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The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy: Classic Concepts and New Perspectives Hardcover – 9 Jun 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 2nd Edition edition (9 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471757225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471757221
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 3.4 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"Essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in strategy." ( Long Range Planning, 40/2007)

From the Inside Flap

This remarkable anthology of articles on strategy and management is an essential companion for executives facing the need to rethink their businesses. Whether the task is to defeat new or entrenched competitors, it is often necessary to go back to the basics and to consider radical departures. The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy will help readers do both because it contains seminal concepts about reducing costs and gaining market share, as well as new thinking on the power of networks, pricing and segmentation, and the impact of ever cheaper communications and distribution.

With the exception of several articles that appeared first in the Harvard Business Review, most of the pieces in this book are "Perspectives," short essays that were originally published by The Boston Consulting Group for its clients. The ideas they present were almost all developed and tested in the course of working with clients worldwide to improve both position and performance.

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is regarded as one of the premier management consulting firms. The Financial Times once credited its founder, Bruce Henderson, with inventing the field of corporate strategy. The themes that run through BCG′s ideas the importance of competitive advantage, the need to "break compromises" and "de–average" the numbers, the value of time, and the power of seeing second or third order causes are more relevant than ever because the need for effective strategy has never been greater. This is a book for managers who want to understand how the business world really works and how to change the course of their companies based on that understanding.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a collection of short articles from a variety of Boston Consulting Group consultants including its founder Bruce Henderson from 1970 forward to 2005.

It's split five parts:
- The nature of business strategy
- The development of business strategy
- The practice of business strategy
- Business thinking
- Social commentary

The main meat is in part 3 with sections for:
- The customer, segmentation and value creation
- Innovation and growth
- Deconstruction of value chains
- Performance measurement
- Resource allocation
- Organisational design
- Leadership and change

As you read through, you'll find a mixture of ideas that have passed into conventional strategic wisdom and perspectives that didn't catch on

The consultancy firm have had a huge impact on the theory and practice of strategy but the book is harder to assess. I found it very interesting to go back and read the original germination of ideas but I also found it frustrating. A book made up of a large collection of short articles is inevitably a patchwork. Ideas don't flow together as you would wish and there isn't the development of core ideas to a deeper level.

I think The Boston Consulting Group On Strategy would have been a more compelling read if it had featured fewer original articles and added an updated perspective and thoughts on how the ideas are still relevant to today's world or reasons why they are not.

It's not a book for someone who is new to strategy and wants to put together a strategic plan. Nor is it a book for someone who wants to be at the cutting edge of strategy. There is little here for typical readers of my blog who own and/or manage small to medium sized businesses. It is a book for practitioners who want to have more understanding of where strategy has come from.

This review first appeared on my blog, Differentiate Your Business.
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Rahul Bhandari on 23 April 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Carl is just a great guy, definite a very smart cookie, excellent work from the boutique looking at how we can look at problem solving in variety of unconventional ways, overall great work and suggested read for someone who likes thinking and learning from best that is out there
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Old essays from the 90s 10 April 2010
By HarvardAlum321 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is just a collection of essays/reflections on the management consulting profession. These essays are from the 1990s, so they seem a bit dated with all of the technological advances in the past 15 years. I wouldn't recommend it.
41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Good Book Difficult Read 10 Jan. 2007
By Z045873 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is filled with both well known business "facts" as well as unconventional perspectives. It is an excellent book; however it is a rather difficult read. I consider myself to be an above average reader particularly with business jargon, but still I had trouble. The purpose of reading is to expand your mind and grow. Overall this is a book that I would recommend. Be prepared for a challenge.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Very informative, intriguing business analysis 5 Oct. 2007
By Kim Ehrman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This collection of publications is incredibly interesting to the business enthusiast. Even Bruce Henderson's publications from the 1970's remain thought-provoking and -transforming today.

This is a dense read. I cannot read very much at one time. However it is grouped by subject, so you can jump around different chapters without consequence.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Sometimes interesting 26 Feb. 2010
By Bart Norre - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is an interesting book if you want to see how strategy was treaten 20, 30 or even 40 years ago. Certainly for students a nice book. A second issue which is too often recurrent in this type of books, certainly useful for fortune 500 companies. For my own practice as a consultant for SMB I could not really find anything usefull.
22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding Book 1 Oct. 2007
By Elijah Chingosho - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is an outstanding book on various ideas on strategy. The book provides some classical and new insights, concepts, tools and perspectives for effective strategy formulation and implementation.

The Boston Consulting Group has been responsible for a number of major management consulting innovations and concepts, such as "time-based competition," "deconstruction," and "capability-driven competitive strategies" and highlighting the importance of competitive advantage. Today BCG is among the largest and most profitable management consulting companies in the world. It is regarded as one of the premier management consulting firms.

The book reeks of the outstanding ideas developed by this iconic consulting firm which the company executive and students of strategy will find very useful and perceptive. The book, among other things, shows how to analyse a firm in the marketplace, formulate and execute an effective strategy, getting people excited about the strategy, how to use strategy to take advantage of opportunities, among other informative ideas.

I strongly recommend people to read this high-quality book.
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