About Willie

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

Willie's Blog

The Latest Post


The Strategy Q&A

The good news is that many companies are striving to improve the quality of their strategy processes. The bad news is that they often resort to a ritual of filling in templates as a way to do this. But without a proper understanding of the underlying concepts, the people who fill in these forms can lose sight of the object of the exercise, and soon the templates themselves become a...

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Past Blog Posts

What I Learned About Leadership From My Dog

Margaret Wheatley, the complexity theorist, explains how personal growth takes place: “You cannot change a living thing from the outside....

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...


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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