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The Mind Of The Strategist: The Art of Japanese Business [Anglais] [Broché]

Kenichi Ohmae

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Quatrième de couverture

A Masterful Analysis of Company, Customer, and Competition

Kenichi Ohmae-voted by The Economist as “one of the world's top five management gurus”-changed the landscape of management strategy in The Mind of the Strategist. In this compelling account of global business domination, Ohmae reveals the vital thinking processes and planning techniques of prominent companies, showing why they work, and how any company can benefit from them.

Filled with case studies of strategic thinking in action, Ohmae's classic work inspires today's managers to excel to new heights of bold, imaginative thinking and solutions.

“In many ways, Ohmae can be considered the modern reincarnation of a much older guru, Adam Smith.”-Journal of Marketing

“A fascinating window into the mind of one of Japan's premier strategists…full of ideas about how to improve strategic thinking.”-Michael E. Porter, Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University

Biographie de l'auteur

Internationally known as “Mr. Strategy,” Kenichi Ohmae was a partner at McKinsey & Company for 23 years, and today he is chairman of Ohmae & Associates. He is the author of more than 100 books.

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Première phrase
Some weeks ago I received a brochure from a Japanese travel agency inviting me to "enjoy sport amid fantastic scenic beauty." Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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31 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Creating the right mind-set for strategy formulation 23 février 2002
Par Gerard Kroese - Publié sur
Kenichi Ohmae was Chairman of the Japan office of McKinsey & Company, the world-famous strategy consulting firm. He has been described as "Mr. Strategy" and has written several books and articles on strategy-related topics.
Kenichi Ohmae believes that successful business strategies do not result from rigorous analysis but from a particular state of mind. "In what I call the mind of the strategist, insight and consequent drive for achievement, often amounting to a sense of mission, fuel a thought process which is basically creative and intuitive rather than rational." He uses theoretical knowledge from the various academic scholars and puts them in its place - "a place distinctly secondary to creative intuition in the tool kit of the successful strategist." The book split up in three parts, each consisting of 5 to 7 chapters.
In Part I - The Art of Strategic Thinking, the author concentrates on the basics of the mental process. In Chapter 1 - Analysis: The Starting Point, Ohmae introduces the strategic thinking process. He introduces various useful diagrams and flow processes for a more reliable recipe for success: "the combination of analytical method and mental elasticity that I call strategic thinking." In the chapters 2 to 6, the author explores the different directions the strategic thinker can pursue in quest of innovative strategies. In the final chapter of Part I, Ohmae explains how the right mindset for strategic thinking and how to develop the required strategy.
In Part II - Building Successful Strategies, Ohmae shifts his focus from process to content. "In the construction of any business strategy, three main players must be taken into account: the corporation itself, the customer, and the competition." He refers to them as the three C's or the strategic triangle. Within the next three chapters, Ohmae discusses the strategies based on those three C's: (1) "Customer-based strategies are the basis of all strategy. ... There is no doubt that a corporation's foremost concern ought to be the interest of its customers rather than that of its stockholders and other parties. In the long run, the corporation that is genuinely interested in its customers is the one that will be interesting to investors." (2) "Corporate-based strategies are functional. Their aim to maximize the corporation's strenghts relative to the competition in the functional areas that are critical to success in the industry." (3) "Competitor-based strategies can be constructed by looking at possible sources of differentiation in functions ranging from purchasing, design, and engineering to sales and servicing. The main point to remember is that any difference between you and your competitors must be related to one or more of the three elements that jointly determine profit: price, volume, and cost." In the final chapter of Part II, Ohmae discusses corporate strategy. He claims that corporate strategy needs to address two issues: First, the integration between the individual business and the total corporation. And second, should there be a corporate strategy that is different from the individual business.
Part III - Modern Strategic Realities discusses the environmental factors influencing strategy thinking and strategy formulation. The chapters in this part are not as much related to each other as the previous parts. Ohmae identifies and discusses five economic trends that have an impact on long-term business strategies, whereby he notes that the strategic thinker needs to take those trends into consideration when shaping strategies. Due to those economic trends, seven major changes are ongoing in a global perspective. Ohmae discusses those seven changes in a very interesting chapter 14. In the next chapter, the author discusses the various myths and realities about Japan products and Japanese companies, and discusses the four main differences between Japanese and Western companies. This chapter provides some great insights into Japanese strategic and business thinking. In Chapter 16, Ohmae tackles strategic decision making. Ohmae believes that founders of successful businesses do not simply gamble. In his opinion entrepreneurs follow a five-step process for successful, foresighted management decision making: (1) Clear definition of the business domain. (2) Logical hypothesis based on an extrapolation of forces at work in the business environment. (3) Focus on a few strategic options, instead of many, open to the business. (4) The company must pace its strategy and not overreach itself. (5) Management must be prepared to change the basic direction of the business, if conditions demand it. Each of these five steps are discussed in detail. In the final chapter of the book, the author discusses strategy formulation: "... to bring insight to fruition as a successful strategy takes method, mental discipline, and plain hard work." He also discusses the creativity required for the development of business strategy.
