Strategic planning

Beat the odds with a bold strategy from McKinsey & Company

“Every once in a while, a genuinely fresh approach to business strategy appears” – legendary business professor Richard Rumelt, UCLA

McKinsey & Company’s newest, most definitive, and most irreverent book on strategy—which thousands of executives are already using—is a must-read for all C-suite executives looking to create winning corporate strategies.

Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick is spearheading an empirical revolution in the field of strategy. Based on an extensive analysis of the key factors that drove the long-term performance of thousands of global companies, the book offers a ground-breaking formula that enables you to objectively assess your strategy’s real odds of future success.

"This book is fundamental. The principles laid out here, with compelling data, are a great way around the social pitfalls in strategy development.” — Frans Van Houten, CEO, Royal Philips N.V.

The authors have discovered that over a 10-year period, just 1 in 12 companies manage to jump from the middle tier of corporate performance—where 60% of companies reside, making very little economic profit—to the top quintile where 90% of global economic profit is made. This movement does not happen by magic—it depends on your company’s current position, the trends it faces, and the big moves you make to give it the strongest chance of vaulting over the competition.

This is not another strategy framework. Rather, Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick shows, through empirical analysis and the experiences of dozens of companies that have successfully made multiple big moves, that to dramatically improve performance, you have to overcome incrementalism and corporate inertia.

“A different kind of book—I couldn’t put it down. Inspiring new insights on the facts of what it takes to move a company’s performance, combined with practical advice on how to deal with real-life dynamics in management teams.” —Jane Fraser, CEO, Citigroup Latin America

The authors of the international bestseller Business Model Generation explain how to create value propositions customers can’t resist

Value Proposition Design helps you tackle the core challenge of every business — creating compelling products and services customers want to buy. This highly practical book, paired with its online companion, will teach you the processes and tools you need to create products that sell.

Using the same stunning visual format as the authors’ global bestseller, Business Model Generation, this sequel explains how to use the “Value Proposition Canvas” to design, test, create, and manage products and services customers actually want.

Value Proposition Design is for anyone who has been frustrated by new product meetings based on hunches and intuitions; it’s for anyone who has watched an expensive new product launch fail in the market. The book will help you understand the patterns of great value propositions, get closer to customers, and avoid wasting time with ideas that won’t work. You’ll learn the simple process of designing and testing value propositions, that perfectly match customers’ needs and desires.

In addition the book gives you exclusive access to an online companion on Strategyzer.com. You will be able to assess your work, learn from peers, and download pdfs, checklists, and more.

Value Proposition Design is an essential companion to the ”Business Model Canvas” from Business Model Generation, a tool embraced globally by startups and large corporations such as MasterCard, 3M, Coca Cola, GE, Fujitsu, LEGO, Colgate-Palmolive, and many more.
Value Proposition Design gives you a proven methodology for success, with value propositions that sell, embedded in profitable business models."

“A novel, intriguing—and more importantly—highly instructive approach enabling us to truly grasp fundamental management principles. In the person of Dwight Eisenhower planning and executing the D-Day landings and the subsequent liberation of Europe, these basic concepts are vividly brought to life. As Loftus rightly observes, no CEO ever faced a more daunting, pressure-filled, obstacle-laden mission than did Ike. Perfect reading for these turbulent times.” —Steve Forbes, Chairman & CEO, Forbes Media

“Geoff Loftus has written an intriguing and highly useful book on Dwight Eisenhower’s extraordinary ability as a leader. If you liked Ike before, you’ll like him even more now. And you’ll be grateful to Geoff Loftus.” —Christopher Buckley, author of Boomsday and Thank You for Smoking

“In Lead Like Ike, Geoff Loftus provides keen insights on management lessons drawn from one of the greatest battlefields in military history. The lessons may appear simple, but it’s the simplest management principles that we often forget: Listen to your people. Set your vision. Be consistent about your message. Let your managers manage.” —Salvatore J. Vitale, Senior Vice President, The Conference Board

Who was the greatest CEO of the 20th century? A persuasive case can be made for General Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower, who undertook history’s most harrowing executive assignment: Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe on June 6, 1944. In Lead Like Ike, business journalist and communications guru Geoff Loftus weaves a fly on-the-wall narrative from Ike’s perspective as supreme allied commander overseeing the Normandy invasion. While swept into a gripping story that honors the sacrifice of all who fought and died on D-Day, you’ll also be drawn to a cache of battle-tested strategies and tactics with direct applications to modern-day business leadership.

