If you’re anything like me, then you read books that deal with motivation, marketing and, of course, the never-ending quest for more sales. It’s rare I pick up a book on corporate strategy; just the sound of that makes me want to take a nap.

Back in January, I attended the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) Annual CEO Conference and had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Chuck Bamford speak on the topic of corporate strategy; and here’s the kicker…I really enjoyed it.

Rather than bore us with a dissertation on how a mission statement differs from a vision statement, this book is a quick read that gets right to the point of corporate strategy.

The first chapter debunks the various myths regarding strategy. Most important is the author’s obvious dislike for the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis that executive management is constantly hounding you about. He’s converted me to a believer that a SWOT analysis is a waste of time. Consider the countless hours your management staff spends in meetings and brainstorming sessions that revolve around SWOT. And in the end, the outcome depends on who’s completing the SWOT. If one item can be placed in more than one category, which is often the case, then the whole tool is a big, costly waste of time.

Dr. Bamford has you complete an external and internal analysis. Trust me, this is crucial to the success of a good strategic plan. Facing the facts and being honest with what you truly excel at and where you fall below the standard will greatly improve your chances of a worthwhile strategic plan.

Once you figure out what your potential competitive advantages are, the author has you apply each one to a series of qualifying elements to really help determine if it’s a legitimate, viable, money-making, sustainable competitive advantage.

Dr. Bamford walks you through the development of a sound mission statement. Long gone are the days of rambling mission statements that nobody reads and certainly fewer remember. Keep it short and simple and everyone in the company from the CEO to the frontline janitor can embrace it and work toward achieving it.

I really like how Dr. Bamford wraps up this read: a one-page strategy map. In my opinion, this is brilliant. This means it will be easy to use, easy to implement, easy to understand and most important of all, easy for your entire organization to achieve.



Bryan Lazorik
President and Owner
Bryco Services
Merrillville, Indiana



Dr. Chuck Bamford, internationally renowned strategy consultant and author of “The Strategy Mindset,” was a speaker at BSCAI’s recent CEO Conference.

Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, “The Strategy Mindset” takes a closer look at the “science” of business strategy. The book provides a guide to corporate strategy without using academic language or reworking old ideas. Dr. Bamford’s breaks down the complicated topic into steps that are easy to implement.