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I just started reading A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin’s Playing To Win: How Strategy Really Works, and it’s an engaging read from rip.  Then again, why wouldn’t it be? Lafley is the former chairman of the board and CEO of Procter & Gamble, while Martin is the Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.  So you’ve got a book written by two big thinkers and doers.  I’m also into it because it validates a few things I was thinking about strategy recently.  Always good to get some feedback that you were at least headed in the right direction.

What Lafley and Martin talk about early on is that strategy is about choice.  It’s about both what to do and, equally important, what NOT to do.  In fact, they lay out five key choices that comprise good strategy:

  1. What’s the winning aspiration?
  2. Where will we play?
  3. How will we win in chosen markets?
  4. What capabilities must be in place to win?
  5. What systems are required to manage it all?

In this video, he focuses on questions 2 and 3.

More on this book as I make my way through it.  That said, I already think this will be a valuable addition to anyone’s library on strategy.  Let’s see how that assumption bears out.

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Posted by Rob Fields