W I N T E R 2 0 1 6Martha E. MangelsdorfMasteringStrategyThe careers of superstar CEOs Bill Gates, Andy Grove, andSteve Jobs offer important lessons about how to become abetter strategist.Vol. 57, No. 2Reprint #57202
WINTER 2016 MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW67Mastering StrategyThe careers of superstar CEOs Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs offer important lessons about how to become a better strategist.DAVID B. YOFFIE AND MICHAEL A. CUSUMANO, INTERVIEWED BY MARTHA E. MANGELSDORFMANY DISCUSSIONS OF STRATEGYrevolve around companies. But what about the people who develop corporate strategies? How can executives develop their skills as strategists?There’s no better way than to learn from the masters. That’s the idea behind a recent book by David B. Yoffie, the Max and Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and Michael A. Cusumano, the Sloan Management Review Distinguished Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Both men are experts in business strategy — they’ve been teaching the subject for nearly 30 years at Harvard and MIT, respectively. What’s more, Yoffie and Cusumano have studied or worked closely with some of the world’s leading technology executives. In their book, Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons From Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs(HarperCollins, 2015), Yoffie and Cusumano explore strategy insights drawn from the careers of the former CEOs of Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp., and Apple Inc.MIT Sloan Management Revieweditorial director Martha E. Mangelsdorf spoke with Yoffie and Cusumano about what executives can learn from Gates, Grove, and Jobs about mastering the art of strategy. What follows is an edited and condensed version of that conversation.THE LEADING QUESTIONHow can executives become better strategists?FINDINGSLook several steps ahead and then reason back to the implications for the business now.Make big bets, but don’t bet the company.Think in terms of platforms and ecosystems rather than just products.S T R AT E G YPLEASE NOTE THAT GRAY AREAS REFLECT ARTWORK THAT HAS BEEN INTENTIONALLY REMOVED. THE SUBSTANTIVE CONTENT OF THE ARTICLE APPEARS AS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED.
68 MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEWWINTER 2016SLOANREVIEW.MIT.EDUS T R AT E G YMIT Sloan Management Review: Your book “Strategy Rules” looks at strategy lessons from three iconic CEOs from the computer industry: Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs. What made you choose those three CEOs to write about?YOFFIE: There are several reasons for choosing these three. First and foremost, all three of the companies they led — Microsoft, Intel, and Apple — became the most valuable company in the world at some point. We were looking at three companies where we believed it was undisputed that the three individual CEOs had accomplished an extraordinary amount over their careers.
- Spring '15
- MIT Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Sloan Management Review, Microsoft Corp.