What I Didn't Learn in Business School
Meet John Downs. He's a new MBA graduate who's landed a job with a strategy consultancy. His engagement team is on a mission: help HGS Inc., a specialty chemicals firm, define and execute a strategy for exploiting a textile technology the company developed.
John and his team deploy state-of-the-art strategy tools to analyze the attractiveness of potential markets for the technology. But they soon realize the tools don't help them grapple with the human side of strategy including political forces swirling within HGS. Everyone involved in the engagement is biased and insecure, brilliant and hardworking, selfish and lazy, loyal and dedicated.
John and his cohorts aren't 'real', What I Didn't Learn in Business School is a business novel. But they're realistic: they're just like us. Their story reveals the limitations of strategy tools and demonstrates tactics for navigating the messy, human dynamics that can make or break a company's strategy efforts.
This engaging book uses the power of story to present potent lessons for anyone seeking to excel at strategy management. It's a compelling read whether you're an MBA grad struggling to apply what you learned or in the fray and eager to see what MBAs get wrong when they land in the real world.
Jay Barney is a professor of management at the Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business. He has published numerous articles in strategy and management journals, as well as five bestselling textbooks on strategy.
TrishGorman Clifford is the Director of Global Strategy Learning at McKinsey & Company. She helps mid- and upper-level managers strengthen their strategic capabilities through consulting and other learning experiences.