Yes, I do like this book. And yes, I do find it difficult to write a review about it. This book is not a guide or framework into Japanese strategic thinking. In fact, Ohmae only really spends one chapter on the difference between Japanese and Western business systems. It is more about the right mind-set for strategy formulation and strategy development. There are some great lines in this book, and the various figures, diagrams and sketches are extremely useful. I wish that I had read this book several years ago as it gives great insights into the strategy process and development. But again, this book is not a guide or framework. It is an excellent complement to books such Porter's 'Competitive Strategy' (1980) and 'Competitive Advantage' (1985). Highly recommended to anybody interested in strategic management and strategy development/process. The authors uses a very simple US-English writing style.
17 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Not only a business book, but also a HOW TO THINK TRAINING 28 février 2002
Par Emir - Publié sur
This is the best book I have ever read about Strategic Thinking. What is different and not existing in other popular books as 'Thinking Strategically, Co-opetition, Leading the Revolution, Competitive Strategy...' etc is HOW to think instead of WHAT to think.
The book's main chapter's include the following competencies:
Part I-The Art of Strategic Thinking:
--> What is strategy?
--> What can be the possible ways to overcome competitor?
--> How strategic mind should work?
(Instead of analysis to idea, idea to analysis)
Part II-Building Successful Strategies:
--> Define yourself - the corporation
--> Define the others - the competition
--> Define the rewarders - the consumers
--> And finally define the above 3C in one map
Part III-Modern Strategic Realities:
--> What is the affect of economic environment to 3C's?
--> How to cope with strategic changes?
--> A case analysis: A nations strategic gain: Japan
--> How to project the future 3C's?
--> And finally is there a strategic success formula?
The main thing I captured from the book is: strategic thinking is a way of life, not a special time event. Working in a US multinational for years, I am more and more aware of the facts and success path defined by Mr. Ohmae - McKinsey guru. Especially, determining the strategic degrees of freedom of any issue (can be a business issue, or a weekend tennis journey, or even life -I applied-) and determining the actions to take to get the determined result is the best thing I learned.
This is a short book (wrt to other strategic management books) but it teaches how to think instead of popular strategy methods.
It is a must read & can be taken as foreword of all business books.
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Essential reading for all Managers 27 janvier 2004
Par B.Sudhakar Shenoy - Publié sur
Last week I received an identical request from two sources to recommend a good book on business strategy. One is a first year MBA student and another a senior executive in a large multinational. Without hesitation, I recommended this book.
Strategy has been a subject matter of interest to Business and Military than to any other profession. In both these cases it is a about doing something differently to gain advantage over the adversary either in the battlefield or in the marketplace. Strategy is not just a piece of paper or a corporate manual but a state of the mind to win against all odds. So many books and theories have been written on this subject and still it continues to be a topic that cannot be defined as an exact science. If there is one topic that can be listed as the most important for any MBA program, undoubtedly it is Business Strategy.
Another reason for revisiting this book is that in the last decade, we have been overloaded with concepts of digitization and technology as the main drivers of business. We have seen technologies that are excellent but have failed miserably in the marketplace. Technocrats have failed to convert bits and bytes into bucks. In the quest for technical excellence, strategy has taken a back seat. We need to fill this vacuum of strategic thinking.
But then the problem is to have a strategy to understand and apply this vital topic ! It is here that this book is one among the best I have come across till date.
Strategy is a combination of elastic thinking and application of analytical method. Omahe explains this well and warns that strategy is not just somebody's spark of genius but a process that needs rigorous effort and continuos refinement. He brings in the framework of listing the concrete phenomena, grouping, abstraction and determination of approach that are actionable and practical. The three Cs' of the strategic triangle - Corporation, Customer and Competitor are at the core of this book. Each C is discussed in detail with excellent illustrations and case studies.
If you need to read an executive summary, I recommend Chapter 7 - The Secret of Strategic Vision. In this chapter one paragraph in my opinion contains the essence of strategic thinking.
