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Making Sense of Strategy. (Bookshelf).

Tony Manning.

Amacom, 97 pages. $19.95.

This slim volume seems to be author Manning's way of saying that strategy doesn't require a tome, that it isn't "rocket science." He comes at the subject from the standpoint that more companies fail than succeed, which "says that something is very wrong indeed with the state of strategy. It's also an indictment of leadership."

Manning, a former marketing and advertising executive who has written six earlier books, is a big believer in short, declarative sentences and no-nonsense advice. Indeed, much of the book reads like an exhortation. "You don't need a magic wand. You don't need miracles," he writes at one point. "You don't need a fairy godmother. What you do need is common sense, a toolkit of critical components, a way to put a rocket under your organization -- and the leadership strength to do it."

Making Sense of Strategy is very much a concept book; there are no examples drawn from this company or that to show his theses at work. There is a raft of charts and graphics -- especially for such a short book -- but they range from simplistic to overly complex or confusing; few really seem to add value. And, key ideas are often "highlighted" with a gray screen that makes the type very hard to read. That's too bad, because Manning makes a lot of sense, asks good questions and never beats about the bush.
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Author:Marshall, Jeffrey
Publication:Financial Executive
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2002
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