Strategy not (yet) a thing that amuse me. Even though some of my friends think that strategy discipline and theory is a must and must be studied at the present time if you want to be a leader or CEO, I know that you need to prove your hard skill first before moving to middle managerial level. One book that capture my attention to strategy was Playing To Win by AG Lafley and Roger L. Martin. Not only this book advertised in HBR Magazines, but also some prominent business newspaper add it to their must-read list.
After spending a month to finish this book, I realized that it is nowhere near Age of Turbulence or Freakonomics or Undercover Economist. It is more like insider reports on how AG Lafley run Procter & Gamble during his tenure, written in academics language, accompanied with some flowchart. No wonder HBR Press was chosen to publish it.
For a common person who curious to read about strategy, Playing To Win feels dry and boring. It use too much academics jargon, tried to offer too many things in its 270 pages, and its examples are too few. Most mentioned brand is Olay (so that I thought this book should be renamed : The Story of Olay), followed by SK II, Febreze, and Colgate. These writers never mention P&G crown jewel, Pantene, nor explain specifically why some brands were utter failure.
Aside from its academic writing style and dryness, Playing To Win is a must have book for economic major scholars. It gives theory and practical examples about how to plan and execute strategy effectively. It also provide summaries at the end of every chapters to give its readers clearer points. These pointed summaries are very helpful if readers wants to understand what their points, but unwilling to read many pages.
I hope in the future Lafley and Martin willing to rewrite or polishing this book so common people could read without yawning or opening some business dictionary. Maybe with the help of Stephen J. Dubner as the editor or they hire some ghostwriters to rewrite Playing To Win. A strategy book that appeal and attractive to mass readers is essential if they want their message reach broader audience. Three from 5 strars for Playing To Win