The Art of Action: How Leaders Close the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results

The Art of Action: How Leaders Close the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results

by Stephen Bungay
     
 

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Examining the gap between what managers plan, what they do, and the outcomes they achieve, Stephen Bungay uses the nineteenth-century Prussian Army—and the unpredictable environment of the battlefield—to show business leaders how they can build more effective and productive organizations. Bungay provides a fresh look at how managers can turn planning into

Overview

Examining the gap between what managers plan, what they do, and the outcomes they achieve, Stephen Bungay uses the nineteenth-century Prussian Army—and the unpredictable environment of the battlefield—to show business leaders how they can build more effective and productive organizations. Bungay provides a fresh look at how managers can turn planning into execution, and execution into results.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Review Author: Poul Bukh, Managing Partner, Core Strategy

Review Content:“In our experience senior executives in large corporations find the approach described in this book to be a tremendously helpful way of getting to the core of issues, setting direction and aligning the organization behind it. The techniques may have been developed 150 years ago, but they could not be more relevant to business today.”

Review Author: David Roblin, Senior Vice President, Pfizer Global R&D

“Stephen Bungay’s career as CEO, management consultant and historian enables him to bring a unique clarity to leadership and the art of making strategy happen. His study of the chastened Prussian military machine analyzing why it was defeated by Napoleon’s peasant army is illuminated with anecdotes from his career in business. It is this blend of evidence from the military to the business environment which makes this book so useful to the modern-day practitioner!"

Review Author: Martin Bean, Vice Chancellor, The Open University

“All too often, strategies fail to be implemented because they do not make tough choices between priorities and therefore leave people confused.The eminently pragmatic techniques described in this book area great way of sharpening up the thinking, the communication and the sense of accountability needed to get an organization moving. The ideas sound simple, but they are very powerful.”

Review Author: Eliot Forster, CEO, Solace Pharmaceuticals

Review Content:“The Art of Action is a must for anyone in business who takes their leader ship responsibilities seriously. Stephen Bungay draws upon his deep understanding of business strategy and military history and describes principles in his book that will have a real impact for thosewho adopt them. The Art of Action is the strategic handbook for today built on the insights of yesterday. This will be compulsory reading for all of my unit heads.”

Review Author: Jonathan Stevenson, Professor of Strategic Studies, U.S. Naval War College

Review Content:“We live in an age of strategic failure across the board – in international relations and economic affairs, on the battlefield as well as in the market place. Inventively and incisively, Stephen Bungay draws on Clausewitz's wisdom, military history, business literature, and common sense to develop the notion of ‘directed opportunism’ for breaking the ominous cycle of frustration.”

Patrick Forth, Senior Vice President, The Boston Consulting Group

Review Content:“Organizational alignment remains one of the biggest challenges for leaders of large corporations. Many have fine strategies but ‘the troops won't march in tune.’ Stephen Bungay delves into military history to provide a stimulating insight into how to arm leaders with a powerful concept which gets strategy off the PowerPoint presentation and into action. It is a simple, but profound and entertaining read.”

Review Author: Tom Glocer, CEO, Thomson Reuters

Review Content:“Leadership is an intangible value. What sets Stephen Bungay apart is that he draws upon his deep knowledge of historical military campaigns to highlight key leadership principles and then sets them in the context of modern business with an understanding of the particular challenges faced by each company he works for. The first part greatly entertains and captivates the audience and the second part really brings home the teachings we wish to impart. The results have been very good.”

