Book Review: Elevate – The 3 Disciplines of Advanced Strategic Thinking

ElevateIn a World where we seem to be obsessed with the ‘here and now’ and the tactical response to changing events that solve the immediate problem, it is easy to forget that having a bigger picture is critical to long term success.

Understanding the basic principles of strategy and strategic thinking is critical to the long term vision and development of an organization. Innovation in thinking often means thinking more strategically or at least differently. You can’t go to a strategy session these days without being asked to ‘think out of the box’ as though making the statement empowers the act of thinking differently.

In Elevate: The Three Disciplines of Advanced Strategic Thinking, Rich Horwath has returned the focus of business back to that of thinking strategically and provided a set of thinking tools to allow people to understand the larger context of the business environment and truly begin thinking outside of the box.

For me, a business book does not really add value to the executive or leader unless it provides some specific tools and techniques that can be applied. Horwath has delivered on that requirement extremely well.

If strategy is the intelligent allocation of limited resources that allow you to outperform the competition, understanding how to intelligently allocate those resources is critical to strategic success. In previous works, Horwath highlights the 3 basic disciplines of strategic thinking as Acumen, Allocation (of resources) and Action (application of those resources). He introduces and extends that thinking with the 3 additional disciplines, the disciplines of Coalesce (your insights), Compete (in a business domain), Champion (Leading others to think and act strategically). In the following pages, Horwath explores these disciplines in great detail and provides a series of tools and techniques that can assist the leader in thinking strategically and developing a competitive strategy that endures.

By helping the reader lift their thinking from the tactical and sometimes more attractive space of problem solving and ‘fire-fighting’, Horwath allows the leader to do what they are being paid to do…To think about a much larger business domain and the opportunities and threats that exist. Considering the World at this level allows the leader to define the long terms goals for the organization and the philosophy and approach to how the organization will get there.

Clear, practical and littered with insights and case studies, Elevate offers the leader a very practical and exploitable set of thinking tools to build a strategic vision and plan for the organization. Strategy is such an important component of your business or organizational success that getting it correct should your highest priority. Elevate will give you the practical tools and understanding to improve your strategic thinking and I recommend it for your business library.

Dare to Aspire

 

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