Economic Perspectives with Hopeton Hay on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin, TX

History of Corporate Strategy Focus of April 4 KAZI Book Review

Posted by Hopeton on March 31, 2010

Walter Kiechel, author of The Lords of Strategy, is the April 4 guest on KAZI Book Review, 12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m. central time on KAZI 88.7 FM.  Listen live online at

The concept of corporate strategy developed in the 1960s as a new breed of “business intellectuals”—though they never would have called themselves that—begin to invent the frameworks for pulling together what a company needed to know about its costs, customers, and competitors. In his book Kiechel tells the story of these quirky, rebellious men and women, of the key ideas they pioneered, and the organizations they served (and in some cases created.)

In its final chapters The Lords of Strategy brings the history up to the moment, through ideas like time-based competition and core competency all the way to still-under-construction concepts of strategy as, ultimately—and paradoxically, given the prior neglect—based on people and their skills. The book ends with a look over the horizon, toward strategy’s future.

In recent years Kiechel has combined research on The Lords with occasional part-time jaunts as an editor at large for Harvard Business Publishing (HBP), helping the company in its perpetual quest for new ideas, authors, and business opportunities.

Until January, 2003, Kiechel served as editorial director of HBP and senior vice president in charge of its publishing division, with responsibility for the Harvard Business Review (HBR); Harvard Business School Press, the company’s book-publishing arm; the newsletter unit (which he helped start in 1996) as well as HBP’s video, reprints, and conference businesses. From early 1997 until his appointment as editorial director in March, 1998, he was publisher of HBR.

Kiechel spent most of his early career at Fortune magazine, where generally he had a wonderful time. After beginning at the magazine as a reporter in 1977, he rose to become its managing editor, the top editorial position, in 1994.


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