Strategy and the Fat Smoker: Doing What's Obvious But Not Easy by Maister, David

Strategy and the Fat Smoker: Doing What's Obvious But Not Easy

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We often (or even usually) know what we should be doing in both personal and professional life. We also know why we should be doing it and (often) how to do it. Figuring all that out is not too difficult. What is very hard is actually doing what you know to be good for you in the long-run, in spite of short-run temptations. The same is true for organizations. What is noteworthy is how similar (if not identical) most firms' strategies really are: provide outstanding client service, act like team players, provide a good place to work, invest in your future. No sensible firm (or person) would enunciate a strategy that advocated anything else. However, just because something is obvious does not make it easy. Real strategy lies not in figuring out what to do, but in devising ways to ensure that, compared to others, we actually do more of what everybody knows they should do. This simple insight, if accepted, has profound implications for

  1. How organizations should think about strategy
  2. How they should think about clients, marketing and selling and
  3. How they should think about management.

In 18 chapters, Maister explores the fat smoker syndrome and how individuals, managers and organizations can overcome the temptations of the short-term and actually do what they already know is good for them.

Author: David Maister
Binding Type: Hardcover
Publisher: Spangle Press
Published: 01/01/2008
Pages: 274
Weight: 1.35lbs
Size: 9.20h x 6.35w x 0.93d
ISBN: 9780979845710

Review Citation(s):
Harvard Business Review 03/01/2008 pg. 30

About the Author
David Maister is widely acknowledged as one of the world's leading authorities on the management of professional service firms. For 25 years, he has acted as a consultant to the most prominent professional firms around the world. He is the author of the bestselling books Managing the Professional Service Firm, True Professionalism, The Trusted Advisor, Practice What You Preach and First Among Equals.