The Boston Consulting Group On Strategy

by Paul Simister on November 12, 2011

The Boston Consulting Group On Strategy : Classic Concepts and New Perspectives has been edited by Carl W. Stern and Michael S. Deimler.

The Development Of Strategy

What we know about strategy has come from three different sources:

  1. Business leaders and entrepreneurs doing what seems right and sensible to win in their markets
  2. Academics who have studied business success and failure and then created new theories
  3. Consultants who link the two separate worlds as expert advisers.

One of the leading strategy consultants is The Boston Consulting Group who have devised many strategy ideas that are still taught today in business schools around the world.

I’ve blogged about the experience curve and the competitive advantage matrix and I’m sure I’ll cover other Boston Consulting Group topics in the future.

The Boston Consulting Group On Strategy Review

This book is a collection of short articles from a variety of Boston Consulting Group consultants including its founder Bruce Henderson from 1970 forward to 2005.

The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy

The Structure Of the Boston Consulting Group On Strategy

It’s split five parts:

  1. The nature of business strategy
  2. The development of business strategy
  3. The practice of business strategy
  4. Business thinking
  5. Social commentary

The main meat is in part 3 with sections for:

  • The customer, segmentation and value creation
  • Innovation and growth
  • Deconstruction of value chains
  • Performance measurement
  • Resource allocation
  • Organisational design
  • Leadership and change

As you read through, you’ll find a mixture of ideas that have passed into conventional strategic wisdom and perspectives that didn’t catch on

Assessment of The Boston Consulting Group On Strategy Book

The consultancy firm, the Boston Consulting Group have had a huge impact on the theory and practice of strategy but the book, The Boston Consulting Group On Strategy is harder to assess.

I found it very interesting to go back and read the original germination of ideas but I also found it frustrating.

A book made up of a large collection of short articles is inevitably a patchwork. Ideas don’t flow together as you would wish and there isn’t the development of core ideas to a deeper level.

I think The Boston Consulting Group On Strategy would have been a more compelling read if it had featured fewer original articles and added an updated perspective and thoughts on how the ideas are still relevant to today’s world or reasons why they are not.

It’s not a book for someone who is new to strategy and wants to put together a strategic plan. It’s not a book for someone who wants to be at the cutting edge of strategy. In particular there is little here for typical readers of my blog who own and/or manage small to medium sized businesses.

It is a book for practitioners who want to have more understanding of where strategy has come from.

What Do You Think About “The Boston Consulting Group On Strategy”?

If you’ve read this book, I’d like to know what you think so please leave a comment.

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

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Boston Consulting Group On Strategy

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