About Willie

Former CEO of international companies
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Columbia Business School professor
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Consultant to global organizations for creating winning strategies.
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Creator of the Strategic Learning Process.
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Author of the book, Strategic Learning
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Willie's Blog

The Latest Post

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Von Clausewitz on War: Six Lessons for the Modern Strategist

Written nearly two centuries ago, Carl von Clausewitz’s classic guide to military strategy, On War, remains essential reading for modern business strategists. War, wrote the famed nineteenth-century military strategist Carl von Clausewitz, should not be compared to art, but rather to commerce, “which is also a conflict of human interests and activities.” Yet for much of modern history the word “strategy” seldom appeared in the business vernacular. The concept, derived...

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Past Blog Posts

THE LESSONS OF THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT

The US Army War College describes the chaotic conditions of a battlefield as VUCA – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous....

Strategy Creation vs. Implementation: Avoiding the Trap

We frequently hear the argument that business success is largely a matter of effective implementation. When results are lagging, many...

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Meet Willie

“If an organization can’t define its Winning Proposition in a simple way, it cannot claim to have a strategy.”
—from Strategic Learning

Willie Pietersen was raised in South Africa, and received a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. After practicing law, he embarked on an international business career. Over a period of twenty years he served as the CEO of multibillion-dollar businesses such as Lever Foods, Seagram USA, Tropicana and Sterling Winthrop’s Consumer Health Group.

In 1998, Pietersen was named Professor of the Practice of Management at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He specializes in strategy and the leadership of change, and his methods and ideas, especially Strategic Learning, are widely applied within Columbia’s executive education programs, and also in numerous corporations.

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