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US Review of Books by John E. Roper of Overcome “Why Strategic Plans Fail” for a Breakout Strategy

Posted on: August 1st, 2012 by Doug Treen

The review below by John E. Roper was posted on the US Review of Books.

Overcome "Why Strategic Plans Fail" for a Breakout Strategy
by Doug Treen
Trafford Publishing

reviewed by John E. Roper

“Is all this change worth it? This may seem disruptive. However, change is never easy or every company would simply do it when needed.”

Starting a business can be simple; succeeding in it, though, can prove challenging. Most successful businesses engage in some form of periodic strategic planning, yet often the techniques employed are formulaic, resulting in a company never rising to its full potential. Helping businesses make the jump from mediocrity to strategic success is the author’s goal in this insightful book for entrepreneurs.

Treen is well qualified to give his fellow businessmen some advice. His wealth of experience includes serving as the EVP for several companies, as a management consultant of organizational development for ten years, and as Vice-Chairman for a financial institution in charge of strategic planning. However, it is his background as a professor that is evident in the book’s excellent teaching on the topic. Providing his readers with far more than a basic guidebook on the subject, the author focuses a lot on how the individual organization’s corporate culture and structure can affect the success or failure of the planning. He makes it clear that the CEO who ignores the influence of office politics, employee and departmental divisiveness, and the overall buy-in by those involved in the strategic planning process can doom it from the start. Treen uses real-life examples to illustrate his points, as well. For instance, he tells the cautionary tale of the misguided AOL-Time Warner merger that cost shareholders billions of dollars and explains in detail how the lack of a well-thought-out strategic plan almost killed both companies.

Taking a business to the next level can be a daunting task. Treen’s superb book on effective strategic planning makes the transition much smoother.