Designed for local government managers and administrators, this pioneering work offers a clear and comprehensive guide to the use of strategic planning techniques in the public sector. The author presents a concise overview of the strategic planning process, defines the terms involved, and provides a step-by-step methodology for organizations ready to move into the actual implementation of strategic planning. In addition to differentiating between community-based, corporate, functional, and defined-purpose strategic planning processes, Mercer explains the delineation between strategic and tactical planning and offers practical approaches to overcoming barriers to the use of strategic planning in the public sector arena. Throughout, the author makes extensive use of case studies of strategic planning programs implemented by a variety of local government and public sector organizations.

Mercer begins by describing how strategic planning can be both an effective tool for dealing with change and a technique of organizational development. He goes on to provide detailed instructions on how to prepare to conduct strategic planning, how to determine strategic issues, the importance of a values audit, and how to develop an environmental scan or assessment. Subsequent chapters address determining organizational threats and opportunities, composing the mission statement, defining critical success factors and indicators, planning strategies, and assessing strategic risks and benefits. Finally, the author shows how to perform an internal assessment of ability to actually adopt and carry out strategies, the importance of contingency planning, and how to tie strategic planning to the budget and evaluate the process. The public sector manager experienced with strategic planning techniques can use the guide as a handy reference to particular aspects of the process, while those new to strategic planning will find this an indispensable aid in developing and implementing their own internal strategic planning processes.

"The book is both an excellent primer for those new to Boyd and a catalyst
to those with business experience trying to internalize the relevance of Boyd ́s thinking."

Chuck Leader, LtCol USMC (Ret.) and information technology company CEO;
"A Winning Combination," Marine Corps Gazette, March 2005.

Certain to Win [Sun Tzu ́s prognosis for generals who follow his advice] develops the strategy of the late US Air Force Colonel John R. Boyd for the world of business.

The success of Robert Coram’s monumental biography, Boyd, the Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War, rekindled interest in this obscure pilot and documented his influence on military matters ranging from his early work on fighter tactics to the USMC ́s maneuver warfare doctrine to the planning for Operation Desert Storm. Unfortunately Boyd’s written legacy, consisting of a single paper and a four-set cycle of briefings, addresses strategy only in war. [All of Boyd ́s briefings are available on Slightly East of New.]

Boyd and Business

Boyd did study business. He read everything he could find on the Toyota Production System and came to consider it as an implementation of ideas similar to his own. He took business into account when he formulated the final version of his “OODA loop” and in his last major briefing, Conceptual Spiral, on science and technology. He read and commented on early drafts of this manuscript, but he never wrote on how business could operate more profitably by using his ideas.

Other writers and business strategists have taken up the challenge, introducing Boyd’s concepts and suggesting applications to business. Keith Hammonds, in the magazine Fast Company, George Stalk and Tom Hout in Competing Against Time, and Tom Peters most recently in Re-imagine! have described the OODA loop and its effects on competitors.

They made significant contributions. Successful businesses, though, don’t concentrate on affecting competitors but on enticing customers. You could apply Boyd all you wanted to competitors, but unless this somehow caused customers to buy your products and services, you’ve wasted time and money. If this were all there were to Boyd, he would rate at most a sidebar in business strategy.

Business is not War

Part of the problem has been Boyd’s focus on war, where “affecting competitors” is the whole idea. Armed conflict was his life for nearly 50 years, first as a fighter pilot, then as a tactician and an instructor of fighter pilots, and after his retirement, as a military philosopher. Coram describes (and I know from personal experience) how his quest consumed Boyd virtually every waking hour.