"Strategic thinking in business must break out of the limited scope of vision that entraps deer on the highway. It must be backed by the daily use of imagination and by constant training in logical thought process. Success must be summoned; it will not come unbidden and unplanned. Top management and its corporate planners cannot base their day-to-day work on blind optimism and apply strategic thinking only when confronted by unexpected obstacles. They must develop the habit of thinking strategically, and must do it as a matter of course. Ideally, they must approach it with real enthusiasm as a stimulating mental exercise."
The book was first published in 1982. Hence some of the assumptions on key economic trends under "Modern Strategic Realities" have undergone major corrections. However, the framework for strategic thinking still holds good. Though the examples are mostly from Japanese companies, Omahe concludes the book by pointing out that " Creativity, mental productivity and the power of strategic insight know no national boundaries. Fortunately for all of us, they are universal."
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Balanced Perspective on Strategic Questioning and Thinking 21 mai 2000
Par Donald Mitchell - Publié sur
I have over 30 years of experience with strategic thinking as a consultant and planner. I constantly find that people have totally different concepts of what strategy is all about. Each tends to be either too focused in one area, or incomplete in some aspects. As a result, people logically arrive at some pretty bad strategic conclusions. Typically, this involves a strategy that the organization cannot execute well or which the competitors will quickly negate.
What I like about this simple book is that it nicely summarizes the case for a balanced perspective of customer, competitor and your own company. Although most American companies will believe that they do this, the American approach is much more superficial and incomplete than the Japanese one. For example, if a Japanese company wants to add a new product, the evaluation looks heavily at how well the customer will be able to use the product and how effectively the company will be able to provide it in the context of probable competitive offerings. An American analysis will feature financial analysis of a forecast that is often based on little more than spreadsheet doodling.
The weakness of the Japanese model is that they typically look too little at the business environment (notice how often they buy American businesses and properties at the top of the market for inflated prices), and are relatively insensitive to financial implications. In fast moving technology markets, the Japanese consensus-building process also tends to slow down time to market.
Clearly, there is no perfect model for strategic thinking that fits all situations. A major weakness of many efforts is to assume that the future can be precisely forecast. That is patently wrong. Typically, the relative importance of the elements considered needs to be adjusted to fit the circumstnace. That seems to be an art rather than a science at this point. Although this book has its limitations (as suggested above), it is a valuable perspective on strategy thinking that will be helpful to most American business people if they think about the concepts in a more thorough way.
To balance the perspective here, I suggest you also read Profit Patterns to get a sense of how circumstances play a role in profitability.
Good thinking! May this book help you overcome any stalled thinking you have about not doing your home work in thinking about outperforming competitors to provide benefits that matter a lot to customers.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 1% Inspiration; 99% McKinsey 11 janvier 2001
Par Un client - Publié sur
Ohmae wrote this before he left McKinsey, which was before he was passed over for Fred Gluck's job as Chairman of McKinsey, and also before Ohmae got seriously into Japanese reform politics. According to the bio. on the back, it was back when the author felt compelled to let us know how well-rounded he was, as both a motorcyclist and a clarinetist. This might be mistaken for typical consulting firm know-it-all hubris, but that would be unfair to Ohmae. There is an atypical humility and reach to his writing, which may be rooted in his Japanese background. Friends of mine with whom I have discussed it say this book is turgid and overblown. I disagree. It's well worth reading.
Main Points: This book has three (3) main points:
1. The Art of Strategic Thinking is a "combination of analytical method and mental elasticity" (35) and it can be learned. It certainly doesn't just happen. What usually does just happen in any organization is "strategic stagnation." (5) This book's goal is to help develop the "mentality" required to come up with "superior strategic ideas." (5)
2. Modern Strategic Realities have not changed the classic success formula of 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. Creativity works within constraints, and require certain conditions. These must be understood to make an idea work.
3. Building Successful Strategies. Implementing strategic progress (a decidedly Western notion ) calls for a company strategy to organize something real (and of course to make money). This has to exist within a "strategic triangle" of 1) the company itself; 2) customers; and 3) competitors. All is "Strategy."
Ohmae's case examples are interesting and refreshingly un-worshipful. His discussion of key factors for success, and strategies for dealing with competitors are also very well done. The issue is always this: Do these books help you take decisive action? Or do they just furnish you with a vocabulary to retrospectively apply to the decisive action you took anyway? How this issue is resolved may be a function of how capable you are as the reader of this book, in some realm outside merely reading books. So success could be reinterpreted as 1% listening to Ohmae, and 99% taking some action on it.
Ohmae's other book I have read, The Borderless World, is not as solid as this one, but also reads a lot faster.
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