigm of the past half century and the trials and triumphs of the disruptors who invented it.
Lords of Strategy
Author: Walter Kiechel
Publisher: Harvard Business Press
Imagine, if you can, the world of business - without corporate strategy. Remarkably, fifty years ago that's the way it was. Businesses made plans, certainly, but without understanding the underlying dynamics of competition, costs, and customers. It was like trying to design a large-scale engineering project without knowing the laws of physics. But in the 1960s, four mavericks and their posses instigated a profound shift in thinking that turbocharged business as never before, with implications far beyond what even they imagined. In The Lords of Strategy, renowned business journalist and editor Walter Kiechel tells, for the first time, the story of the four men who invented corporate strategy as we know it and set in motion the modern, multibillion-dollar consulting industry: Bruce Henderson, founder of Boston Consulting Group Bill Bain, creator of Bain & Company Fred Gluck, longtime Managing Director of McKinsey & Company Michael Porter, Harvard Business School professor Providing a window into how to think about strategy today, Kiechel tells their story with novelistic flair. At times inspiring, at times nearly terrifying, this book is a revealing account of how these iconoclasts and the organizations they led revolutionized the way we think about business, changed the very soul of the corporation, and transformed the way we work.
Author: Duff McDonald
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
A behind-the-scenes, revelatory history of the controversial consulting firm traces its decades-long influence in both business and political arenas, citing its role in the establishment of mainstream practices and modern understandings about capitalism while evaluating the failures that have compromised its reputation. 60,000 first printing.
What I Didn't Learn in Business School is a compelling read---whether you're a recent business school grad struggling to apply your new knowledge or an experienced leader who already knows that no strategy is created in a vacuum. --Book Jacket.
McKinsey's Marvin Bower
Author: Elizabeth Haas Edersheim
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
"I had the privilege of working closely with Marvin and McKinsey for many years. This book makes Marvin come to life and perpetuates him as a role model." -Peter F. Drucker "A wonderful book about a wonderful man. In many ways, Marvin's McKinsey framed the hypotheses in our own search for excellence-for example, passion for values, belief in people as the prime resource, and willingness to let people experiment. As well as I thought I knew Marvin, however, this remarkable book, drawing on the collective memories of those who worked most closely with him, taught me a ton about how extraordinary the man really was and what made him that way. Many have called Drucker the man who invented management; I think history will conclude that both he and Marvin Bower share that pedestal." -Bob Waterman, coauthor of In Search of Excellence "Marvin Bower became a legend, not just within McKinsey & Company, but within professional services and the business world more broadly. In everything he did and said, he embodied the professional approach and the importance of values. This book sheds remarkable insight on a remarkable man and on the power of constancy of purpose." -Ian Davis, Worldwide Managing Director, McKinsey & Co. "It is as Marvin would have wanted it-simple, honest, fact-based, wonderful stories with a long-term perspective. An insightful read about the father of management consulting." -Lois Juliber, retired COO, Colgate-Palmolive "This book provides fascinating insight into the early days of modern management consulting. It is an extremely enlightening look at the origin of one of America's most important professions and one of America's most innovative leaders." -Thomas H. Lee, founder, Chairman, and President, Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P.
A collection of the best thinking from one of the most innovative management consulting firms in the world For more than forty years, The Boston Consulting Group has been shaping strategic thinking in business. The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy offers a broad and up-to-date selection of the firm's best ideas on strategy with fresh ideas, insights, and practical lessons for managers, executives, and entrepreneurs in every industry. Here's a sampling of the provocative thinking you'll find inside: "You have to be the scientist of your own life and be astonished four times:at what is, what always has been, what once was, and what could be." "The majority of products in most companies are cash traps . . . .[They] are not only worthless, but a perpetual drain on corporate resources." "Use more debt than your competition or get out of the business." "When information flows freely, reputation, more than reciprocity,becomes the basis for trust." "As a strategic weapon, time is the equivalent of money, productivity,quality, even innovation." "When brands become business systems, brand management becomes far too important to leave to the marketing department." "The winning organization of the future will look more like a collection ofjazz ensembles than a symphony orchestra." "Most of our organizations today derive from a model whose original purpose was to control creativity." "Rather than being an obstacle, uncertainty is the very engine of transformation in a business, a continuous source of new opportunities." "IP assets lack clear property lines. Every bit of intellectual property you can own comes with connections to other valuable innovations."
