Myths of Strategy Book Summary - Myths of Strategy Book explained in key points
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Myths of Strategy summary

Jérôme Barthélemy

Dispel the Misconceptions and Deliver a Winning Strategy

4.7 (42 ratings)
16 mins
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    Myths of Strategy
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    Myth: “Success Requires Careful Planning”

    Think of the furniture chain IKEA. Their worldwide success is mainly due to their self-assembly furniture, Scandinavian design, low-cost production, and self-service stores. But these features weren’t a result of a carefully planned strategy. In fact, most of them happened because of challenges that forced the company leader, Ingvar Kamprad, to make a tough decision. 

    For instance, IKEA wasn’t always a furniture designer or manufacturer. At first, they merely distributed other people’s furniture. However, as the company was growing, a group of Swedish furniture sellers convinced Scandinavian furniture producers to boycott IKEA. This forced IKEA to design their own furniture, thus developing the characteristic IKEA look and functionality.

    So the reason for IKEA’s success is that they didn’t only have a deliberate strategy – meaning a strategy that is based on careful planning – but they also had an emergent strategy: a strategy that develops in response to outside circumstances.

    Studies show that organizations do need deliberate strategy, but that it’s best that this strategy remain high-level while empowering mid-level leaders to work within that strategy to adapt and respond to changes.

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    What is Myths of Strategy about?

    Myths of Strategy (2022) responds to the oversimplified generalizations of modern business gurus and consultants by debunking assertions about strategy. Using peer-reviewed research, the book holds advice on business strategy to the same stringent standards as other scientific and sociological fields of study.

    Who should read Myths of Strategy?

    • Entrepreneurs and business leaders
    • C-Suite executives
    • Business students

    About the Author

    Jérôme Barthélemy is Executive Vice President of the ESSEC Business School in France, where he is also a professor of strategy and management. He has been a visiting professor at New York, Stanford, and Cambridge universities.

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