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Published: February 23, 2010
 / Spring 2010 / Issue 58

 
 

Seven Chapters of Strategic Wisdom

Writings on strategy continue to evolve as academics and practitioners seek to cope with new realities. Much of their effort centers on how to make a company’s people — their talents and connections — the basis for its strategy. Other thinkers, fascinated by how Linux grew up to pose a challenge to the likes of Microsoft, are trying to incorporate network analysis into their calculations. Probably the hottest term in discussions these days is adaptive — as in “How can we make sure our strategy continuously, indeed almost automatically, adapts itself to our changing circumstances?” Although it’s too early to know what will be the enduring chapters on these salients, nobody need worry that the great river of literature on strategy will dry up anytime soon. 

Reprint No. 10109

Author Profile:

  • Walter Kiechel III has served as the managing editor of Fortune and the editorial director of Harvard Business Publishing. His book The Lords of Strategy: The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World is scheduled for publication in March by Harvard Business Press.
 
 
 
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Strategy Resources:
Works mentioned in this review.

  1. Alfred D. Chandler Jr., Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the American Industrial Enterprise (MIT Press, 1962), 478 pages: Introduction
  2. Kenneth R. Andrews, The Concept of Corporate Strategy (Dow Jones-Irwin, 1971), 264 pages: Chapter 2, “The Concept of Corporate Strategy”
  3. Michael E. Porter, Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors (Free Press, 1980), 416 pages: Chapter 2, “Generic Competitive Strategies”
  4. Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr., In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies (Harper & Row, 1982), 386 pages: Chapter 2, “The Rational Model”
  5. Richard N. Foster, Innovation: The Attacker’s Advantage (Summit Books, 1986), 316 pages: Chapter 4, “The S-Curve: A New Forecasting Tool”
  6. Andrew S. Grove, Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company (Currency Doubleday, 1996), 222 pages: Chapter 5, “‘Why Not Do It Ourselves?’”
  7. Henry Mintzberg, The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning (Free Press, 1994), 478 pages: Chapter 5, “Fundamental Fallacies of Strategic Planning”