Start making savvier decisions and outsmart your competitors with greater confidence and ease with this simple and comprehensive guide to the skills, tactics, techniques, tools, case studies, and lessons behind strategic thinking. Professor Ridgley has crafted these 24 lectures as an accessible way to engage with thinking that will help you think-and act-more strategically in business and in your own life, whether you're the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or you're preparing to embark on a new career path.
These lectures are loosely organized around several key topics central to effective strategic thinking, including: principles of conflict (in which you'll follow the development of strategic theory from its roots in great military campaigns to its modern applications in business); competitive intelligence (which plays an increasingly important role in strategic thinking); and tools of strategy and analysis (which can aid your understanding of the forces that shape our future and can help you make sense of a rapidly changing world).
Central to these lectures are the tools and tricks that strategic thinkers have used to better approach problems and seek lasting solutions. Among those you'll learn how to use are the indirect approach (which offers you a much greater utility in achieving your objectives without approaching your opponent head-on); the value chain (a method that divides your team or organization into its value - producing activities so you can better inform yourself on its internal strengths and weaknesses; and the four actions framework (in which you ask yourself four questions to challenge your established logic in an effort to gain a stronger competitive advantage).
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses
I'd listen to this again- it's got a lot of interesting anecdotes; is well read; well structured and made me think about things to do
engaging to listen to and kept my attention
it caused me to think about things in a different way and consider specific things I'd do
A great overview of strategic thinking, peppered with anecdotes and examples to bring it alive. With examples from the battlefield to the boardroom; the past to the present; from failures to success. And for that reason, giving it a wide appeal, and the opportunity to think through the relevance of different ideas.
Contents, case studies, and even the performance of the lecturer make the course interesting, inspiring, and even entertaining. I enjoyed the historical excursus from the ancient romans to now days generals, entrepreneurs and sport coaches as well as all thematic related to the characteristic of a good strategy and what can make it fail. I would recommend this course without hesitation.
"Maddening narration of otherwise good content"
Hire an experienced reader to narrate the lectures. This fellow pauses in the most awkward places. That combined with the sometimes pompous tone, makes the listen an annoying experience.
I might read a hard copy.
"Lectures run a bit shallow"
Retitle it "Strategic lessons from history": this is 95 percent historical review and about 5 percent relating history to other things (like football…lots of football metaphors).
It's nonfiction, so sure.
Mostly disappointment that I hadn't chosen something else.
This series reminded me of so many self-help business books: they're fine but not really very meaningful or helpful. A collection of stories from battles through history with some rather obvious lessons falls short of what I've come to expect from Great Courses.
"Great overview - good for the everyday & busines"
While I wish there was more in depth exercises to work with, the skills outlined in this audio book come with their historical and business origins as well as ideas for how they apply to everyday life and career goals.
I'm excited to listen to it again and spend more time as an active listener with pen and paper, making my own exercises and applying these insights and skills to my life and ambitions.
My only problem is that the audio book doesn't have listed chapter names in the app for repeat listening and I have to go by the audio that comes at the beginning of each chapter.
There is fluff to contend with often about why we should care throughout the chapters but the context is useful for unfamiliar history and biographies, most of which I haven't studied on my own but are concisely distilled here.
"A Good Basic Introduction to Strategic Thinking"
A little history, basic philosophy, a military, business, social point of view. Politics mixed in and the some tools to work with. Professor Stanley K. Ridgley likes to use American Football (Grid Iron) as a metaphor although even this game uses strategy and even I who has not played team sport since my school days understand his thinking. He makes it interesting and clear and this course is worth the listen to but without follow up reading and practice this would only be a good introduction. Do study more and become better at this skill but if you are content to touch the subject and move on, the time spent with this course isn't misplaced.
"Useless, no relation to business world"
The analogies were either to wars or American football, no relationship to business strategy or practical corporate strategies. Really bad narrator as well.
"Great topic and good content"
I wanted a good overview on strategic thinking to prepare me for a strategy class I'm planning to take. This book delivered that. I like how the content was divided into theory, examples and application.
"Another Good Great Courses Offering..."
although I would not rank it as high as I did Novella's lectures on The Deceptive Mind, mainly because the latter comes from a point of view of science and psychology, and this lecturer defines strategic thinking in terms of politics, business, the military and sports, and so it is not as scientifically in depth as many of the Great Courses, although this is still a fine learning experience,
"Makes me hate mid level Officiers"
This lecture was cr*p. Some mid-level Officer who equates everything to either his military experience or hyper macho sports references. His lecture was more a story on military history including him reading entire sections of military history books rather than strategic thought process.
I wish I had my money back. The only way this lecture would be worth while is if I was a mid-level Officer who longs for my days in the military, you will get the same from the Military Channel as you will get from this lecture. 99% of this lecture has very little to do with real life strategic thought. Just get a copy of "The Art of War", it's free and is more relevant. Ridgley is just another huckster with a degree.
Stan's lecture was simply horrible that had little to do with the way he delivered the course and more to do with the lack of meaningful content.
Send this guy back to the military as that is the only place that appears to give his sad life meaning.
"This is not a great book"
The narrator did not seem to comprehend what he was reading.
Better narration - the subject matter remained a little disapointing: cliched historical examples and sporting references that were not meaningful to non-Americans
Someone who had rehearsed the material.
Some good suggestions in chapter 10 - a long wait for something useful.
"Mostly Fluff, Could be much shorter."
Unfortunately despite the quality I expect from the Great Courses this course would have been better served being much smaller.
The first 90% of this course is mostly platitudes and useless advice. Many times the target is drawn around where the arrow landed in examples and saying that such and such person was acting strategically. By in large it's just examples of people getting lucky, being the 1 person out of millions trying to do the same thing but they were the right person the right place at the right time. Many times the subject of the lecture is applied artificially to the person involved. Madonna wasn't a strategic thinker. She was the sort of thing MTV was looking for in the 80s. Is Boy George a strategic thinker too? How about Dire Straits? Twisted Sister?
The last 10% of the course (lectures 20+ I think) actually provide some useful case studies. But once again no clear principles are given, or they're artificially tied to the point the lecturer is trying to make. Still there's some merit in them.
This lecture series is 700+ minutes long and probably should have only been 2 hours long. Most of the content is motivational style speaking applied to saying nothing. Sounds impressive but lacks any academic or practical value.
If you're interested in the subject I would better recommend "The Art of Critical Decision Making" by the Great Courses. That course is likely what you came here to find.
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