Strategy and the Fat Smoker

by David H. Maister (2008)

Far and away the best business strategy book that I’ve read. I knew I liked this one before so I reread it this month and it is excellent. In my opinion, the first three chapters are worth the price of the book alone. These three chapters center on doing what is obvious and not easy, and the author has some real insight into the strategy problem. His overview of strategy is directed towards businesses, but can really be applied to everyone.

Some of my favorite quotes from just the first chapter:

“. . . knowing that something is good for us is not necessarily a predictor that we are going to do it.”

“We know what to do, we know why we should do it, and we know how we should do it. Yet most businesses and individuals don’t do what’s good for them.”

“The necessary outcome of strategic planning is not analytical insight but resolve.”

“The primary reason we do not work at behaviors which we know we need to improve is that the rewards (and pleasure) are in the future; the disruption, discomfort and discipline needed to get there are immediate.”

Highly recommended for businesses, churches, writers, and anyone else who needs to rethink strategy.

Strategy and the Fat Smoker available on amazon