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Strategy Dynamics Essentials Paperback – Import, 12 May 2015


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Product description

About the Author

Kim Warren is an independent strategy writer and teacher, and a developer of dynamic enterprise models and "serious games" for MBA and executive education. After 15 years in senior corporate strategy roles he spent 20 years at London Business School, teaching on MBA and Executive programs. Author of Competitive Strategy Dynamics (Wiley, 2002), and Strategic Management Dynamics (Wiley, 2008), his work was recognized with the 2005 Jay W Forrester Award as the most important contribution to the field of System Dynamics in the previous five years, and he served as 2013 President of the International System Dynamics Society. In addition to his writing and teaching activities he collaborates on strategy projects in diverse areas including business, international aid and public policy. He has also published "The Trouble with Strategy," a personal critique of the strategic management field and education.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 173 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (12 May 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1505809053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1505809053
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1 x 22.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,20,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Amazon.com: 2.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Turn your strategy into a detailed model and stop it being wishy-washy good intentions 31 May 2015
By Paul Simister - Published on Amazon.com
This is not an ordinary book on strategy and therefore it won't be suitable for many people who are looking for a how to guide.

The author recognises the problem of well meaning but wishy washy strategic plans that are intended to increase long term profits and cash flows but fail to provide a link from strategic objectives through to tactics and performance numbers.

The book introduces a concept of business modelling based on cause and effect relationships between resources and flows. Resources are measured at a snapshot in time e.g. cash at the bank at the end of a particular day. Flows are movements in or out of the resources over a period of time. It's easiest to think of this concept as a bank account or a bath tub without a plug. Important resources that need attention include the number of customers and the number of skills that employees have of good standing that determine the performance of the business.

These relationships are presented in a diagram using special software although the same logic could be done with a spreadsheet but presentation would be an issue. The diagrams are easy to understand when you look at a single resource affected by several flows in or out but adding additional resources means the diagrams become more complicated until you become much more familiar with reading them. I must also point out that the diagrams are very hard to see and read using a normal kindle reader so, after looking at the sample and finding it interesting, I think you'll be much better off with the printed book.

It's not an easy read, just as reading about any software is hard going but, I think it can fire up your imagination. It did mine.

Yes the strategy dynamics model of a business is complicated but it's still a simplification of the real business where it's hard, perhaps impossible to identify and understand cause and effect relationships, especially when there is a time delay e.g. increasing marketing in month 2 may only see an increase in sales revenue in month 5 and in cash in month 7 when the customer pays. Without such a model that looks forward as well as back, you're left with theoretical ideas about how the business works but these are unlikely to be shared with colleagues and may be full of inconsistencies as you attribute good and bad events to multiple causes.

I was first introduced to the idea of systems dynamics by the book The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge where the idea of stocks (resources) and flows and reinforcing and balancing feedback systems in the mid 1990s. I was excited by the possibilities these ideas could bring to competitive strategy but it hasn't developed as I'd hoped or expected.

This is a good step in the right direction although I should point out that, unlike general systems thinking that tries to give the big picture view of what's happening, this strategy dynamics modelling approach works the other way. It breaks down the business into smaller cause and effect relationships which are of more practical use to tactical decisions. I'd like to think that both approaches can be used and reconciled.

I bought one of his earlier, larger books in the early 2000s. I found that hard going and I don't think I finished it but this is easier, partly because it's smaller. It's still tough unless you get excited about the insights that the modelling approach can provide. I think it's useful to start thinking about part of your business in terms of resources and in and outflows so that you can gain an impression of the improved understanding that can be available from building a strategy dynamics model and how it can link through into ideas like strategy maps and the balanced scorecard.

Ultimately it's a long marketing letter for the author's company training and software. I think I'm impressed enough to take this further.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star 16 March 2015
By Bindu - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Boring to read

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