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Key Strategy Tools


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Table of Contents

  • Section 1: Knowing Your Business
  • Overview
  • Essential tools
  • 1. Identifying key segments
  • 2. Issue Analysis (Minto)
  • Example: British Aerospace's super segment
  • Useful tools
  • 3. The 80/20 Principle (Pareto)
  • 4. The Segmentation Mincer (Koch)
  • 5. 5C Situation Analysis
  • 6. SWOT Analysis
  • Section 2: Setting Goals and Objectives
  • Overview
  • Essential tools
  • 7. Setting long-term goals
  • 8. Setting SMART objectives
  • 9. Maximising shareholder value
  • 10. Balancing stakeholder interests
  • Example: Which goals count for RBS?
  • Useful tools
  • 11. Creating Shared Value (Porter & Kramer)
  • 12. Economic Value Added (Stern Stewart)
  • 13. Balanced Scorecard and Strategy Map (Kaplan & Norton)
  • 14. Core Ideology (Collins & Porras)
  • 15. Business as a Community (Handy)
  • Section 3: Forecasting Market Demand
  • Overview
  • Essential tools
  • 16. Sizing the market and Marketcrafting (Evans)
  • 17. The HOOF Approach to Demand Forecasting (Evans)
  • Example: Galileo's Hiccup in Market Demand
  • Useful tools
  • 18. Smoothing through moving averages
  • 19. The Income Elasticity of Demand
  • 20. Survey methods of demand forecasting
  • a. Survey of customers' intentions
  • b. Salesforce estimation method
  • c. The Delphi method
  • d. Pilot test marketing
  • 21. Statistical methods of demand forecasting
  • a. Trend projection
  • b. Regression analysis
  • c. Barometric method (NBER)
  • Section 4: Gauging Industry Competition
  • Overview
  • Essential tools
  • 22. The Five Forces (Porter)
  • 23. Assessing customer purchasing criteria
  • 24. Deriving key success factors
  • Example: Woolworths succumbs to the five forces
  • Useful tools
  • 25. Weighing economies of scale
  • 26. Corporate environment as a sixth force
  • 27. Complements as a sixth force (Brandenburger & Nalebuff)
  • 28. PESTEL analysis
  • Section 5: Tracking Competitive Advantage
  • Overview
  • Essential tools
  • 29. Rating competitive position
  • 30. The Resource and Capability Strengths/Importance Matrix (Grant)
  • Example: Cobra Beer's clever competitive advantage
  • Useful tools
  • 31. The Value Chain (Porter)
  • 32. The Product/Market Matrix (Ansoff)
  • 33. Cross,Spider and Comb Charts
  • 34. Benchmarking
  • 35. Structured interviewing
  • Section 6: Targeting the Strategic Gap
  • Overview
  • Essential tools
  • 36. The Attractiveness/Advantage Matrix (GE/McKinsey)
  • 37. The Growth/Share Matrix (BCG)
  • 38. Profiling the ideal player
  • 39. Identifying the capability gap
  • Example: Komatsu targets the cat
  • Useful tools
  • 40. The Strategic Condition Matrix (Arthur D Little)
  • 41. The 7S Framework (McKinsey)
  • 42. The Opportunity/Vulnerability Matrix (Bain/LEK)
  • 43. Brainstorming
  • 44. Scenario planning
  • Section 7: Bridging the Gap: Business Strategy
  • Overview
  • Essential tools
  • 45. Three Generic Strategies (Porter)
  • 46. The Experience Curve (BCG)
  • 47. Strategic repositioning and shaping profit growth options
  • 48. Making the strategic investment decision
  • 49. BlueOceanStrategy (Kim & Mauborgne)
  • Example: Could Facebook be undone the way it undid MySpace?
  • Useful tools
  • 50. The Tipping Point (Gladwell)
  • 51. The Price Elasticity of Demand (Marshall)
  • 52. PIMS
  • 53. The 4Ps Marketing Mix (McCarthy)
  • 54. Product Quality and Satisfaction (Kano)
  • 55. The Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow)
  • 56. The Bottom of the Pyramid (Prahalad & Leiberthal)
  • 57. Business Process Redesign (Hammer and Champy)
  • 58. Outsourcing
  • Section 8: Bridging the Gap: Corporate Strategy
  • Overview
  • Essential tools
  • 59. Optimising the Corporate Portfolio
  • 60. Creating Value from Mergers, Acquisitions and Alliances
  • 61. The Corporate Restructuring Pentagon (McKinsey)
  • 62. Creating Parenting Value (Goold, Campbell & Alexander)
  • 63. Core Competences (Hamel & Prahalad)
  • 64. Strategically Valuable Resources (Collis & Montgomery)
  • Example: Virrce-based strategy
  • Useful tools
  • 65. Strategically Distinctive Resources (Barney)
  • 66. Distinctive Capabilities (Kay)
  • 67. Distinctive Competences (Snow & Hrebiniak)
  • 68. Dynamic Capabilities (Teece, Pisano & Shuen)
  • 69. Deliberate and Emergent Strategy (Mintzberg)
  • 70. Stick to the Knitting (Peters & Waterman)
  • 71. Profit from the Core (Zook)
  • 72. The Market-Driven Organisation (Day)
  • 73. Value Disciplines (Treacy & Wiersema)
  • 74. Disruptive Technologies (Christensen)
  • 75. Coopetition (Brandenburger & Nalebuff)
  • 76. Growth and Crisis (Greiner)
  • 77. Good Strategy, Bad Strategy (Rumelt)
  • 78. Innovation Hot Spots (Gratton)
  • 79. Strategy as Orientation or Animation (Cummings & Wilson)
  • 80. The Knowledge Spiral (Nonaka & Takeuchi)
  • 81. The Eight Phases of Change (Kotter)
  • Section 9: Addressing Risk and Opportunity
  • Overview
  • Essential tools
  • 82. Strategic Due Diligence and Market Contextual Plan Review (Evans)
  • 83. The Suns & Clouds Chart (Evans)
  • Example: Were the Beatles worth the risk?
  • Useful tools
  • 84. The Composite Risk Index and the 5x5 Risk Matrix
  • 85. The Risk Management Matrix
  • 86. Expected Value and Sensitivity Analysis
  • 87. Black Swans (Taleb)
  • 88. Strategy Bets (Burgleman & Grove)
  • Conclusion
  • References and Further Reading
  • Glossary
  • Index