It was not a monastic existence, though, since John was above everything else a competitor and loved to argue over beer and cigars far into the night. During most of the 1970s and 80s he worked at the Pentagon, where he could share ideas and debate with other strategists and practitioners of the art of war. The result was the remarkable synthesis we know as Patterns of Conflict.

Website

The bestselling guide to nonprofit planning, with proven, practical advice

Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations describes a proven method for creating an effective, organized, actionable strategy, tailored to the unique needs of the nonprofit organization. Now in its third edition, this bestselling manual contains new information about the value of plans, specific guidance toward business planning, and additional information about the strategic plan document itself. Real-world case studies illustrate different planning and implementation scenarios and techniques, and the companion website offers templates, tools, and worksheets that streamline the process. The book provides expert insight, describing common misperceptions and pitfalls to avoid, helping readers craft a strategic plan that adheres to the core values of the organization.

A well-honed strategic plan helps nonprofit managers set priorities, and acquire and allocate the resources necessary to achieve their goals. It also provides a framework for handling challenges, and keeps the focus on the organization's priorities. Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations is an excellent source of guidance for managers at nonprofits of every size and budget, helping readers to:

Identify the reasons for planning, and gather information from internal and external stakeholders Assess the current situation accurately, and agree on priorities, mission, values, and vision Prioritize goals and objectives for the plan, and develop a detailed implementation strategy Evaluate and monitor a changing environment, updating roles, goals, and parameters as needed

Different organizations have different needs, processes, resources, and priorities. The one thing they have in common is the need for a no-nonsense approach to planning with practical guidance and a customizable framework. Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations takes the fear out of planning, with expert guidance on the nonprofit's most vital management activity.

In this definitive and revealing history, Henry Mintzberg, the iconoclastic former president of the Strategic Management Society, unmasks the press that has mesmerized so many organizations since 1965: strategic planning. One of our most brilliant and original management thinkers, Mintzberg concludes that the term is an oxymoron -- that strategy cannot be planned because planning is about analysis and strategy is about synthesis. That is why, he asserts, the process has failed so often and so dramatically.
Mintzberg traces the origins and history of strategic planning through its prominence and subsequent fall. He argues that we must reconceive the process by which strategies are created -- by emphasizing informal learning and personal vision -- and the roles that can be played by planners. Mintzberg proposes new and unusual definitions of planning and strategy, and examines in novel and insightful ways the various models of strategic planning and the evidence of why they failed. Reviewing the so-called "pitfalls" of planning, he shows how the process itself can destroy commitment, narrow a company's vision, discourage change, and breed an atmosphere of politics. In a harsh critique of many sacred cows, he describes three basic fallacies of the process -- that discontinuities can be predicted, that strategists can be detached from the operations of the organization, and that the process of strategy-making itself can be formalized.
Mintzberg devotes a substantial section to the new role for planning, plans, and planners, not inside the strategy-making process, but in support of it, providing some of its inputs and sometimes programming its outputs as well as encouraging strategic thinking in general. This book is required reading for anyone in an organization who is influenced by the planning or the strategy-making processes.
Are you just playing—or playing to win?

Strategy is not complex. But it is hard. It’s hard because it forces people and organizations to make specific choices about their future—something that doesn’t happen in most companies.

Now two of today’s best-known business thinkers get to the heart of strategy—explaining what it’s for, how to think about it, why you need it, and how to get it done. And they use one of the most successful corporate turnarounds of the past century, which they achieved together, to prove their point.

A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter & Gamble, in close partnership with strategic adviser Roger Martin, doubled P&G’s sales, quadrupled its profits, and increased its market value by more than $100 billion in just ten years. Now, drawn from their years of experience at P&G and the Rotman School of Management, where Martin is dean, this book shows how leaders in organizations of all sizes can guide everyday actions with larger strategic goals built around the clear, essential elements that determine business success—where to play and how to win.