House of Lies
Author: Martin Kihn
Publisher: Business Plus
In the bestselling tradition of "Liar's Poker" comes a devastatingly accurate and darkly hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the wonderful world of management consulting.
The Golden Passport
Author: Duff McDonald
With The Firm, financial journalist Duff McDonald pulled back the curtain on consulting giant McKinsey & Company. In The Golden Passport, he reveals the inner works of a singular nexus of power, ambition, and influence: Harvard Business School. Harvard University still occupies a unique place in the public’s imagination, but the Harvard Business School eclipsed its parent in terms of influence on modern society long ago. A Harvard degree guarantees respect. But a Harvard MBA near-guarantees entrance into Western capitalism’s most powerful realm—the corner office. And because the School shapes the way its powerful graduates think, its influence extends well beyond their own lives. It affects the organizations they command, the economy they dominate, and society itself. Decisions and priorities at HBS touch every single one of us. Most people have a vague knowledge of the power of the HBS network, but few understand the dynamics that have made HBS an indestructible and dominant force for almost a century. Graduates of HBS share more than just an alma mater. They also share a way of thinking about how the world should work, and they have successfully molded the world to that vision—that is what truly binds them together. In addition to teasing out the essence of this exclusive, if not necessarily “secret” club, McDonald explores two important questions: Has the school failed at reaching the goal it set for itself—“the multiplication of men who will handle their current business problems in socially constructive ways?” Is HBS complicit in the moral failings of Western capitalism? At a time of soaring economic inequality and growing political unrest, this hard-hitting yet fair portrait offers a much-needed look at an institution that has had a profound influence not just in the world of business but on the shape of our society—and on all our lives.
Are you at risk of being trapped in an uncompetitive business? Chances are the strategies that worked well for you even a few years ago no longer deliver the results you need. Dramatic changes in business have unearthed a major gap between traditional approaches to strategy and the way the real world works now. In short, strategy is stuck. Most leaders are using frameworks that were designed for a different era of business and based on a single dominant idea—that the purpose of strategy is to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Once the premise on which all strategies were built, this idea is increasingly irrelevant. Now, Columbia Business School professor and globally recognized strategy expert Rita Gunther McGrath argues that it’s time to go beyond the very concept of sustainable competitive advantage. Instead, organizations need to forge a new path to winning: capturing opportunities fast, exploiting them decisively, and moving on even before they are exhausted. She shows how to do this with a new set of practices based on the notion of transient competitive advantage. This book serves as a new playbook for strategy, one based on updated assumptions about how the world works, and shows how some of the world’s most successful companies use this method to compete and win today. Filled with compelling examples from “growth outlier” firms such as Fujifilm, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Infosys, Yahoo! Japan, and Atmos Energy, The End of Competitive Advantage is your guide to renewed success and profitable growth in an economy increasingly defined by transient advantage.
The third in Robert Greene's bestselling series is now available in a pocket sized concise edition. Following 48 Laws of Power and The Art of Seduction, here is a brilliant distillation of the strategies of war to help you wage triumphant battles everyday. Spanning world civilisations, and synthesising dozens of political, philosophical, and religious texts, The Concise 33 Strategies of War is a guide to the subtle social game of everyday life. Based on profound and timeless lessons, it is abundantly illustrated with examples of the genius and folly of everyone from Napoleon to Margaret Thatcher and Hannibal to Ulysses S. Grant, as well as diplomats, captains of industry and Samurai swordsmen.
In The World's Newest Profession Christopher McKenna offers a history of management consulting in the twentieth century. Although management consulting may not yet be a recognized profession, the leading consulting firms have been advising and reshaping the largest organizations in the world since the 1920s. This groundbreaking study details how the elite consulting firms, including McKinsey & Company and Booz Allen & Hamilton, expanded after US regulatory changes during the 1930s, how they changed giant corporations, nonprofits, and the state during the 1950s, and why consultants became so influential in the global economy after 1960. As they grew in number, consultants would introduce organizations to 'corporate culture' and 'decentralization' but they faced vilification for their role in the Enron crisis and for legitimating corporate blunders. Through detailed case studies based on unprecedented access to internal files and personal interviews, The World's Newest Profession explores how management consultants came to be so influential within our culture and explains exactly what consultants really do in the global economy.
