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Deep Dive: The Proven Method for Building Strategy, Focusing Your Resources, and Taking Smart Action 2nd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1929774821
ISBN-10: 1929774826
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rich Horwath is the president of Sculptura Consulting. He is a former Chief Strategy Officer and serves as a professor of Strategy at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. Horwath has authored two books and dozens of articles on business strategy. Horwath earned an MBA with Distinction from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University and has completed post-graduate studies in strategy at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press; 2 edition (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929774826
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929774821
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Susanna Hutcheson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 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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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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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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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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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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