Book Review "The Way of Strategy: by William A. Levinson"
The Way of Strategy is the arbiter of survival or extinction of an organization in competitive environment. The book taps the various strategies and principles used by Sun Tzu (Art of War), Carl von Clausewitz (On War), Miyamoto Musashi (The Book of Five Rings) and others.
These are validated by citing examples from modern business especially from the American industry. The Right conduct, Dharma, Tao or Do is the basic foundation of strategy. Business and war are contestants of competition.
They only differ in the type of weapons used. A weapon can be physical, mental or organizational instrument of competition. The way of Strategy deals with managing organizations in the competitive world. The book cites various strategies used in war. These same strategies can also be applied to business. According to the author, the success of the organization depends on
- Management of human and physical resources
- Responsiveness to competition and the environment
- Strategies and tactics
Leaders follow Bushido/ Kshatriya Dharma. They consider themselves as the stewards of the organization. They foster vitality, motivation among the members of the organization. Leaders practice virtue and personal detachment. Managing change is among the difficult task for a leader. The organizational structure promotes teamwork, communication, performance, flexibility and responsiveness. The author further says that the structure is built to serve organization and not that the people should serve the system.
The employees (resource of organization) are compared with troops. They are divided into units, each of them defined by a certain set of characteristics. The success of the organization depends on how strategically it uses the different units. The organization studies its opponent’s psychology and actions and strategize accordingly. Since it is required to know what position a business has related to the environment, it is of prime importance to know the environment responsiveness for strategic analysis. Businesses like wars, takes place in marketplace. The strategy o be used by the market leader or follower to gain or hold market share can be inferred. Thus, all of them capture market share by providing good quality product and services.
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