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Big Think Strategy: How to Leverage Bold Ideas and Leave Small Thinking Behind 1st Edition

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1422103210
ISBN-10: 1422103218
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bernd H. Schmitt is a professor at Columbia Business School in New York. His best-selling books, including Customer Experience Management, have been published in 16 languages worldwide.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 177 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition (November 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422103218
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422103210
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,127,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mark P. McDonald VINE VOICE on December 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Bernd Schmitt's book Big Think Strategy is the best and clearest illustration of the potential, processes and ideas behind creating an innovative - out of the box strategy for your company. Schmitt provides clear delineations between big think strategies which are characterized by creativity, visionary leadership, bold ideas, and integration and lasting impact. These are in contrast to small think which is filled with inertia, fear, narrow mindedness, risk, silos and short term focus.

Schmitt uses the next 120 pages to discuss the concepts behind big think in detail. This is the strength of the book as the ensuing chapters provide examples as well as a few well placed tools and process descriptions that can help the reader implement the ideas behind big thinking.

Chapter 1: Big Think and the Trojan Horse talks about the essence behind the need to think outside of the normal constraints and have an approach for generating the next big idea.

Chapter 2 Sourcing Ideas demonstrates the realizations that while many of the fundamentals of strategy may be the same; it does not mean that the content of the strategy needs to be generic. This chapter discusses all of the different inputs and sources enterprises and leaders can use to think big.

Chapter 3: Evaluating the ideas provides processes and approaches for organizing and sifting through potentially big ideas. Here there are a few tried and true marketing idea generation techniques and unfortunately Schmitt recommends using traditional tools such as financial impact to assess ideas. It has been my experience that those are small think tools that will limit your creativity and run counter to the ideas in a big think strategy.
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Format: Hardcover
While it's possible to run a successful business by incrementally improving your product and service, you'll forever be trying to defend your turf from others doing the same thing. The way to break free and win big is to "think big". Bernd H. Schmitt takes a look at that strategy in his book Big Think Strategy: How to Leverage Bold Ideas and Leave Small Thinking Behind. It's an unconventional style business book to create unconventional products and services.

Big Think and the Trojan Horse
Sourcing Ideas - Steaks and Sacred Cows
Evaluating Ideas - How to Dig for the Gems
Turning Ideas into Strategy - What Would Mahler Do?
Executing Big Think - How to Pull the Ship over the Mountain
Leading Big Think - Guts, Passion - or Just a Robot?
Sustaining Big Think - From Sisyphus to Odysseus
About Schmitt

The first thing you notice about this book is that it's not the typical scholarly look at some management theory that sounds good on paper but probably wouldn't translate to real life. Schmitt digs right in and relates his ideas and actions that have been developed from many years of working with companies. Many of the applications of these ideas weren't part of some strategy session or formal "brainstorming" gathering, but rather the result of conversations on the train or over steaks with the leaders of companies that were struggling with these very issues. As such, the whole presentation of the concepts has a "real" feel to them. I liked that...

The book centers around three leadership qualities and four strategy types you can use to move your company from small think to Big Think. The styles involve guts, passion, and perseverance.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In his previous books (e.g. Marketing Aesthetics, Experiential Marketing, and Customer Experience Management), Bernd Schmitt focuses his attention almost entirely on the aesthetics and dynamics of the purchase experience. What we have in this volume is a substantive, thought-provoking examination of how to develop a mindset that can be beneficial to -- but is not limited to -- marketing. Specifically, a mindset he characterizes as "Big Think" as opposed to "Small Think." According to Schmitt, "Where Small Think deals with the known, the pretested, and the prechewed, Big Think faces challenges creatively, reasoning about them from new angles and generating innovative ideas and actions to solve them. Bug Think does not just occur in the head. It involves action: managing people and teams, and driving organizational change. It is not simply creating something new; it is behaving differently."

Throughout his narrative, Schmitt cites a number of organizations that established and then developed a culture that has avoided or overcome what James O'Toole so aptly characterizes (in his brilliant book, Leading Change) as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." These organizations include Whole Foods Market, Apple Computer, IBM, The Metropolitan Opera, Samsung, and Vodaphone.

Here are several of the questions to which Schmitt responds, with rigor and eloquence:

1. What are the strategy tasks of Big Think?
2. Which idea sourcing tools tend to be most productive?
3. By what process can an organization benchmark outside of its industry?
4. By what process can Big Ideas be identified, evaluated, and selected?
5. What are the four types of Big Think strategy?
6. How to formulate a strategy for a Big Idea?
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