Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick by Chris Bradley and Martin Hirt
Yorkshire Powerhouse Score 4/10
The book is based on corporate business and lacks the ‘real world’ perspective of the small to medium sized business and the genuine pressures faced.
Who will gain the most from reading this book?
Business leaders who are always creating the next big plan but never delivering the last.
Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick – Core Content
The hockey stick in the title refers to the graph of sales that shows the tick shape. This is the usual look at a graph of profits over time that always comes with ambitious business plans. We see a dip in profits in the short term as we invest, followed by a rapid increase in profits afterwards.
The authors do an excellent job at highlighting the fallacy of these plans:
- The executives that make the plans have often moved on before the second part of the plan comes to fruition.
- The plan is forgotten as it fails, and a new plan supersedes it.
- The Board are faced with several hockey stick plans and instead of choosing the best, it under invests them all.
The essence of the book is that these pitfalls can be avoided by being very aggressive in the allocation of resource. Essentially, pick the best plans, vet it intensively and then over invest in it. However, the consequences of such an action are that we also must starve other ideas, and potentially even existing business streams.
The book contends that we fail to be selective through fear of disappointment for sponsoring organisations or sponsoring executives. Too manage the politics we fail to back the winners, and everyone loses out.
These scenarios are played out in the small business environment but usually as leaders choose how to spend very limited money and spend the time of their people.
Could a Yorkshire perspective improve this book?
Yes, far too much waffle and very limited genuine advice, far too many references to other books one should read.
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