Narendra Laljani was a very good teacher. He taught strategic analysis to executives for many years. But at the back of his mind lay a nagging doubt: was he teaching the real ingredients of strategic success?
‘Despite all the positive feedback I received, I became increasingly uneasy about the relevance and effectiveness of the frameworks and models I was advocating, and I had a realisation that some of the great brands had not necessarily followed the pathways I was then promoting.’ Narendra recognised that he had to develop his own distinctive point of view, and undertook his doctorate, with a thesis based around the real experience of strategic thinkers who had proved themselves to be successful business leaders.
Published in 2008, Making Strategic Leaders surprised even Narendra by the number of copies it sold, and it quickly became clear that he was onto something.
However, Narendra never intended the thesis to be anything other than an academic study, describing it as ‘turgid and inaccessible’, so he set about distilling it down into the more user-friendly set of ideas that now forms the basis of the Executive Management Programme (EMP), the advanced senior executive leadership development programme at Henley Business School, of which he is the Programme Director.