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Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Welcome to the Strategy Room 1 You are not alone 2 The villain is the social side of strategy 4 Where is the outside view? 6 Making big moves happen 8 The journey ahead of us 9 1. Games in the Strategy Room-and Why People Play Them 13 The social side of strategy, in action 15 The dreaded hockey stick 17 Can we handle the truth? 20 Playing the inside game 21 Send in the guru 22 The wrong problem for human brains 23 The biased mind 25 Now add social dynamics to the mix 27 When the inside view remains unchecked 31 2. Opening the Windows of Your Strategy Room 37 The right yardstick 40 Your business lives on a Power Curve 42 What we see on the map 44 Why you are where you are 49 A fresh perspective with the outside view 53 3. Hockey Stick Dreams, Hairy Back Realities 57 The rise of the hairy back 58 Getting to yes 60 A haircut from finance 60 Bold forecasts 62 Timid plans 68 Corporate peanut butter 70 Shooting for the known 70 Real hockey sticks 72 4. What are the Odds? 75 The knowable probability of success 77 Flight paths of the upwardly mobile 80 A tale of three companies 83 Where are the odds in the strategy room? 85 The push for certainty 87 You are your numbers 89 5. How to Find the Real Hockey Stick 93 What's different this time? 94 Check the facts 95 The odds that matter: Yours 96 The 10 variables that make the difference 99 Endowment 100 Trends 101 Moves 102 It all matters 103 The mobility dashboard 105 Know the odds 109 Is that all? 110 6. The Writing is on the Wall 115 A very different conversation about strategy 118 Tennis or badminton? 119 Industries are escalators 120 Change your industry or change industries 123 Consider changing locations, too 124 Go micro 125 The need for privileged insights 127 Acting on the writing on the wall 128 The four stages of a disruptive trend 130 Stage one: Signals amid the noise 132 Stage two: Change takes hold 134 Stage three: The inevitable transformation 136 The hardest stage 136 Stage four: Adapting to the new normal 139 7. Making the Right (big) Moves 143 Big moves are essential 146 Corning's story 150 Programmatic M&A and divestitures 150 Active resource re-allocation 152 To re-allocate, you have to de-allocate 156 Strong capital programs 156 Caution on capex 158 Distinctive productivity improvement 158 Running fast and getting nowhere 159 Differentiation improvement 162 Are you playing to your advantage? 165 Big moves make for good strategy 166 8. Eight Shifts to Unlock Strategy 173 From annual planning ... to strategy as a journey 175 From getting to "yes" ... to debating real alternatives 177 From peanut butter ... to picking your 1-in-10s 181 From approving budgets ... to making big moves 184 From budget inertia ... to liquid resources 188 From sandbagging ... to open risk portfolios 190 From "you are your numbers" ... to a holistic performance view 193 From long-range planning ... to forcing the first step 196 The package deal 198 Epilogue: New Life in the Strategy Room 201 Acknowledgments 205 Appendix 207 About our sample and method 207 A note on economic profi t and total returns to shareholders 209 How the odds look different from the top or bottom 209 Life at the top 211 Life at the bottom 211 Notes 215 Index 227

About the Author

SVEN SMIT is a Senior Partner in Amsterdam. He leads McKinsey Western Europe and, before that, led McKinsey's Strategy Practice. He is the co-author of the bestselling book Granularity of Growth. MARTIN HIRT is a Senior Partner in Greater China. He leads McKinsey's Global Strategy & Corporate Finance Practice. CHRIS BRADLEY is a Partner in Sydney. He leads McKinsey's Business Strategy service line.

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