Strategy And The Fat Smoker is really more like a collection of essays from David Maister. Almost every essay is good enough to expand on and be turned into a regular business book. The author writes in a direct manner that gets right to the point, and his writing is full of usable information. This book may not even be 300 pages, but it will take you a long time to digest everything that he goes over.
In my opinion, the first three chapters are worth the price of the book alone (and the book is expensive everywhere). These three chapters center on doing what is obvious and not easy, and David has some real insight into the strategy problem. His overview of strategy is directed towards businesses, but can really be applied to everyone. If you find it hard to figure out what to do, or are still looking for the best plan to get things done, then pick up a copy of this book.
Some of my favorite quotes from the first chapter alone:
\”. . . knowing that something is good for us is not necessarily a predictor that we are going to do it.\”
\”We know what to do, we know why we should do it, and we know how we should do it. Yet most businesses and individuals don’t do what’s good for them.\”
\”The necessary outcome of strategic planning is not analytical insight but resolve.\”
\”The primary reason we do not work at behaviors which we know we need to improve is that the rewards (and pleasure) are in the future; the disruption, discomfort and discipline needed to get there are immediate.\”
Highly recommended for businesses, churches, writers, and anyone else who needs to rethink strategy.
See my article on how this book is very useful for writers too – Strategy & The Fat, Smoking Writer