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One Strategy: Organization, Planning, and Decision Making Hardcover – November 23, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

This book challenges traditional views of strategy and operational execution—views that say strategy comes from a small group of select people or that an innovative strategy can only emerge from a distinct organizational spinoff. Aligning a complex organization around one strategy requires all members of a team to participate—learning, sharing, communicating, and contributing to the team's success. One Strategy provides a unique combination of real-world experience managing a large-scale organization with academic research in strategy and innovation to describe what it takes to align an organization around one strategy, manage its execution, and reach for "strategic integrity." One Strategy describes how to drive innovation by connecting the potential of strategic opportunities to the impact of operational execution.

Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky joins his twenty years of management experience at Microsoft with Harvard Business School professor Marco Iansiti's twenty years of research on strategy and innovation to provide you a unique perspective on strategy development, alignment, and execution. Here, Sinofsky shares his experiences and point of view through an internal blog site that discusses some of the management processes put to work while developing Microsoft Windows 7. Through his own words, One Strategy focuses on the team's mission to develop and maintain a strategic vision through the 4,000 person, multi-year project. Marco Iansiti creates a framework that can be used by business leaders across industries and job functions, building on his original research in the development of innovative products.

Learn from the concepts, capabilities, processes, and behaviors that aligned around one strategy with the hard-won, first-person insight found in One Strategy.

From the Back Cover

Revealing insights into successfully making the leap from strategy to execution

One Strategy examines the concepts, capabilities, processes, and behaviors that are essential to aligning an organization around one strategy.

Learn some of the key management tools and processes the Windows 7 team put in place to manage strategy and execution. The themes in One Strategy are backed up through examples of internal blogs by Microsoft Division President Steven Sinofsky and merged with insightful context from technology and operations strategy expert Marco Iansiti, the David Sarnoff Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

All about developing and executing great, innovative strategies, One Strategy reveals it is possible to build the right organizational capabilities and base of understanding, generate insightful strategies, develop detailed plans, and lead your corporate strategies to completion.

One Strategy shares hard-won insights, experiences, and lessons on:

  • Aligning a highly complex organization during uncertain times

  • Developing a framework for strategic integrity driven by planning, organization, and decision making

  • Translating strategic potential into impact

  • Building the capability, effectiveness, and trust that coaches,empowers, and inspires an organization

  • Motivating your organization to strive for strategic integrity

...each drawing from methods demonstrated in practice. 


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470560452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470560457
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

From -

As president of the Windows and Windows Live Division, Sinofsky has accountability for the overall Windows business, from development to business strategy and marketing for Windows, Windows Live and Internet Explorer.

Sinofsky has held several positions on Microsoft product teams. His most recent position was senior vice president of the Windows and Windows Live engineering group. He previously oversaw the development of the Microsoft Office system of programs, servers and services, responsible for the product development of the 2007 Microsoft Office system, Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office XP, and Microsoft Office 2000.

In 1994, when the Office Product Unit was formed, Sinofsky joined the team as the director of program management, and led the design of the shared technologies in Microsoft Office 95 and Microsoft Office 97. He spent about four years as a software design engineer and project lead in the Development Tools group, where he helped lead the development of the first versions of the Microsoft Foundation Classes C++ library for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Visual C++. He joined Microsoft in July 1989 as a software design engineer.

Sinofsky holds a master's degree in computer science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (1989). He holds an undergraduate degree with honors from Cornell University (Arts and Sciences, 1987). In 1998, Sinofsky held the appointment of visiting scholar at Harvard Business School. He spent the fall of 2004 living in Beijing, China, working on projects in sales, marketing, and research and development.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A customer in Seattle on May 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Steven Sinofsky is a brilliant (and sometimes quirky) executive at Microsoft who manages to step back from his colossal workload to write a series of blog posts on strategy. Although those posts can be a little uneven, they give us a window into a mind that thinks deeply and clearly about how to build complex products in large organizations.

Unfortunately, the clarity of Sinofsky's writing doesn't always live up to the clarity of his strategic thinking. That's perfectly OK in a blog, but not in a book, where the standard is well-crafted prose. The reader shouldn't have to wade through the hundreds of sentences in this book that are difficult to parse (much less comprehend fully), or the hundreds more where the writing is simply not crisp ("a holistic set of features that represent a coherent whole").

For whatever reason, the only edits to Sinofsky's original blog posts in this book are silly ones -- like capitalizing letters that begin quotations or inserting dollar signs (as if "this could be a big [$]100M decision" in a paragraph about costs was obscure until that dollar sign was inserted). And each one of the thousands of trivial edits is set off with square brackets -- a typographical practice that gets annoying fast.

Bundling Sinofsky's less-than-polished writing with the leaden "analysis" of a business school professor results in a tedious book. I couldn't get past the first couple of chapters without the urge -- which I ultimately indulged -- to stop reading and start skipping around, until I finally put the book down. Sinofsky is one of today's leading business thinkers; it's a shame that this book's creators chose not to edit his writing before publishing it in book form.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ed B. on December 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I picked up One Strategy this past week while on holiday vacation and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book covers a range of topics related to product strategy, specifically addressing the ways in which you can align the constituents within an organization (executives, managers, individual contributors), develop a compelling shared strategy, and then execute on that strategy.

Since I work at Microsoft, a lot of the concepts in this book were familiar to me, but Steven Sinofsky and Marco Iansiti dive deeper into the concepts to explain why they're important, how they tie together, and provide practical examples that crystallize the concepts into reality. The book combines blog posts from Steven's internal and external blogs with contextual information, theory, and summaries provided by Marco. This format works well and provides a great balance between theoretical and practical explanations.

The book sets out to dispel a number of strategy myths, a number of which I believed when I picked up the book. A subset of these myths included:
(1) Strategy is defined by executives

(2) Planning makes organizations less agile

(3) Innovation can't be planned

You'll learn why top down strategy development isn't effective, why having a plan actually makes an organization more agile, and how plans support the invention of high impact products. The book also touches on subjects relevant to strategy, including what effective management looks like, what mangers "really" do, thoughts on managing your career, and more.

One Strategy is a great read for everyone from executives to managers, engineering to support, sales to marketing. I highly recommend it.
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Scott Horn on February 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I only have a handful of business books that I would recommend to others - and this one is definitely high on that list. It's the most cohesive, clear and thoughtful discussion of how to think about getting people in an organization aligned on a strategy, how to structure the organization to support the strategy, how to manage the people in that org in a way that enables them to do their best work against the strategy and how to manage the projects (the execution) related to the strategy.

While the book uses the Windows 7 development effort to accomplish these goals, the content is relevant to any large complex effort that has has multiple internal and external stakeholders and requires the people working on it to have responsibility (and accountability) for the effort.

I found myself highlighting many sections on my Kindle and I expect to go back to it.

Disclaimer: I work at Microsoft but I do not work with or for Steven. I just think is is a particularly good book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Albrecht S Dietzel on April 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Truly inspiring book on how to get a large amount of people on the same page while fostering individual accountability, transparency and ownership.
Thank you for writing it.
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