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Learning to Think Strategically (New Frontiers in Learning) Paperback – July 13, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0750678797 ISBN-10: 0750678798 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: New Frontiers in Learning
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (July 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750678798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750678797
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Julia Sloan lays out in a comprehensive manner how strategic thinking can be learned. This book, therefore, is a must read for all organizations and executives who genuinely consider human capital as not only a valuable asset but the most significant competitive differentiator in today's constantly changing and extremely challenging global arena."
-- Raj Tatta, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

"Sloan has written a superb book that should be on the required reading list for every business school. It offers a compelling argument to avoid over-reliance on linear thinking, formal planning rituals and simple exhortations to "think out of the box," in favor of a process that results in truly innovative strategic thinking. Sloan is exceptionally clear in her analysis of the underlying drivers of this process. She makes an important contribution to understanding the development of breakthrough business strategies."
-- Willie Pietersen, Professor, The Practice of Management, Columbia Business School

"This book opens new horizons to strategy development as it invites intuition, cultural and social dimensions into the decision making process.
It contests the conventional, unidimensional, facts-and-figure based, retrospective logic as the core strategic discipline, and instead, integrates the important "soft" aspects of a successful strategic thinking approach.

Dr. Sloan strongly advocates for the development of strategic thinking as an essential asset of corporate human capital. The worldwide transcultural experience of Dr. Sloan, combined with sound research, a critical discussion of standard strategic literature, as well as sensitivity for the complex and subtle approach to strategic thinking, offers a new perspective for both students and business executives. An indispensable roadmap for everyone willing to learn strategic thinking."
- Karl Nigl, CEO Raiffeisen, Austria

"Julia Sloan's book offers convincing evidence that sharp strategic thinking is not a miraculous gift of a few but a complex, multi-faceted process, which can be learned systematically. In an increasingly competitive business environment where the ability to develop distinct, adaptive strategies is a basic requirement for sustainable success, this book is highly recommended reading for students as well as executives and consultants interested in a new, comprehensive approach to strategic thinking."
--Marcus Sieberer, Partner, McKinsey & Company, Inc.

Book Description

Offers an until now unexamined accout of the inextricably-linked relationship between strategic thinking and learning

Customer Reviews

Well written and thought provoking.
Caralyn Horvath
It is an outstanding book for international corporate executives and should also be an essential, mandatory read for young high potential managers.
Dunn
It's full of extremely useful information, frameworks and examples that illustrate and explain a very complex topic.
Kazuo Tanaka

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By M633 VINE VOICE on August 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've got a desire for learning strategic thinking lately and decided to read books on this subject starting with the ones that get the best reviews. This book has got five star review (15 five stars + 1 four stars at this time). That's impressive. After reading it, however, I started to wonder how many of these five-star reviews are from friends and colleagues. At least two reviews reveal that they are fellow professors from Columbia University.

I appreciate this book very much on one thing--that is "strategic thinking can be learned." I am a poor strategic thinker, so I feel extremely encouraged.

Other than that the rest of the book is very repetitive and sometimes so convoluted that it wants you to give up learning strategic thinking. In certain parts of the book, she goes on lengthy discussions on a simple concept such as "adaptation" or "reflection."

I wonder how many people who gave it five-stars actually finished the book. You can see the shared highlights (on Kindle) at the beginning of the book and than not a single highlight for the rest of the book. By the end of the book, I was totally exhausted and thought about taking years of break before reading another book on strategic thinking.

The book also serves as an infomercial for the author's executive consultant service. At times, I felt that the author might have intentionally made the strategic learning difficult so that the reader would hire her for consultation. As John Maxwell once said, "A scholar makes a simple thing complex, and a communicator makes a complex thing simple." After this book, I agree with him.

So far the book I like most is "
...Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Vic Van Ballenberghe on June 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
Julia Sloan has written a must-read book on methods of learning to think strategically that is suitable for corporate executives, graduate students, and others in diverse fields of business management. With a very readable text, clear figures, and sample scenarios she delves into the various important components of this subject. A major conceptual contribution is the seven strategic thinking dimensions for critical dialogue presented in chapter 13. Chapter 23 follows with five critical attributes needed to learn the process. With her vast experience abroad dealing with executives from many different cultures, Dr. Sloan brings a global perspective to the topic. This is a scholarly yet readable book with fresh perspectives that will have broad appeal. I highly recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Linda D. Bloomberg on August 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
Julia Sloan models the very concepts she espouses in her brilliantly written and just-in-time book. What sets her work apart is that she not only reminds us of the imperative for critical thinking particularly within the competitive global business environment, but she offers the strategies needed to develop these new skills in today's complex world. Sloan does this by demonstrating the practical application of classical adult learning theory. Sloan's insight and wonderfully engaging style makes this work a pleasure to read. This is a valuable addition to my own library, and a book I will certainly recommend to others.

Dr. Linda Dale Bloomberg
Adjunct Faculty, Adult and Organizational Learning
Teachers College, Columbia University
Co-author "Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation: A Roadmap From Beginning to End" (Sage, 2007)
August 1, 2007
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William Cole on July 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
Sloan's critical distinction between strategic thinking and strategic planning is brilliantly developed throughout the book. Her writing is candid, her thinking is comprehensive and her concepts are thought provoking. Sloan is spot on with her analysis and discussion of why leaders fall short with developing innovative and sustainable strategy.This book should be compulsory for serious leaders of international business, government, and military.A brilliant read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lorin Ruttenberg on June 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Outstanding book! Very thought provoking, fascinating description of the cognitive learning process that drives the strategic thinking process. An essential and original read for every executive, manager, professor and student of strategy. Of particular interest was the part on culture and strategic thinking. Highly recommended book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Pinkerton on July 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an exceptional book! Essential reading for every global business person.The author is clear,succinct and right on the mark with the differentiation between strategic thinking and strategic planning. The first half of the book is informative and the second half is insightful and challenging. Sloan raises questions that should be at the forefront of every strategic discussion: what and how are we investing in developing strategic thinkers? This book is candid, thorough and original. The author makes a convincing and sobering case for plain, hard work when it comes to learning to think strategically -- a welcome and honest assessment of what is necessary to compete on a global scale -- no simple short cuts. This is an outstanding leadership book and should be read by every serious executive. Bravo!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Phoebe Kitain on June 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is truly a "must have" for business managers and executives at any forward thinking company! The chapters on culture and strategic thinking are key in todays global economy. Because this book is a first of its kind, it is sure to gain attention from executives across the world. Sloan's descriptions of the 7 dimensions of strategy are extremely insightful and thorough. The book is well written and provides a keen insight into the learning process that supports strategic thinking. Well done.
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