Book of the Month (February): Playing to Win – How Strategy Really Work, by A.G.Lafley, Roger L Martin, 2013, Harvard Business Review Press.
I loved this book. I used to work in consumer goods (Elizabeth Arden, 5 years) and much of the real world context made a lot of sense to me. This book is about choices, or how to make them – that is the essence of strategy. The master of P&G, ex CEO A.G.Lafley, uses the Olay story (and others) to explain how he and his partners developed a practical strategy framework to help make decisions, and how to enthuse the rest of the organization around these decisions. I was reminded of my early business planning straining (E.G.& G., Igor Ansoff – Corporate Strategy) and much of the process explained is predicable, connected, and valuable. This is a timely refresher for all of us, given that we are led to believe that strategy is so important. This book proves that it is not “strategy” that counts; but it is the decisions we take that is – that is the essence of strategy.
Do it. 10 out of 10.