The result is a playbook for winning. Lafley and Martin have created a set of five essential strategic choices that, when addressed in an integrated way, will move you ahead of your competitors. They are:

• What is our winning aspiration?
• Where will we play?
• How will we win?
• What capabilities must we have in place to win?
• What management systems are required to support our choices?

The stories of how P&G repeatedly won by applying this method to iconic brands such as Olay, Bounty, Gillette, Swiffer, and Febreze clearly illustrate how deciding on a strategic approach—and then making the right choices to support it—makes the difference between just playing the game and actually winning.
#1 New York Times Bestseller

Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth—and how it can help any organization thrive.

In the fall of 1999, John Doerr met with the founders of a start-up whom he'd just given $12.5 million, the biggest investment of his career. Larry Page and Sergey Brin had amazing technology, entrepreneurial energy, and sky-high ambitions, but no real business plan. For Google to change the world (or even to survive), Page and Brin had to learn how to make tough choices on priorities while keeping their team on track. They'd have to know when to pull the plug on losing propositions, to fail fast. And they needed timely, relevant data to track their progress—to measure what mattered.

Doerr taught them about a proven approach to operating excellence: Objectives and Key Results. He had first discovered OKRs in the 1970s as an engineer at Intel, where the legendary Andy Grove ("the greatest manager of his or any era") drove the best-run company Doerr had ever seen. Later, as a venture capitalist, Doerr shared Grove's brainchild with more than fifty companies. Wherever the process was faithfully practiced, it worked.

In this goal-setting system, objectives define what we seek to achieve; key results are how those top-priority goals will be attained with specific, measurable actions within a set time frame. Everyone's goals, from entry level to CEO, are transparent to the entire organization.

The benefits are profound. OKRs surface an organization's most important work. They focus effort and foster coordination. They keep employees on track. They link objectives across silos to unify and strengthen the entire company. Along the way, OKRs enhance workplace satisfaction and boost retention.

In Measure What Matters, Doerr shares a broad range of first-person, behind-the-scenes case studies, with narrators including Bono and Bill Gates, to demonstrate the focus, agility, and explosive growth that OKRs have spurred at so many great organizations. This book will help a new generation of leaders capture the same magic.
How to Innovate and Execute

Leaders already know that innovation calls for a different set of activities, skills, methods, metrics, mind-sets, and leadership approaches. And it is well understood that creating a new business and optimizing an already existing one are two fundamentally different management challenges. The real problem for leaders is doing both, simultaneously. How do you meet the performance requirements of the existing business—one that is still thriving—while dramatically reinventing it? How do you envision a change in your current business model before a crisis forces you to abandon it?

Innovation guru Vijay Govindarajan expands the leader’s innovation tool kit with a simple and proven method for allocating the organization’s energy, time, and resources—in balanced measure—across what he calls “the three boxes”:

• Box 1: The present—Manage the core business at peak profitability
• Box 2: The past—Abandon ideas, practices, and attitudes that could inhibit innovation
• Box 3: The future—Convert breakthrough ideas into new products and businesses

The three-box framework makes leading innovation easier because it gives leaders a simple vocabulary and set of tools for managing and measuring these different sets of behaviors and activities across all levels of the organization. Supported with rich company examples—GE, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hasbro, IBM, United Rentals, and Tata Consultancy Services—and testimonies of leaders who have successfully used this framework, this book solves once and for all the practical dilemma of how to align an organization on the critical but competing demands of innovation.
Now nearing its sixtieth printing in English and translated into nineteen languages, Michael E. Porter's Competitive Strategy has transformed the theory, practice, and teaching of business strategy throughout the world. Electrifying in its simplicity—like all great breakthroughs—Porter’s analysis of industries captures the complexity of industry competition in five underlying forces. Porter introduces one of the most powerful competitive tools yet developed: his three generic strategies—lowest cost, differentiation, and focus—which bring structure to the task of strategic positioning. He shows how competitive advantage can be defined in terms of relative cost and relative prices, thus linking it directly to profitability, and presents a whole new perspective on how profit is created and divided. In the almost two decades since publication, Porter's framework for predicting competitor behavior has transformed the way in which companies look at their rivals and has given rise to the new discipline of competitor assessment.

