Clayton M. Christensen, Professor, Harvard business School: “one of the most important, realistic, and useful books on strategy ever written. With consummate clarity and whitering logic. Raynor confronts and resloves the paradox that while strategy requires commitment, much about the future is simply unknowable. it is an absolutely brilliant, lucidly written piece of scholarship”.
This book gained almost 5 stars in Amazon, since 26 out of 33 reviewers gave it 5 stars. I find this book a little bit difficult to understand, since my TOEFL score is less than 600, and the writer was a Harvard student (no doubt his verbal).
I took this book last month in the 30% discount campaign program for grand launching Gramedia Matraman, and I am really interested in the title.
But as I tried to read, barely understand what’s the point Raynor about to figure out. First, he ilustrated how sony’s strategy in selling betamax system was a failure not because it was not a bad strategy, but because sony had out of luck at that time. As I read the text. I find that actually it was sony’s bad strategy, because it couldn’t manage the movement of VHS system from Panasonic. I don’t know whether I missunderstood or not. But as I read the review from Amazon, one reviewer said that Raynor actually didn’t make any interview with any Sony management in order to cross-check the case study he wrote in this book. After all, It is better I tell you all what is this book all about.
Actually, this book tried to tell us, how to manage uncertainty. How a company with a good strategy, and everyone at the organization is commited, actually leads to failure, with the same probability to succeed. This is what he called STRATEGY PARADOX. This book was opened by a case study from Sony. From the case study, I thought that this book’s scope is about business strategy. But as I read further, this book tells us about corporate strategy. It is illustrated at other case study: vivendy universal (which had failed strategy), BCE (which diluted from strategy paradox), and Microsoft (which succeeded facing strategy paradox.
At the last, Raynor was revisited the sony’s strategy, and suggest how should sony do, in order to overcome the strategy paradox. But once again, I should be disappointed, since I barely understand it. But for those who has better understanding in reading english books and interested in business (or corporate) strategy, I believe this book is worth to try.