The Reality Test: Still Relying on Strategy?.pdf
How is it that the most carefully-laid business strategies can go horribly wrong when put into practice? Robert Rowland Smith's answer, based on years of experience in high-level consultancy, is that 'reality eats strategy for breakfast': strategy, based on projections and assuming business is a rational pursuit, can't deal with the messy reality of life. More helpful are these practical questions that can help you plan what to do when your business comes into contact with reality. From learning the lessons of the past (rather than fixating on the future) to finding out what your business is really about, he explains the real-life factors that lead to success or failure. Including many new examples from the front line, from all around the world, The Reality Test will help you establish yourself as more effective and distinctive than your competitors, who follow the same rigid theoretical avenues. Whether you ask 'Are you making enough of your weaknesses?' or 'Are you 100% productive 100% of the time?', it's time to stop living in strategy La-La Land and face reality.
By approaching the perennial problems of business through a highly original set of emotionally-charged questions, Smith brings an extraordinary array of insights to the challenges of management and leadership. Brilliant - a tour de force. -- Jules Goddard, author of 'Uncommon Sense, Common Nonsense' Practical, wise and very much based in reality, this book will make anyone running a business a more shrewd, and probably a more successful, leader. -- Andrew Cahn, former CEO of UK Trade and Investment I regard Robert Rowland Smith as simply the most intelligent person I know. After reading this book you will understand why. -- Guy Fraser-Sampson, Senior Fellow, Cass Business School The Reality Test cuts through turgid corporate "leadership speak" to get the heart of the matter - it should be required reading for any aspiring leader. If 'Fred the Shred' of HBOS had taken the Reality Test, perhaps we wouldn't be living through the biggest recession since the 1930s. -- Lord Victor O. Adebowale CBE, CEO of Turning Point Robert Rowland Smith asks the practical questions that really matter to business leaders - this book will do more than make you think, it will make you do something -- Matt Kingdon, co-founder of ?What If! and author of The Science of Serendipity Intriguing...thought-provoking -- Frank Dillon Irish Times Praise for Driving with Plato: 'This is a fascinating and deeply impressive book Daily Mail Witty, inventive and intelligent THES Smith has the suave wit of the professional intellectual. The Financial Times Not only will this book entertain you, educate you and amuse you, it may very well help you stay younger Bookbag
Robert Rowland Smith was for seven years a Prize Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He now advises blue-chip companies, teaches at London's School of Life, and writes, among other things, a column on 'life lessons' in the Evening Standard and a regular column in the Sunday Times. He contributes to the Philosophy Bites podcast series and speaks regularly on BBC radio. His books Breakfast with Socrates  and Driving with Plato  are also published by Profile and have been widely translated.