About the Author

Vaughan Evans has been a strategy consultant since the mid-1980s, working with a broad range of corporate clients, from small firms to global giants, and with over 50 financier clients, both structured lenders and private equity. For the last ten years he has been independent, specialising in business strategy, business planning and strategic due diligence. Vaughan is a graduate of Downing College, Cambridge and a Sloan Fellow with distinction of London Business School. He has written four previous books including the bestseller The Financial Times Essential Guide to Writing a Business Plan.


I wish I had thought of the idea for this book. Or could have done it so well! The selection of topics is excellent, the commentary astute, and the explanations simple and engaging.Richard Koch, entrepreneur, co-founder L.E.K. Consulting, author of The 80/20 Principle This is a new, very practical and delightfully pithy approach to strategy making. It offers a fabulous compendium of the major strategy tools, woven into a no-nonsense, step-by-step strategy process. An enormously refreshing andhelpful book, invaluable to novices and strategy experts alike.Marcus Alexander, Professor of Strategy and Enterprise, London Business School A really practical guide to strategy development. All the relevant tools are explained in detail, but highlighting the essential ones is a master stroke that will save endless hours!Adrian Beecroft, Chairman, Dawn Capital and former Senior Managing Partner, Apax Partners A comprehensive inventory of the tools and analytical frameworks of strategy. The key value of this book is the guidance it offers on how to apply these tools - and this is rooted in Vaughan Evans' deep experience of working with them.Robert M. Grant, ENI Professor of Strategic Management, Bocconi University, Milan This is an interesting and usable book. Evans helps you navigate through the myriad of theories and toolkits on business strategy with a highly practical approach. Whether your business is a start-up, an SME or a multi-national, use it to help you devise a coherent strategy.Anthony Karibian, CEO, Bonline Ltd and co-founder, Euroffice Ltd and XLN Telecom Ltd (both exited) Everything you need from a tool kit, comprehensive, practical and high added value.Mike Garland, Partner and Head of Portfolio Group, Permira Advisers LLP This book really works. I hope it becomes a standard for every management team seeking private equity; it would certainly make my life much easier.David Williamson, Managing Director, Nova Capital Management A broad yet accessible explanation of the range of strategy tools actually used by businesses. Whether you are an experienced strategy specialist or newer to the field, you will find this an invaluable guide.Robert Samuelson, Executive Director Group Strategy, Virgin Media Strategy is at the heart of a successful business - with this excellent book, Vaughan Evans has provided an extremely clear roadmap to achieving that success.James Courtenay, Global Head, Advisory & Infrastructure Finance, Standard Chartered Bank A very satisfying read. This is a guide to strategy which covers all the necessary ground in a very straightforward and no nonsense way, employing a number of good real life examples of strategy in practice. It is written by a trueexpert and will prove an invaluable tool for anybody involved in the running of a business.Vince O'Brien, Director, Montagu Private Equity and Past Chairman of the British Venture Capital Association It can be difficult to keep up to date with all the latest developments in the world of strategy, let alone how one guru's work blends with those of his predecessors. Vaughan Evans has done it for us. He gives us a thorough refresher course, with each leading strategy theory, model or matrix presented as a tool in the manager's toolkit - and carefully placed in each step of the strategy process. Each tool is described in a lucid and vivid style seldom found in a business manual. Refreshing and invaluable for a DIY strategist.Christine Harvey, former Director of Business Analysis and Planning, GlaxoSmithKline R&D A practical approach, easy to read and understand, on how to build your business strategy, the steering direction that any business, large or small, needs to succeed.Jose-Maria Maldonado, Partner, Bridgepoint Capital, Madrid

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