Fast Strategy: How Strategic Agility Will Help You Stay Ahead of the Game

Yves Doz and Mikko Kosonen

Strategic agility, Yves Doz and Mikko Kosonen write, is not only vital to companies in the midst of rapid change, but also to companies in mature industries. Developing superior strategic agility can leave competitors behind, create new markets, rejuvenate business models, and renew competitive practice.

“In this new fast strategy game, strategic planning — and the comfort of ‘scenarios’ on which to anchor plans — no longer works,” the authors write. “In fact, planning scenarios are downright misleading. Insight needs to replace foresight…

The world around us keeps emerging, and our perception of it keeps reshaping itself as we play. Some of our pieces will fit the puzzle, others won’t. If you are fast in fitting pieces, the overall structure of the puzzle will evolve your way.”

Fast Strategy explains the urgent need for strategic agility. It outlines the key dimensions of strategic agility and presents the case for a most unlikely example: GE. The authors explain how to build and foster strategic agility and how to regain or rebuild this ability, as well as summarizing and comparing different paths to take.

Mikko Kosonen worked at Nokia for 23 years. In his double role as the head of strategy and CIO for almost a decade, he was at the center of Nokia’s strategic renewal effort. Since August 2007 he has been the executive vice president for Finland’s Innovation Fund, a fund and think tank. Yves Doz is the Timken Chaired Professor of Global Technology and Innovation at INSEAD and visiting professor at the Helsinki School of Economics. He was dean of executive education at INSEAD and associate dean for research and development. He also teaches at various universities worldwide and in corporate executive development programs.


The Momentum Effect: How to Ignite Exceptional Growth

J.C. Larréché

The Momentum Effect helps managers discover the secrets behind the rare companies that have successfully sustained exceptional growth. It provides a start-to-finish framework for implementing winning momentum strategies and keeping the momentum going while competitors are fading.

Jean-Claude Larréché demonstrates the powerful role of momentum in creating value and argues that momentum is more important than innovation, marketing excellence, or even customer focus. He introduces eight tightly linked “building blocks” of momentum strategy and explains how to build the unique leadership competencies needed to implement and sustain a winning momentum strategy. Ideas are reinforced through dozens of case studies that detail surprising new insights into familiar companies like IBM and Toyota, as well as recognized leaders like Rentokil and First Direct.

Author Jean-Claude Larréché is Alfred H. Heineken Chaired Professor of Marketing at INSEAD. His current research focuses on the business capabilities that influence a company’s market effectiveness. He is co-author of Marketing Strategy: A Decision-Focused Approach and Marketing Management: A Strategic Decision-Making Approach. With Christopher Lovelock, he was honored with BusinessWeek’s European Case of the Year award.


Winners Never Cheat

Jon M. Huntsman, W’59, HON’96

Self-made billionaire Jon M. Huntsman’s book, Winners Never Cheat, is a passionate, inspirational manifesto for returning to the days when a person’s word was his bond, a handshake was sacred, and swarms of lawyers weren’t needed to make a deal.

Former Citigroup CEO Charles Prince described the book as a “refreshing and candid discussion on basic values that can guide you from the sandbox to the board room.” Read a content summary, an author biography, and book reviews on the book’s website at The site also contains a link to the first five minutes of CNN News commentator and radio personality Glenn Beck’s interview with Huntsman.

“There’s an old expression that we all know, it goes as follows: ‘Life isn’t fair, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be fair,’ Huntsman said in his interview with Beck. “And as we go through life I think we have to take accountability of ourselves and see who are we, what are our real values and what do we believe in.”

Jon M. Huntsman is chairman and CEO of Huntsman Corporation. He founded the firm in 1970 and has led it to its current position as the world’s largest privately held chemical company, with more than $12 billion in annual revenues. The company produces tens of billions of pounds of products for global businesses ranging from plastics to automotive, footwear, construction, healthcare, and packaging. It recently divided into four companies: Huntsman Chemical Corp., Huntsman Packaging, Huntsman Specialty Chemicals Corp., and Huntsman Corporation. The Huntsman businesses also fund the Huntsman Cancer Institute, a leader in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.