The Lords of Strategy Book Summary - The Lords of Strategy Book explained in key points

The Lords of Strategy summary

Walter Kiechel

Brief summary

The Lords of Strategy by Walter Kiechel is a captivating journey through the history of strategic management. It delves into the minds of pioneering strategists and their revolutionary ideas that shaped the business world.

Give Feedback
Table of Contents

    The Lords of Strategy
    Summary of key ideas

    The Birth of Corporate Strategy

    In The Lords of Strategy, Walter Kiechel takes us on a journey through the history of corporate strategy. He begins by introducing us to the early days of the 1960s, a time when the term 'corporate strategy' was virtually non-existent. Companies were managed by a small group of executives who made decisions based on their gut feelings and personal experiences rather than on any systematic analysis.

    It was during this time that Bruce Henderson, a former engineer, founded the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Henderson was a pioneer in the field of strategic management, and he introduced the concept of the growth-share matrix, a tool that helped companies allocate resources among their business units. This marked the beginning of a new era in business management, one that was based on data and analysis rather than intuition.

    The Rise of Management Consulting

    Kiechel then moves on to discuss the rise of management consulting firms, particularly McKinsey & Company and Bain & Company. These firms, founded by Marvin Bower and Bill Bain respectively, played a crucial role in popularizing the concept of corporate strategy. They helped companies develop long-term plans, identify growth opportunities, and improve their overall performance.

    During this time, Michael Porter, a young professor at Harvard Business School, was also making significant contributions to the field of strategy. Porter's Five Forces framework, introduced in his book Competitive Strategy, provided a structured approach for analyzing the competitive forces within an industry. This framework became a cornerstone of strategic analysis and planning.

    The Evolution of Corporate Strategy

    As the 1970s and 1980s progressed, the field of corporate strategy continued to evolve. Companies began to realize the importance of strategic planning and started to invest heavily in this area. The consulting industry, in turn, experienced rapid growth, with firms like BCG, McKinsey, and Bain at the forefront of this expansion.

    However, Kiechel also highlights the criticisms that emerged during this period. Some argued that the strategic planning process was too rigid and failed to account for the unpredictable nature of business. Others questioned the value of management consultants, arguing that they often provided generic solutions that did not address the unique challenges of individual companies.

    The Modern Era of Strategy

    In the final section of The Lords of Strategy, Kiechel brings us to the present day. He discusses how the field of corporate strategy has continued to evolve, with new tools and frameworks being developed to address the changing business landscape. Concepts such as disruptive innovation, blue ocean strategy, and design thinking have gained prominence, challenging the traditional approaches to strategy.

    Despite these changes, Kiechel argues that the fundamental principles of corporate strategy remain the same. Companies still need to understand their competitive environment, identify their unique strengths, and make informed decisions about where to compete and how to win. The role of management consultants, too, continues to be significant, as companies seek external expertise to navigate complex strategic challenges.

    In Conclusion

    In conclusion, The Lords of Strategy provides a comprehensive overview of the history and evolution of corporate strategy. It highlights the key figures and milestones that have shaped the field, while also acknowledging the criticisms and challenges that have emerged along the way. Ultimately, Kiechel's book serves as a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding the role of strategy in modern business management.

    Give Feedback
    How do we create content on this page?
    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Lords of Strategy about?

    The Lords of Strategy by Walter Kiechel delves into the history and evolution of corporate strategy. It explores how the concept of strategy emerged, the key players who shaped its development, and its impact on the business world. Through insightful analysis and engaging storytelling, the book offers valuable lessons for business leaders and anyone interested in understanding the strategic decisions that drive organizations.

    The Lords of Strategy Review

    The Lords of Strategy (2010) is an insightful book that explores the revolutionary thinking behind the rise of modern strategy consulting. Here's why you should definitely give it a read:

    • It offers a fascinating historical account of strategy development, taking us on a journey from its inception to its current status as a critical component of business success.
    • The book provides in-depth analysis of key strategy gurus and their contributions, giving readers a comprehensive understanding of the field and its evolution.
    • With its engaging storytelling and thought-provoking insights, it sheds light on the intricacies of strategic decision-making, making it anything but boring.

    Who should read The Lords of Strategy?

    • Professionals seeking to understand the evolution of corporate strategy
    • Business students looking for insights into the world of management consulting
    • Entrepreneurs and executives aiming to create and implement effective business strategies

    About the Author

    Walter Kiechel is a renowned author and business journalist. He has had an extensive career, including serving as the managing editor at Fortune magazine. Kiechel's book, The Lords of Strategy, is a groundbreaking work that explores the history and evolution of corporate strategy. Through his in-depth research and engaging writing style, Kiechel provides valuable insights into the key figures and pivotal moments that shaped the field of strategic management.

    Categories with The Lords of Strategy

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    The Lords of Strategy FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Lords of Strategy?

    The main message of The Lords of Strategy is the evolution of business strategy and its impact on the corporate world.

    How long does it take to read The Lords of Strategy?

    The reading time for The Lords of Strategy depends on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in 15 minutes.

    Is The Lords of Strategy a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Lords of Strategy is worth reading as it provides valuable insights into the world of business strategy and its historical development.

    Who is the author of The Lords of Strategy?

    The author of The Lords of Strategy is Walter Kiechel.

    What to read after The Lords of Strategy?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Lords of Strategy, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Coaching for Performance by Sir John Whitmore
    • Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith
    • Start with Why (Old Version) by Simon Sinek
    • The No Asshole Rule by Robert I. Sutton
    • Good to Great (Old Version) by Jim Collins
    • The Trust Edge# by David Horsager
    • Inspired by Marty Cagan
    • The Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto
    • You Can Negotiate Anything by Herb Cohen
    • Winning by Jack Welch with Suzy Welch