In Business is Simple, Chris Stern shares a management process for businesses that he has repeatedly tested, one with three strategies at its core: clearly and succinctly defining your challenge; determining your approach to a solution; and implementing necessary steps to move forward. As the title states – it’s simple!
Stern, who is an international business consultant, provides an overview of other management systems, voicing his frustration and even disgust over overly complicated processes; he also summarizes key business books available. Walking readers through his step-by-step process, he provides numerous charts and real life examples and outlines his management system from strategy creation to implementation. His sense of humor shows through in statements such as: “Macroeconomics is when the Chinese are coughing, and the Americans are getting pneumonia.”
Three cheers for his definition of bad strategies: “Bad strategies consist of platitudes, unrealistic goals, and warm-and-fuzzy sounding slogans . . . [Bad strategy] is vacuous and superficial, often has internal contradictions, and does not define or address the challenge.” Good strategies include leveraging one business aspect and getting it right; finding the weakest link and eliminating that flaw; tightly focusing your company resources; and more.
The author’s tone is typically no-nonsense, and he shows no fear of disagreeing with generally accepted principles, practices and/or beliefs. If you hold a cherished credo about business that Stern doesn’t accept, it’s possible that you will balk at his approach – but he is clearly more interested in getting to the root of business challenges than he is in being nurturing.
Those who desire hand holding should choose another book. If, however, you are a reader interested in learning more about the building blocks of management strategy, then Business is Simple is worth adding to your library.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.