As a Business Strategy Manager at Accenture Luxembourg, Nicolas Neysen helps to shape the strategic goals of large organizations. As a university researcher and lecturer, he studies and teaches the art of strategic thinking to new generations of leaders. Now he has brought his knowledge and insights from these two worlds together in a book. Published in January 2017, Stratégie des organisations is a practical guide for organizations of all sizes wishing to develop a strategic management approach.
What inspired you to write this book?
I strongly believe that strategic thinking can and should be applied by all organizations. Through Accenture, I’ve had the opportunity to work with non-profits and public service organizations and I see they also have an interest in strategic thinking. Although there are many great business strategy books on the market, they mostly focus on corporates and commercial organizations. I spotted a gap in the market, approached a business publisher and my project was accepted. With Accenture’s support, I took Leave of Absence in 2016 to focus on writing.
What differentiates your book from existing literature?
Strategy is frequently associated with the design and shaping of high-level actions. As such it is not very concrete. However, strategy is also being sure you can execute. Rather than a linear process with a start and end point, I see strategy as a circular, iterative cycle. Execution is not the end point but the source of continuously renewing your strategy. The goal of my book is to demonstrate that every new strategy is enriched by the implementation of those preceeding it, and that any organization wishing to develop and grow can adopt this approach.
I include the most popular strategy frameworks, but also more than 50 real-life examples from across a wide spectrum of organizations: large and small, commercial and non-profit, schools, universities, hospitals and emerging hybrid models of social entrepreneurship. All these organizations can benefit from strategic thinking.
Is the rise of the digital economy impacting strategic thinking?
All the new business models we see emerging integrate technology to some extent, with at their extreme, pure players such as MyMicroInvest, Airbnb, Uber and others belonging to the so-called collaborative economy. However, technology in itself should not drive a strategy. Digital is important but only if, like these examples, you first have a clear strategy.
At present your book is only available in French? Was this a conscious decision?
I was delighted to write about my favorite discipline in my mother tongue! I saw this as an opportunity to use a more fluent and pragmatic style of writing that will increase the accessibility for non-academic readers. Moreover, there is a gap in the French-speaking market for strategy books. Now available in all French-speaking countries around the world, as well as on Amazon, I hope my book will contribute to closing this gap.
Nicolas’s book Stratégie des organisations: Fondements et pratiques du management stratégique is available from DeBoeck Supérieur, which is part of the Groupe Albin Michel.