Author: Lewis Pinault
Publisher: Harper Collins
In this gripping and colorful account of the American dream gone astray, Lewis Pinault provides the essential guidelines on how to get ahead and an enlightening perspective on the brutal infighting that can engulf even the most civilized consulting firm. This stunning exposé of some of the most prestigious and respected names in the business leads you into a world where a client's interests are skillfully subordinated to those of the consultants, where money rules the day, and where principles and morals are unwelcome baggage. Humorous and insightful, this no-holds-barred account takes you behind the scenes of the dehumanizing indoctrination of an academic intellectual into an exploitative -- and exploited -- "global transformation contractor." Featuring new material dealing with the e-consulting industry's boom, bust, and its future, Consulting Demons offers the most complete look at an industry that exacts the highest prices for the most questionable standards of success.
The third volume in the internationally bestselling McKinsey Trilogy, The McKinsey Engagement is an action guide to realizing the consistently high level of business solutions achieved by the experts at the world’s most respected consulting firms. Former consultant Dr. Paul Friga distills the guiding principles first presented in the bestselling The McKinsey Way and the tested-in-the-trenches methodologies outlined in The McKinsey Mind, and combines them with many of the principles and procedures implemented by the military and other organizations. The result is nothing less than the business equivalent of a Special Forces Field Manual. True to its stated goal of arming consultants and corporate problem solvers with a blueprint for achieving consistently phenomenal results, The McKinsey Engagement is short on theory and long on action. Each chapter focuses on one element in the celebrated TEAM FOCUS problem-solving model and features a concise discussion of a key concept or principle, followed by: Clear rules of engagement A set of operating tactics Sophisticated problem solving tools Easy-to-follow action steps Exercises, checklists, and training tips War stories and best practices case studies A toolkit for bringing clarity, discipline, and purpose to all your problem-solving and change management initiatives, The McKinsey Engagement is an indispensable guide for consultants, as well as for executives, managers, students, and corporate trainers.
Author: Duff McDonald
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
They helped invent the bar code. They revolutionized business schools and created the corporate practices that now rule our world. They reinvented the idea of American capitalism and aggressively exported it across the globe. McKinsey employees are trusted and distrusted, loved and despised. They are doing behind-the-scenes work for the most powerful people in the world, and their ranks of alumni include the chairman of HSBC and William Hague. Renowned financial journalist Duff McDonald uncovers how these high-priced business savants have ushered in waves of structural, financial, and technological shifts but also become mired in controversy across the years. Discover how the firm both endorsed and celebrated Enron’s disastrous corporate structure and how they’ve been instrumental in the Coalition’s controversial NHS reforms. Are they worth their astronomical fees? And what do firms and governments actually get for their money? Based on exclusive interviews with key McKinsey players and written in gripping prose, this is a revealing window onto one of the most secretive and powerful companies in the world.
"HBR's 10 Must Reads paperback series is the definitive collection of books for new and experienced leaders alike. Leaders looking for the inspiration that big ideas provide, both to accelerate their own growth and that of their companies, should look no further. HBR's 10 Must Reads series focuses on the core topics that every ambitious manager needs to know: leadership, strategy, change, managing people, and managing yourself. Harvard Business Review has sorted through hundreds of articles and selected only the most essential reading on each topic. Each title includes timeless advice that will be relevant regardless of an ever-changing business environment. Classic ideas, enduring advice, the best thinkers: HBR's 10 Must Reads. Is your company spending too much time on strategy development--with too little to show for it? If you read nothing else on strategy, read these 10 articles. We've combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles and selected the most important ones to help you catalyze your organization's strategy development and execution. HBR's 10 Must Reads on Strategy will inspire you to: • Distinguish your company from rivals • Clarify what your company will and won't do • Craft a vision for an uncertain future • Create blue oceans of uncontested market space • Use the Balanced Scorecard to measure your strategy • Capture your strategy in a memorable phrase • Make priorities explicit • Allocate resources early • Clarify decision rights for faster decision making"