Review Author: Aidan Walsh, Partner, Ernst & Young

Review Content:"This is not just another book about strategy. The Art of Action does not only present a radical, counter-cultural solution to the impasse business is facing today but it is grounded in real strategic execution in a fascinating organisation. It is the ‘Reengineering the Corporation’ of the 21st century. I intend to send a copy to all my clients

Wall Street Journal
Stephen Bungay has something genuinely interesting to tell us. His book is not one of those vacuous essays in leadership qualities of the how would Napoleon/MacArthur/Alexander the Great have turned around General Motors variety... What makes this book worth reading is the way in which Mr. Bungay calls time on an entire culture of gobbledygook. You don't succeed in warfare by having vague objectives and issuing ambiguous orders. And you shouldn't expect to succeed in business that way, either.
Laurence Eyton
Director
What do you get if you cross a military historian with a management consultant? You get this fascinating book by Stephen Bungay. Bungay is a comfortable with management as he is with history and here cleverly draws on his knowledge of the latter to influence his thinking. This is a refreshing take on a well-covered area. A must-read for any would-be strategist.
DIRECTOR
What do you get if you cross a military historian with a management consultant? You get this fascinating book by Stephen Bungay. Bungay is a comfortable with management as he is with history and here cleverly draws on his knowledge of the latter to influence his thinking. This is a refreshing take on a well-covered area. A must-read for any would-be strategist.
Laurence Eyton
Stephen Bungay has something genuinely interesting to tell us. His book is not one of those vacuous essays in leadership qualities of the how would Napoleon/MacArthur/Alexander the Great have turned around General Motors variety... What makes this book worth reading is the way in which Mr. Bungay calls time on an entire culture of gobbledygook. You don't succeed in warfare by having vague objectives and issuing ambiguous orders. And you shouldn't expect to succeed in business that way, either.
Wall Street Journal
Jonathan Stevenson
We live in an age of strategic failure across the board—in international relations and economic affairs, on the battlefield as well as in the market place. Inventively and incisively, Stephen Bungay draws on Clausewitz's wisdom, military history, business literature, and common sense to develop the notion of 'directed opportunism' for breaking the ominous cycle of frustration.
Poul Bukh
In our experience senior executives in large corporations find the approach described in this book to be a tremendously helpful way of getting to the core of issues, setting direction and aligning the organization behind it. The techniques may have been developed 150 years ago, but they could not be more relevant to business today.
David Roblin
Stephen Bungay’s career as CEO, management consultant and historian enables him to bring a unique clarity to leadership and the art of making strategy happen. His study of the chastened Prussian military machine analyzing why it was defeated by Napoleon’s peasant army is illuminated with anecdotes from his career in business. It is this blend of evidence from the military to the business environment which makes this book so useful to the modern-day practitioner!
Martin Bean
All too often, strategies fail to be implemented because they do not make tough choices between priorities and therefore leave people confused.The eminently pragmatic techniques described in this book area great way of sharpening up the thinking, the communication and the sense of accountability needed to get an organization moving. The ideas sound simple, but they are very powerful.
Eliot Forster
The Art of Action is a must for anyone in business who takes their leader ship responsibilities seriously. Stephen Bungay draws upon his deep understanding of business strategy and military history and describes principles in his book that will have a real impact for those who adopt them. The Art of Action is the strategic handbook for today built on the insights of yesterday. This will be compulsory reading for all of my unit heads.
Patrick Forth
Organizational alignment remains one of the biggest challenges for leaders of large corporations. Many have fine strategies but 'the troops won't march in tune.' Stephen Bungay delves into military history to provide a stimulating insight into how to arm leaders with a powerful concept which gets strategy off the PowerPoint presentation and into action. It is a simple, but profound and entertaining read.
Tom Glocer
Leadership is an intangible value. What sets Stephen Bungay apart is that he draws upon his deep knowledge of historical military campaigns to highlight key leadership principles and then sets them in the context of modern business with an understanding of the particular challenges faced by each company he works for. The first part greatly entertains and captivates the audience and the second part really brings home the teachings we wish to impart. The results have been very good.
Aidan Walsh
This is not just another book about strategy. The Art of Action does not only present a radical, counter-cultural solution to the impasse business is facing today but it is grounded in real strategic execution in a fascinating organization. It is the 'Reengineering the Corporation' of the 21st century. I intend to send a copy to all my clients

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781857885590
Publisher:
Quercus
Publication date:
11/04/2010
Pages:
228
Sales rank:
1,270,178
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

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