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Deep Dive: The Proven Method for Building Strategy, Focusing Your Resources, and Taking Smart Action [Kindle Edition]

Rich Horwath
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Get competitive by learning to think strategically
The inability to set good strategy can sink a company—and a leader’s career. A recent Wall Street Journal study revealed that the most sought-after executive skill is strategic thinking, but only three out of ten managers have this skill set.
Horwath explains the three keys to strategic thinking, breaks them down into simple, attainable skills, and gives you practical tools to apply them every day, providing managers with a clear path to mastery of the three disciplines:
1. Acumen—generate critical insights through a step-by-step evaluation of your business and its environment
2. Allocation—focus your limited resources through strategic trade-offs
3. Action—implement a system to guarantee effective execution of strategy at all levels of your organization
Based on new research with senior executives from 150 companies and the author’s experience as a thought-leading strategist, Deep Dive is the first book to focus on the most important level of strategy—you. Armed with this knowledge and dozens of effective tools, you can become a truly strategic leader for your organization.
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Rich Horwath is the president of the Strategic Thinking Institute, a former chief strategy officer, and professor of strategy at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. As a thought-leading strategist, he has worked with such giants as Adidas, Amgen, and Pfizer. He is the author of four books and more than fifty articles on strategic thinking and has been profiled in business publications around the world, including Investor’s Business Daily.


Product Details

  • File Size: 2395 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press (August 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0071N8EPC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,158 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without a good strategy, a company can quickly fail September 24, 2009
Format:Hardcover
In Deep Dive, the author takes us into the offices of senior executives from more than 150 companies. He gives the reader the information he needs to generate critical insights, to focus limited resources and to implement a system that guarantees effective execution. You learn how to communicate your strategy throughout your company.

In my own business, writing sales copy for all types of businesses, I've learned that developing a strategy and executing it, communicating it, is perhaps the main downfall of most businesses. Armed with the information in this book, you can save your company from this disaster.

Highly recommended.

- Susanna K. Hutcheson
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly Simple.... August 13, 2009
By Jim
Format:Hardcover
Whether you're working for yourself or in a Fortune 500 organization, there is something in this book for you. Rich is one of the few authors who can take complex business problems and ideas and break them down using stories and analogies.

As someone who has spent years assessing the strategic thinking ability of job applicants, I can say unequivocally it is a skill set in short supply. This book will help put you on the right track.

Highly recommended!!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diving for Insight January 11, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having worked with management in different industries in various parts of the country it has become apartent to me that strategic thinking occurs significantly less than I first thought. Business leaders over the past couple of years seem to be very short term thinkers. While times were good it was easy to cover up bad decisions but now that revenues are down it is very obvious that their acumen was overestimated. I was some what surprread in Rich Horwath's book that 85% of executive leadership spends less than an hour a month discussing strategy, what are they doing the rest of the month? I believe all leaders can use further development in the strategic thinking arena to keep their skills sharp and to enhance their companies performance. Rich Horwath offers in his latest book, "Deep Dive", a plunge into waters of business creativity, and the unseen jewels that reside beneath the surface.

Complacency has caused more damage in corporate America than foreign competition. New strategies and ways of thinking are how we can turn things around. During an economic downturn, when all of your instinct tells you to hold onto your business model at all costs, this is the precise moment when new strategies are needed the most. What "Deep Dive" does is to identify how to maximize the productivity of a brain storming sessions and eliminate any unnecessary risk when implementing a new strategy.

Several great strategic thinking concepts and methods are introduced in "Deep Dive" and are summarized at the end of each chapter. These examples given through out the book can be utilized across any organization in any functional area. Tools such as the OODA Loop and Contextual Radar methods reveal the context in which particular ideas need to flourish.
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34 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another 20-20 hindsight business book... December 18, 2009
Format:Hardcover
In business, have a plan. Apply strategic thinking to the plan. Implement.

That about sums up this common sense book.

Books that tout a methodology for business success are always problematic, in my view. They point out failed companies because they've failed, saying, "See, if the company's leaders only did x, y, and z, they'd still be in business." And, "Now, these companies, still in business, are obviously applying x, y, and z correctly." 20-20 hindsight.

Take General Motors. In 2009 General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Before this time, it was an example of a company with a strategic plan (which apparently was to sell large, gas-guzzling cars and trucks). You hear that call from the stands for fuel efficiency? Author Rich Horwath writes that Bob Lutz, former chairman of GM, stated "The customer is at best just a rear-view mirror. He can tell you what he likes among the choices already out there. But when it comes to the future, why expect the customer to be the expert in clairvoyance or in creativity? After all, isn't that really what he expects us to be?" (p. 64). The Wall Street Journal lamented, "For the many individual General Motors Corp. shareholders wondering what their stock is still worth, the answer looks pretty bleak." So, what does this mean? Before, they were strategic thinkers, and then they were not strategic thinkers, and then they failed, and if they reemerge from their new organizational structure then they must be strategic thinkers again?

