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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book for your boss!, 5 Feb 2008
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This review is from: Smarter Execution: Seven Steps to Getting Results (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
For many, if not most businesses the successful implementation of `strategic initiatives' is essential for growth and, in an increasing number of cases, is essential for survival - often in the relatively short-term. And yet, as the authors point out, the majority of `strategic initiatives' are unsuccessful. They accept that some fail because they are based on bad ideas; however they identify the more prevalent reason for failure as being inept execution.
Their recipe for avoiding such failure takes the form of the issuance of seven `challenges', with a chapter of the book dedicated to each. These challenges, if met, will guarantee the successful implementation of the project in hand or, using the more modest claim of the authors, will `move one more assuredly towards the successful execution of a strategic initiative `- a claim that is certainly met!
While, unsurprisingly there is some content in each challenge that is familiar (with perhaps the exception of Challenge Four - which waxes philosophical on the need for total commitment) - the clarity of the presentation, the well-chosen illustrative examples, and the many very practical hints, will both aid and stimulate the reader. But beware; as is the case with other first class management books, this stimulation it generates is likely to be transformed into frustration, unless the message is taken on board by the readers' bosses! This issue should be addressed with an effective initiative on the part of the reader!
The authors are correct in stating that the book can usefully be started at any point, depending on the stage of a project the reader has reached. At whatever point, I suspect in most cases it would add positively to the execution process, and in the unlikely event that no improvement were possible it would serve the very useful function of reassuring the team they were heading down the right track.
The best and most useful 148 pages I have read on this subject!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise well structured guide to implementing strategy, 1 April 2008
This review is from: Smarter Execution: Seven Steps to Getting Results (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
This book is one of the best books I have read on how to implement your strategy effectively.The seven steps that are outlined are covered, in the right amount of depth and all of the content is applicable to whatever situation you are facing. The layout of the book is excellent.

The authors state on page 10 - " Our obsession is with simplicity and practicality" this the three authors from a leading European Business school achieve in 151 pages. The content reflects their considerable consulting experience and the guidance provided, is of a high quality this book is one of those you would certainly want to read twice.

The book sets out the criteria, associated with strategic initiatives, as distinct from those concerned with running your core business. The chapter on "follow through" is especially useful, on what to do and what to avoid for example the checklist on " after action reviews " is worth building into your way of operating, ( page 143).

The book offers a wider ranging approach than many of the current mechanistic approaches offered on implementing change and project management.The reference to the work of the American Management Association, on " The keys to Strategy Execution, " (2007) On page 67 gives you an up to date insight into what is going on in this field.

Lots of practical guidance is set out in this book, your money spent on this book will bring a lot of benefit if you want to avoid the 60-70 percent failure rate that has been the experience of many organisations attempting to achieve effective strategy implementation recent years.

Also worth a look is - is "Making Strategy work - a guide to effective execution and change" by Lawerence Hrebiniak from the Wharton Business School in the US. (Pub 2005) This covers similar ground but from a different angle.

Stan Felstead - Interchange Resources _ UK.
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