Strategy In Practice by Cliff Bowman

by Paul Simister on October 6, 2011

Strategy In Practice by Cliff Bowman is a book for managers who contribute to the strategy debates going on within their businesses.

This makes it very different from many of the strategy texts which are either written for the MBA market or for strategy experts.

Who Is Cliff Bowman?

Cliff Bowman is Professor of Strategic Management at Cranfield University in the UK.

He is also the co-author of probably my favourite book on strategy, Competitive & Corporate Strategy – a lost classic.

Strategy In Practice Review

strategy in practice Strategy In Practice by Cliff Bowman

Content Of Strategy In Practice

Chapter 1 is an introduction to strategy including the commitment-quality grid which I think is worth blogging about seperately.

Chapter 2 introduces the customer matrix and the customer value map. It was seeing these that first convinced me to buy Competitive and Corporate Strategy and they remain core elements of my thinking on differentiation and strategy. It then goes on to explain Bowman’s Strategic Clock.

Chapter 3 is about sustaining advantage and introduces resource based theories of strategy in terms of how the underlying resources and capabilities can be imitated or “stolen” by competitors.

Chapter 4 looks at the competitive environment and Michael Porter’s five forces and the industry life cycle.

Chapter 5 examines the link between strategy, structure and processes. chapter 6 looks at strategy and culture and chapter 7 managing strategic change. These cover similar topics to the McKinsey 7 S model.

Chapter 8 is a very quick overview of corporate strategy.

My Thoughts On Strategy In Practice

If you’ve managed to track down a copy of Competitive & Corporate Strategy and you’re happy with the academic approach, you don’t need to bother with Strategy In Practice. To that extent I was disappointed as I hope to pick up more practical tips on how to use the customer matrix, producer matrix and strategic pathways.

If you’re looking for an introduction to strategy from a management perspective, then Strategy In Practice is suitable and if you’re working with a strategy consultant, it will give you the basis for some interesting discussions.

Have You Read Strategy In Practice?

If you’re read this book, I’d like to know what you think.

Has it helped you to understand create and implement a winning strategy?

Paul Simister is a business strategy coach who helps business owners to differentiate their businesses and develop winning strategies. Get your free copy of the ebook The Six Steps Profit Formula.

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