Better, Simpler Strategy

A great read that describes a value-focused way of devising strategy and analyzing projects' alignment with that strategy.

Center to the book is the simple, often forgotten truth that firms succeed by adding value. Take up activities that raise (customer) willingness to pay or lower (supplier, staff) willingness to sell; discard the rest. Oberholzer-Gee adopts what I’ve learned is a pretty standard economic definition of “willingness to sell,” the minimum price a seller would accept. This puts the (any?) author in the position of writing “raise willingness to sell” where “raise seller’s walk away price” might be more intuitive to broader audiences. You can hardly blame him for adopting the convention of the field, but it’s a sin against language that removes any regret I had over never taking econ.

Plot those willingness values on a single axis along with price and cost, and you have an easy visualization of customer, supplier and firm value derived from the exchange.

There’s much beauty in this, and the book, as an elegant reminder to choose actions that improve other lives.

Sean M. Easter
Data Science Leader

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