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Myths of Strategy summary

Jérôme Barthélemy

Dispel the Misconceptions and Deliver a Winning Strategy

4.6 (86 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

Myths of Strategy by Jérôme Barthélemy debunks popular myths surrounding business strategy. The book challenges traditional views and provides insights on how companies can increase their success in a rapidly changing world.

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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.

    Myths of Strategy Review

    Myths of Strategy (2015) is a thought-provoking exploration of the misconceptions that surround strategic thinking. This book is definitely worth reading because it challenges conventional wisdom and offers fresh perspectives. Here's why it stands out:

    • It presents concrete examples and case studies that debunk common myths, allowing readers to gain a deeper understanding of strategy and its complexities.
    • By dismantling popular misconceptions, the book opens up new possibilities and encourages readers to think critically and creatively when it comes to strategic decision-making.
    • With its accessible and engaging writing style, the book manages to make a complex subject like strategy both informative and enjoyable.

    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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    Myths of Strategy FAQs 

    What is the main message of Myths of Strategy?

    The main message of Myths of Strategy is that many common ideas about strategy are incorrect and hinder success.

    How long does it take to read Myths of Strategy?

    The reading time for Myths of Strategy varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Myths of Strategy a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Myths of Strategy is a valuable read for those interested in strategic management. It provides insights that can challenge existing beliefs and improve decision-making.

    Who is the author of Myths of Strategy?

    The author of Myths of Strategy is Jérôme Barthélemy.

    What to read after Myths of Strategy?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Myths of Strategy, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Strategy Rules by David B. Yoffie and Michael A. Cusumano
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    • Brief by Joseph McCormack
    • On Grand Strategy by John Lewis Gaddis
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