Richard Koch and Peter Nieruwenhuizen have written an enjoyable and practical read on strategy as it applies to business. It asks 10 key questions that are the useful questions that need to be answered when taking over or trying to get the better out of a business.
The questions are:
- What business are you in?
- Where do you make the money?
- How good are your competitive positions?
- What skills and capabilities underpin your success?
- Is this a good business to be in?
- What do the customers think?
- What about the competitors?
- Should you do something else?
- Who are we? What will we do?
- How to raise profits quickly?
Each of the chapters looks at a question, and then details how to answer it, with two case study examples.
One of the neat ideas that they have applied to this is that they have developed their own software – which is a neat way of extending the capability of the book, and to get people to visit the www.simplystrategy.com site. In my view I confess I didn’t find the look of the software compelling, and the site left me a bit flat – but the book is an excellent read and I heartily recommend it. The way to use the software is described throughout the book, however it is not pushed on the reader. It is clear that the authors have used the tool as a part of the strategic engagements they have led.
As an alternative, you might like to take a look at www.planhq.com
Obviously derived from BaseCampHQ heritage, it provides an approach to developing a traditional business plan. Like so many Web 2.0 sites, free trial for a month is available.