Strategic Learning: How to Be Smarter Than Your Competition and Turn Key Insights into Competitive Advantage

Strategic Learning: How to Be Smarter Than Your Competition and Turn Key Insights into Competitive Advantage

by Willie Pietersen
Strategic Learning: How to Be Smarter Than Your Competition and Turn Key Insights into Competitive Advantage

Strategic Learning: How to Be Smarter Than Your Competition and Turn Key Insights into Competitive Advantage

by Willie Pietersen


    Qualifies for Free Shipping
    Usually ships within 6 days
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


How to use Strategic Learning to rapidly respond to change and gain a sustainable advantage over your competitors

What's even harder than creating a breakthrough strategy? Making it stick. As companies are fighting to survive in a tough economy, this new book by Willie Pietersen demonstrates the power of the Strategic Learning process, a four-step dynamic cycle guaranteed to create and sustain winning performance. Adopted by a wide range of corporations and not-for-profit organizations, the Strategic Learning process builds on eight years of practicing, adapting and honing the original concepts Pietersen first introduced in Reinventing Strategy to explain how organizations can generate superior insights about their customers and competitors, craft a Winning Proposition, focus on a vital few key priorities, create buy-in throughout the organization and achieve success – again and again.

  • Teaches organizations to make smarter decisions that help them win customers and earn superior profits
  • Explains how to instill a culture of openness, learning, and courage that can face and respond to the constantly changing business environment
  • Is a tool that can benefit leaders at all levels, in organizations both large and small, global and domestic, for-profit and not-for-profit
  • Author Willie Pietersen, a former president of Tropicana and Seagram USA, is a professor of management at Columbia Business School, and the author of Reinventing Strategy, from Wiley

Strategic Learning shows you how your business or nonprofit organization can develop better, more effective strategies for long-term competitive advantage.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470540695
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/15/2010
Pages: 234
Sales rank: 435,250
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Willie Pietersen was raised in South Africa and received a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. After practicing law, he embarked on an international business career, serving as the CEO of multibillion-dollar businesses such as Lever Foods, Seagram USA, Tropicana, and Sterling Winthrop's Consumer Health Group. Since 1998, Pietersen has been Professor of the Practice of Management at the Columbia University Business School. He has served as teacher and advisor to many global companies, including Boeing, Deloitte, DePuy, Ericsson, ExxonMobil, Novartis, SAP, and the Girl Scouts of the USA. He is the author of Reinventing Strategy, which is widely used by organizations as a guide to the creation of winning strategies, and has been translated into Spanish and Chinese.

For more information about the application of Strategic Learning, visit

Read an Excerpt

Click to read or download

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

The New Competitive Context xiv

Winning in the New Environment xvi

Reinventing Strategy with Strategic Learning xvi

Why This Book? xviii

Getting to Excelling xix

Part I What Every Organization Needs to Know About Strategy 1

Chapter 1 The Real Job of Strategy 3

What Is Strategy? 5

What Key Questions Must Strategy Answer for Us? 6

Choice-Making in Action 8

Strategy and Planning Are Different 12

Closing the Doing/Excelling Gap 14

Chapter 2 Defining Competitive Advantage: How Much More Value Do You Deliver Than Your Competitors? 15

Mind the Gap 16

Stretching the Elastic Band 18

GM’s Race to the Bottom 21

Value Leadership through a Winning Proposition 24

What’s Your Winning Proposition? 26

The Moment of Truth 27

Part II Applying Strategic Learning to Create An Adaptive Enterprise 31

Chapter 3 Strategic Learning: Four Key Steps, One Cycle 33

Do You Have a Robust Method? 34

What Were We Thinking? 35

The Theory of Natural Selection 37

Complexity Theory 39

Learning Organizations 39

Strategy’s New Mission 40

The Five Killer Competencies 40

The Strategic Learning Cycle 41

What We’ve Learned from Deming 42

Building Capability through Deliberate Practice 43

Chapter 4 Learn: Using a Situation Analysis to Generate Superior Insights about Your External Environment and Your Own Realities 47

The ‘‘Sense and Respond’’ Imperative 48

Learning through the Situation Analysis 49

Analyzing Customer Needs 51

Who Are Our Stakeholders and Why Do They Matter? 59

Analyzing Competitors 63

Interpreting Industry Dynamics 66

Taking a Broader View 68

Facing Your Own Realities 69

Pulling Together the Situation Analysis 73

Winning the Battle for Insights 75

Doing a Great Situation Analysis: The Rules of Success 78

Chapter 5 Focus: Clarifying Your Winning Proposition and Identifying Your Key Priorities 81

Making Your Strategic Choices 81

The Parmenides Fallacy 83

Value Proposition versus Winning Proposition 87

Where Does Your Vision Fit In? 90

Delivering Superior Profits 90

The Three Bottom Lines 93

Your Key Priorities 95

How the Girl Scouts Did It 99

Deciding What Not to Do 103

Chapter 6 Align: Mobilizing Your Entire Organization behind Your Strategy 109

Leading a Journey 110

The Golden Rules of Successful Execution 112

Closing the Gaps 113

The Business Ecosystem 119

Changing an Organization’s Culture 125

Avoiding the Values Trap 131

Chapter 7 Overcoming Resistance to Change and Driving Momentum 135

Dealing with the Sources of Resistance 137

The Lessons of the Sigmoid Curve 138

The Curse of Success 139

Launching the Second Curve 142

Maximize Participation 146

Generate Short-Term Wins 149

Deal Directly with Resisters 150

Set a Shining Example 154

Chapter 8 Translating Your Strategy into a Compelling Leadership Message 157

What Is Leadership? 160

Building a Cathedral 161

Commander’s Intent 162

Who Are the Leaders? 163

Developing Your Leadership Message 165

The Power of Storytelling 167

The Need for Repetition 169

Chapter 9 Execute: Implementing and Experimenting in the Strategic Learning Cycle 171

Learning through Experimentation 172

Learning from Others 174

Learning from Mistakes 175

Experiential Learning: The After-Action Review 176

Strategic Learning 365 Days a Year 179

Part III Integrating Strategy and Leadership 181

Chapter 10 Leading through a Crisis 183

Dealing Successfully with the Unexpected 184

Learning Your Way Out of a Crisis 186

Building Readiness 188

Seizing Opportunities during a Crisis 190

The Human Dimension 191

Chapter 11 Becoming an Integrated Leader 195

The Three Domains of Leadership 196

Articulating Your Leadership Credo 199

The Quest for Self-Knowledge 201

The Lifeline Exercise 202

Applying Strategic Learning to Yourself 206

Conclusion The 5 Cs: Choices, Clarity, Change, Courage, and Compassion 211

The Five Cs 213

Appendix 217

Notes 219

Index 225

From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews