Outsiders by William Thorndike

Yorkshire Powerhouse Score 4/10

At first read you scream “plagiarism” from Good to Great by Jim Collins, but without the research and wrapped in an awful cover! There is though a glimmer of gold in the mindset and patience the author recommends.

Who will gain the most from reading this book?

Executives in large organisations who deal in allocating resources and the management of cash to drive value.

Outsiders by William Thorndike – Core Content

The book identifies and describes eight executives who have used capital control as the mainstay of their success. Effectively, the argument is that careful management of the assets you have is more productive than the blind pursuit of growth.

However different the eight may be in most respects, all agreed on certain core principles which serve as the foundation of what Thorndike characterizes as “the outsider’s mind-set”:

  • Denomination matters when attempting to maximize value over share.
  • Feisty independence when making capital allocation decisions.
  • Charisma is overrated and (often) self-serving and counter-productive.
  • Develop a crocodile-like temperament that mixes patience with occasional bold and aggressive action.
  • Take a consistently rational, analytical approach to all decisions, major and minor.

William Thorndike offers an immensely informative and consistently thought-provoking explanation of how and why eight “outliers” refused to allow their companies or themselves to fall victim to “the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom.”

More simply put, he recommends being able to constantly stand back and review the real drivers of shareholder return rather than being attracted to the bright lights of risky growth strategies or visible action.

Could a Yorkshire perspective improve this book?

Absolutely, a simpler, less academically written version would be more effective in inspiring the reader.

Review Takeaway:

Patience is a virtue when making investments. If you haven’t read Good to Great, spend your time on that before buying this. Yorkshire Powerhouse, Book Reviews

If you would like to purchase this book from Amazon, please find the following link: Outsiders by William Thorndike

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