I have a diver's headache.

Here's what I want, one time. I want authors like Horwath to make predictions. "Companies A, B, and C are not applying the type of strategic thinking that I believe is required for their success.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strategy Made Clear and Understandable December 8, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Deep Dive is a terrific example of how to make the complicated clear and understandable. Rich Horwath does a great job of defining words clearly and then breaking the definitions down into even smaller and more manageable parts. He has taken the topic of strategy, which is one of the most confusing words in business, and has laid out his explanation of how to make strategy useful in generating sustainable improvement in your key business results.

I particulary liked his explanation of the three major disciplines of strategy: acumen, allocation, and action. Within these three primary areas he was able to emphasize the importance of working for real understanding before establishing a strategy, the careful placement of your resources where they can most effectively support that strategy, and the critical importance of execution, which is where any strategy comes to life or fades way.

Even though I'm not an underwater diver, I found Horwath's analogy of deepwater divers to be effective in understanding his thoughts on strategy. He uses that analogy just enough througout the book to support his points, but not to the point of overkill.

I found his insights on strategic thinking and on team diving to be practical and filled with real-world advice. Another strength of this book is the comprehensive explanation of some of the best ideas from some of the world's best thinkers on strategy over the past 60 years. If you are responsible in your organization for establishing the types of strategy that will drive sustainable improvement in your most important desired business results, then I strongly encourage you to read Rich Horwath's "Deep Dive: The Proven Method for Building Strategy, Focusing Your Resources, and Taking Smart Action."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Great book, nice read
Published 23 days ago by Wes
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Really usefull although some chapters were a little "predictable".
Published 1 month ago by Gilberto Garcia
3.0 out of 5 stars An Okay Book, But Explaining Strategy Really Isn't That Complicated
Rich Horwath, a strategy consultant, uses a diving metaphor to explain the various facets of developing a strategy. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mike Tamayo
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this guy!
We used this book in a leadership development series and it was a big hit. Check out Rick's website for additional information about his theories on building strategy. Read more
Published 10 months ago by CT White
5.0 out of 5 stars useful book
The book includes a number of specific tools to use to implement strategy. These can be readily applied by all.
Published 11 months ago by Denise Schier
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read
Very concise and well organized. I've read many books and attended a number of strategic planning workshops and this is one of the best guides yet.
Published 11 months ago by Mark A. Thurman
3.0 out of 5 stars Good info, challenging read
The ideas here are great but it isn't the easiest read. Recommend it when you have time (a long flight, with a few naps in between)
Published 14 months ago by conni l raymont
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book with strong ideas to follow
I think this book hits on some good points and brings up good suggestions that people can do better when looking at there business.
Published 16 months ago by Steven McCray
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and thoughtful treatment of a very important business...
This is a well written and thoughtful treatment of a very important business topic: Strategic Thinking. Read more
Published 18 months ago by R. Martin
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a great book
I was looking forward to learning a new methodology but this book isn't it. Lots of self promotion and time worn thinking. Read more
Published 21 months ago by aplayer2
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More About the Author

Rich Horwath is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author on strategy. As the CEO of the Strategic Thinking Institute, Rich leads executive teams through the strategy process and has helped more than 50,000 managers around the world develop their strategic thinking skills. A former Chief Strategy Officer and professor of strategy, he brings both real-world experience and practical expertise to help leaders build their team's strategic capabilities.

Rich and his work have appeared on ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, NBC and FOX TV. He is recognized in the textbook Strategy in the 21st Century as one of the key contributors in the history of strategic management for his thought leadership in the field of strategic thinking. A highly sought-after keynote speaker, Rich has spoken to leaders at world-class companies including Google, Intel and FedEx and has been ranked the #1 speaker on strategy & innovation at national conferences.

Rich is the author of six books, including, Elevate: The Three Disciplines of Advanced Strategic Thinking, which a leader at Intel proclaimed: "If you only read one book on strategy, this has to be that book!" His book, Deep Dive: The Proven Method for Building Strategy, has been described by the Director of Worldwide Operations for McDonalds as "...the most valuable book ever written on strategic thinking." And Strategy for You: Building a Bridge to the Life You Want, helps people apply the principles of business strategy to their overall life.


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