More than a million managers in both large and small companies, investment analysts, consultants, students, and scholars throughout the world have internalized Porter's ideas and applied them to assess industries, understand competitors, and choose competitive positions. The ideas in the book address the underlying fundamentals of competition in a way that is independent of the specifics of the ways companies go about competing.

Competitive Strategy has filled a void in management thinking. It provides an enduring foundation and grounding point on which all subsequent work can be built. By bringing a disciplined structure to the question of how firms achieve superior profitability, Porter’s rich frameworks and deep insights comprise a sophisticated view of competition unsurpassed in the last quarter-century.
A Washington Post Bestseller

Three Principles for Managing—and Avoiding—the Problems of Growth

Why is profitable growth so hard to achieve and sustain? Most executives manage their companies as if the solution to that problem lies in the external environment: find an attractive market, formulate the right strategy, win new customers.

But when Bain & Company’s Chris Zook and James Allen, authors of the bestselling Profit from the Core, researched this question, they found that when companies fail to achieve their growth targets, 90 percent of the time the root causes are internal, not external—increasing distance from the front lines, loss of accountability, proliferating processes and bureaucracy, to name only a few. What’s more, companies experience a set of predictable internal crises, at predictable stages, as they grow. Even for healthy companies, these crises, if not managed properly, stifle the ability to grow further—and can actively lead to decline.

The key insight from Zook and Allen’s research is that managing these choke points requires a “founder’s mentality”—behaviors typically embodied by a bold, ambitious founder—to restore speed, focus, and connection to customers:

• An insurgent’s clear mission and purpose
• An unambiguous owner mindset
• A relentless obsession with the front line

Based on the authors’ decade-long study of companies in more than forty countries, The Founder’s Mentality demonstrates the strong relationship between these three traits in companies of all kinds—not just start-ups—and their ability to sustain performance. Through rich analysis and inspiring examples, this book shows how any leader—not only a founder—can instill and leverage a founder’s mentality throughout their organization and find lasting, profitable growth.
Good Strategy/Bad Strategy clarifies the muddled thinking underlying too many strategies and provides a clear way to create and implement a powerful action-oriented strategy for the real world.
 
Developing and implementing a strategy is the central task of a leader. A good strategy is a specific and coherent response to—and approach for—overcoming the obstacles to progress. A good strategy works by harnessing and applying power where it will have the greatest effect. Yet, Rumelt shows that there has been a growing and unfortunate tendency to equate Mom-and-apple-pie values, fluffy packages of buzzwords, motivational slogans, and financial goals with “strategy.”

In Good Strategy/Bad Strategy, he debunks these elements of “bad strategy” and awakens an understanding of the power of a “good strategy.” He introduces nine sources of power—ranging from using leverage to effectively focusing on growth—that are eye-opening yet pragmatic tools that can easily be put to work on Monday morning, and uses fascinating examples from business, nonprofit, and military affairs to bring its original and pragmatic ideas to life. The detailed examples range from Apple to General Motors, from the two Iraq wars to Afghanistan, from a small local market to Wal-Mart, from Nvidia to Silicon Graphics, from the Getty Trust to the Los Angeles Unified School District, from Cisco Systems to Paccar, and from Global Crossing to the 2007–08 financial crisis.

Reflecting an astonishing grasp and integration of economics, finance, technology, history, and the brilliance and foibles of the human character, Good Strategy/Bad Strategy stems from Rumelt’s decades of digging beyond the superficial to address hard questions with honesty and integrity.
If you’re starting a new business or planning your business’s future, there are plenty of things you should take into account. Strategic Planning For Dummies covers everything you need to know to develop a plan for building and maintaining a competitive advantage — no matter what business you’re in.

Written by Erica Olsen, founder and President of a business development firm that helps entrepreneurial-minded businesses plan for a successful future, this handy guide covers all the basics, including:

How a strategic plan is different than a business plan Establishing a step-based planning process Planning for and encouraging growth Taking a long-view of your organization Evaluating past performance Defining and refining your mission, values, and vision Sizing up your current situation Examining your industry landscape Setting your strategic priorities Planning for unknown contingencies

If you’re in business, you have to plan for everything — especially if you intend your business to grow. Whether you’re planning for a small business, large conglomerate, nonprofit, or even a government agency, this book has the planning specifics you need for your organization. Step-by-step, you’ll learn how to lay the foundations for a plan, understand how your plan will affect your business, form planning teams, discover what your strengths are, see where you are, and, finally, plan where you’re going. And there’s much more:

Learn to analyze business trends that will determine your business’s future Set measurable, realistic goals that you can plan for and achieve Make strategic planning a habitual part of the organization Prioritize multiple strategies that you can implement simultaneously Set a defining vision for the organization that guides all your planning and strategy

This friendly, simple guide puts the power of strategic planning in the palm of your hand. For small businesses that can’t afford to hire strategic planning consultants, it’s even more imperative. Careful, constant planning is the only way to handle an uncertain business future. With this book, you’ll have all the step-by-step guidance you need to ensure you’re ready for anything that comes.

 Each year Americans start one million new businesses, nearly 80 percent of which fail within the first five years. Under such pressure to stay alive—let alone grow—it’s easy for entrepreneurs to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of “sell it—do it, sell it—do it” that leaves them exhausted, frustrated, and unable to get ahead no matter how hard they try.

This is the exact situation Mike Michalowicz found himself in when he was trying to grow his first company. Although it was making steady money, there was never very much left over and he was chasing customers left and right, putting in twenty-eight-hour days, eight days a week. The punishing grind never let up. His company was alive but stunted, and he was barely breathing. That’s when he discovered an unlikely source of inspiration—pumpkin farmers.

After reading an article about a local farmer who had dedicated his life to growing giant pump­kins, Michalowicz realized the same process could apply to growing a business. He tested the Pumpkin Plan on his own company and transformed it into a remarkable, multimillion-dollar industry leader. First he did it for himself. Then for others. And now you. So what is the Pumpkin Plan?

Plant the right seeds: Don’t waste time doing a bunch of different things just to please your customers. Instead, identify the thing you do better than anyone else and focus all of your attention, money, and time on figuring out how to grow your company doing it. Weed out the losers: In a pumpkin patch small, rotten pumpkins stunt the growth of the robust, healthy ones. The same is true of customers. Figure out which customers add the most value and provide the best opportunities for sustained growth. Then ditch the worst of the worst. Nurture the winners: Once you figure out who your best customers are, blow their minds with care. Discover their unfulfilled needs, innovate to make their wishes come true, and overdeliver on every single promise.

Full of stories of other successful entrepreneurs, The Pumpkin Plan guides you through unconven­tional strategies to help you build a truly profitable blue-ribbon company that is the best in its field.

Whether you’re a business beginner with big ideas or an established company looking to review you plans in a changing business environment this practical, user friendly guide gives you everything you need to get started. Complete with an interactive CD packed with planning templates including; planning documents, forms, financial worksheets, checklists, operation surveys and customer profiles in both Word and PDF formats you’ll be armed with all you need to kick start the planning process and create a winning business plan that suits you and your long-term business vision.

Business Plans Kit For Dummies includes UK specific information on:

UK business practice Currency UK business and financial institutions and advisory services UK taxation and VAT Partnerships and Limited company information UK legal practice, contractual considerations and insurance matters UK specific forms UK specific case studies New content covering online business opportunities and resources, alternative ways in to business including franchising, network marketing and buy outs, research methods and choosing suppliers and outsourcing will all be added to the UK edition.

Table of Contents:

Part I: Laying the Foundation for Your Plan

Chapter 1: Starting Your Planning Engine Chapter 2: Generating a Great Business Idea Chapter 3: Defining Your Business Purpose

Part II: Developing Your Plan’s Components

Chapter 4: Understanding Your Business Environment Chapter 5: Charting Your Strategic Direction Chapter 6: Describing Your Business and Its Capabilities Chapter 7: Crafting Your Marketing Plan Chapter 8: Deciphering and Presenting

Part III: Tailoring a Business Plan to Fit Your Needs

Chapter 9: Planning for a One-Person Business Chapter 10: Planning for a Small Business Chapter 11: Planning for an Established Business Chapter 12: Planning for a Not for profit Nonprofit Organization Chapter 13: Planning for an E-Business

Part IV: Making the Most of Your Plan

Chapter 14: Putting Your Plan Together Chapter 15: Putting Your Plan to Work

Part V: The Part of Tens

Chapter 16: Ten Signs That Your Plan Might Need an Overhaul Chapter 17: Ten Ways to Evaluate a New Business Idea Chapter 18: Ten Ways to Fund Your Business Plan Chapter 19: Ten Sources of Vital Information to underpin your Business Plan Chapter 20: Ten Ways to Use Your Business Plan

Note: CD files are available to download when buying the eBook version

“When it comes to growing revenues, not all dollars are equal.”

In company after company that Sanjay Khosla and Mohanbir Sawhney worked for or researched, they saw businesses taking on more products, more markets, more people, more acquisitions—adding more of everything except what really mattered: sustainable and profitable growth.
 
And in many of these companies — large or small, from America to Europe to Asia — every quarter became a mad dash to find yet another short-term revenue boost. There had to be a better way — an alternative to the scramble for mindless expansion.
 
The answer lies in Fewer, Bigger, Bolder, a market-proven, step-by-step program to achieve sustained growth with rising profits and lower costs. The authors prove that given the right incentives, managers using this program can produce astonishing results in amazingly short time frames.
 
That’s exactly what Khosla accomplished as President of Kraft’s developing markets, which enjoyed eye-popping revenue growth from $5 billion to $16 billion in just six years, while profitability increased 50%. Sawhney, a professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, discovered a similar formula for stellar results when advising a portfolio of businesses, from Fortune 500 giants to technology start-ups.
 
No matter how big the company or how difficult the economic environment, managers who use this seven-step program (“Focus7”) will learn how to make fewer but bigger bets and to create a virtuous cycle of growth. Fewer, Bigger, Bolder crosses the usual boundaries of strategy, execution, people and organization. Its framework shows how you can drive growth by targeting resources against priorities, simplifying your operations, and unleashing the potential of your people.
 
By challenging the conventional wisdom about growth, Fewer, Bigger, Bolder is likely to ignite a vigorous debate throughout the business community.  It’s a game-changing book that couldn’t be more timely. Or more needed.
The authors of the bestselling Competing on Internet Time (a Business Week top 10 book) analyze the strategies, principles, and skills of three of the most successful and influential figures in business—Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs—offering lessons for all managers and entrepreneurs on leadership, strategy and execution.

In less than a decade, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Andy Grove founded three companies that would define the world of technology and transform our lives. At their peaks, Microsoft, Apple, and Intel were collectively worth some $1.5 trillion. Strategy Rules examines these three individuals collectively for the first time—their successes and failures, commonalities and differences—revealing the business strategies and practices they pioneered while building their firms.

David B. Yoffie and Michael A. Cusumano have studied these three leaders and their companies for more than thirty years, while teaching business strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship at Harvard and MIT. In this enlightening guide, they show how Gates, Grove, and Jobs approached strategy and execution in remarkably similar ways—yet markedly differently from their erstwhile competitors—keeping their focus on five strategic rules.

Strategy Rules brings together the best practices in strategic management and high-tech entrepreneurship from three path-breaking entrepreneurs who emerged as CEOs of huge global companies. Their approaches to formulating strategy and building organizations offer unique insights for start-up executives as well as the heads of modern multinationals.

The Challenge
Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

The Standards
Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons
The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.

The Findings
The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:

Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness. The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence. A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

“Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”

Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?

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