Business strategy is one area that should be simple. All you have to do is pick your business goals and follow through. Yet, businesses struggle with this very simple process. This failure happens, despite consultants, magazines, articles, courses, workshops and SlideShare presentations. But why? Tim Lewko’s book, Making Big Decisions Better: How to Set and Simplify Business Strategy points the figure at a very simple answer. His book argues that we don’t understand what “strategy” really means, so we don’t know how to do strategy. Making Big Decisions Better shows how to correct this problem.
What is Make Big Decisions Better About?
Lewko’s book starts with a very simple question. But a very simple question can often lead to radically different answers.
The question Lewko asks? What is strategy?
Go ahead and ask this question in your workplace or business. You are guaranteed to get different answers.
These answers reflect the different perspectives people have on exactly what strategy is and how it is used. If you believe that strategy is “stuff we do once a year at the annual retreat”, your planning may ignore the day-to-day steps implementing a strategy can entail. If you view strategy as a one-time event rather than a process, you might stick to a failed strategy because you didn’t take the time to look for alternatives.
The different definitions can become expensive for businesses. After all, they spend money on consultants, new software tools and courses to help implement these strategies. And when a strategy fails, businesses lose not just the money invested — but customers, potential profits and employee morale. In other words, businesses endanger not only their productivity now but potentially in the future. Unforunately, businesses can’t fix failures of strategy with more strategy. Instead, Lewko claims, teams must better understand what strategy is in the first place — and what it can do.
Most businesses never ask the question,”What does strategy mean to us?”
They instead rely on assumptions, tradition and the best practices they copied from others to make their strategy. Making Big Decisions Better asks readers to step out of the same old processes everyone else follows and reflect. In doing so, they will find out that strategy is not as complicated or boring as it seems.
Lewko is the CEO and Managing Partner of the Thinking Dimensions Group. In addition to that role, he serves as the Managing Director of The Global Strategy Practice.
What Was Best About Making Big Decisions Better?
The best part of Making Big Decisions Better is that it dramatically simplifies the concept of business strategy. Once readers grasp this concept, the book guides them into dismantling the hidden assumptions and mindsets that block people from an effective strategy. If you have ever wondered “Why is our business doing things this way?”, “Making Big Decisions Better” will guide you through the process in the same way an expert consultant would. If you want a consultant’s insight without having to pay a consultant, this book can definitely serve as an inexpensive option.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
Making Big Decisions Better does an excellent job of breaking down the concept of “strategy” to its most basic and useful level. The perspective and intended audience for the book –upper management in mid-sized and large-sized businesses — seems very narrow. This makes some of the book’s content either irrelevant or confusing. That said, the book still provides excellent insight into the underlying assumptions about business strategy many business leaders overlook. For this reason alone, the book is worth a read.
Why Read Making Big Decisions Better?
Strategy should be one of the easiest topics for a business. However, it’s become abundantly clear this is not the case. In fact, a business’ strategy can become an obstacle. And the solution to this problem is not what you might expect.
As Making Big Decisions Better points out, the problem (and solution) might be a lot simpler than you think. The problem may not have to do with the strategy you use. It might be about the way you use the concept of strategy in the first place. Making Big Decisions Better helps readers uncover and correct the underlying assumptions that block businesses from the strategies they deserve.