Strange as it might seem, but there are those who suggest that business strategy didn’t even exist before 1963. “Imagine the world of business without corporate strategy,” writes Walter Kiechel, former editorial director of Harvard Business Review, in Lords of Strategy (2010). “Remarkably, 50 years ago, that’s the way it was. Yes, businesses made plans, but without understanding the underlying dynamics of competition, costs and customers. It was like trying to design a large-scale engineering project without knowing the laws of physics.”
In 1963, Kiechel argues, the mould was broken when Bruce Henderson founded the Boston Consulting Group, cementing a more scientific approach to strategy and, with it, the modern multi-billion-dollar consulting industry.