Paul Marry, CEO of Intact Software, picks up John Wells’ Strategic IQ and finds that it doesn’t meet his usual expectations of a business-orientated title.
I have accumulated a trail of books from different courses, conferences and workshops. My experience has been that they are generally based on academic assumptions rather than business reality and offer little, if any, focus or benefit to a company or management team.
So it was with genuine scepticism that I opened Strategic IQ by John Wells, and to my surprise I found it a refreshing, realistic, thought provoking read. In my opinion, no book can teach someone the natural flair required for entrepreneurship or make leaders out of followers. What this book does deliver though, is a platform to understand the importance of strategies and how best to assess and improve your company’s strategic strengths and weaknesses and the attitudes within the company that will affect them.
Drawing attention to the importance of having the right people in place, Wells highlights how implementing strategic changes are only ‘limited by the ability and willingness of its people to change’. He discusses the importance of picking the right people from the very beginning to ensure that willingness, aptitude and commitment to the company are constant across the whole team. I agree that it is very difficult to do this as a ‘retrofit’.
Where the book really comes into its own is for those who realise they have poor internal strategy or are struggling to see the benefits from a strategy they have implemented. It provides step-by-step guidelines that will aid in the assessment, acknowledgement, development and implementation of a new internal company strategy.
Reading this book is not going to suddenly transform a company, but it does force the reader to take stock and assess procedures they have in place, why they are in place and whether they should remain in place. This book’s refreshing look at the 3 different levels of strategic awareness and implementation within companies, Low Strategic IQ, Medium Strategic IQ and High Strategic IQ, is structured in a way that provides an interesting platform to honestly reassess where a company’s true position is and why.