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Are you just playingor playing to win?Strategy is not complex. But it is hard. Its hard because it forces people and organizations to make specific choices about their futuresomething that doesnt happen in most companies.Now two of todays best-known business thinkers get to the heart of strategyexplaining what its 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&Gs 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 successwhere 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 approachand then making the right choices to support itmakes the difference between just playing the game and actually winning.
Named one of 100 Leadership & Success Books to Read in a Lifetime by Amazon EditorsThe world’s most trusted guide for leaders in transitionTransitions are a critical time for leaders. In fact, most agree that moving into a new role is the biggest challenge a manager will face. While transitions offer a chance to start fresh and make needed changes in an organization, they also place leaders in a position of acute vulnerability. Missteps made during the crucial first three months in a new role can jeopardize or even derail your success.In this updated and expanded version of the international bestseller The First 90 Days, Michael D. Watkins offers proven strategies for conquering the challenges of transitionsno matter where you are in your career. Watkins, a noted expert on leadership transitions and adviser to senior leaders in all types of organizations, also addresses today’s increasingly demanding professional landscape, where managers face not only more frequent transitions but also steeper expectations once they step into their new jobs.By walking you through every aspect of the transition scenario, Watkins identifies the most common pitfalls new leaders encounter and provides the tools and strategies you need to avoid them. You’ll learn how to secure critical early wins, an important first step in establishing yourself in your new role. Each chapter also includes checklists, practical tools, and self-assessments to help you assimilate key lessons and apply them to your own situation.Whether you’re starting a new job, being promoted from within, embarking on an overseas assignment, or being tapped as CEO, how you manage your transition will determine whether you succeed or fail. Use this book as your trusted guide.
A Washington Post BestsellerThree Principles for Managingand Avoidingthe Problems of GrowthWhy 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 externalincreasing 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 furtherand 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 founderto restore speed, focus, and connection to customers: An insurgent’s clear mission and purpose An unambiguous owner mindset A relentless obsession with the front lineBased 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 kindsnot just start-upsand their ability to sustain performance. Through rich analysis and inspiring examples, this book shows how any leadernot only a foundercan instill and leverage a founder’s mentality throughout their organization and find lasting, profitable growth.
Peter Drucker is widely regarded as the father of modern management, offering penetrating insights into business that still resonate today. But Drucker also offers deep wisdom on how to manage our personal lives and how to become more effective leaders. In these two classic articles from Harvard Business Review, Drucker reveals the keys to becoming your own chief executive officer as well as a better leader of others. "e;Managing Oneself"e; identifies the probing questions you need to ask to gain the insights essential for taking charge of your career, while "e;What Makes an Effective Executive"e; outlines the key behaviors you must adopt in order to lead. Together, they chart a powerful course to help you carve out your place in the world.
When Profit from the Core was published in 2001, it became an international bestseller, helping hundreds of companies find their way back to profitable growth after the bursting of the Internet bubble. The 2007 global financial meltdown reaffirmed the perils of pursuing heady growth through untested strategies, as firms in industries from finance to retailing to automobiles strayed too far from their core businesses and suffered the consequences.In this updated edition of Profit from the Core, authors Chris Zook and James Allen show that a renewed focus on the core is more critical than ever as firms seek to rebuild their competitive advantage coming out of the downturnand that a strong core will be the foundation for successful expansion as the economy recovers. Based on more than ten years of Bain & Company research and analysis and fresh examples from firms responding to the current downturn, the book outlines what today’s executives and managers need to do now to revitalize their core, identify the next wave of profitable growth, and build on it successfully.Zook and Allen explain how companies can: Develop a strong, well-defined core and use it to establish a leadership position Follow the golden rule of strategy: discourage competitors from investing in your core Assess whether your core is operating at its full potential Uncover hidden assets in your core that provide the seeds for new growth Find a repeatable formula to apply core business strengths in adjacent marketsBuilding on powerful and proven ideas to meet today’s formidable business challenges, Profit from the Core is the back-to-basics strategy field guide no manager should be without.
A recent study showed that when doctors tell heart patients they will die if they don't change their habits, only one in seven will be able to follow through successfully. Desire and motivation aren't enough: even when it's literally a matter of life or death, the ability to change remains maddeningly elusive.Given that the status quo is so potent, how can we change ourselves and our organizations?In Immunity to Change, authors Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey show how our individual beliefs--along with the collective mind-sets in our organizations--combine to create a natural but powerful immunity to change. By revealing how this mechanism holds us back, Kegan and Lahey give us the keys to unlock our potential and finally move forward. And by pinpointing and uprooting our own immunities to change, we can bring our organizations forward with us.This persuasive and practical book, filled with hands-on diagnostics and compelling case studies, delivers the tools you need to overcome the forces of inertia and transform your life and your work.
TAKE THE PAIN OUT OF PRESENTATIONS.Terrified of speaking in front of a group? Or simply looking to polish your skills? No matter where you are on the spectrum, this guide will give you the confidence and the tools you need to get results.Written by presentation expert Nancy Duarte, the HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations will help you:Win over tough crowdsOrganize a coherent narrativeCreate powerful messages and visualsConnect with and engage your audienceShow people why your ideas matter to themStrike the right tone, in any situation
Based on the award-winning article in Harvard Business Review, from global leadership expert John Kotter.Its a familiar scene in organizations today: a new competitive threat or a big opportunity emerges. You quickly create a strategic initiative in response and appoint your best people to make change happen. And it doesbut not fast enough. Or effectively enough. Real value gets lost and, ultimately, things drift back to the default status.Why is this scenario so frequently repeated in industries and organizations across the world? In the groundbreaking new book Accelerate (XLR8), leadership and change management expert, and best-selling author, John Kotter provides a fascinating answerand a powerful new framework for competing and winning in a world of constant turbulence and disruption.Kotter explains how traditional organizational hierarchies evolved to meet the daily demands of running an enterprise. For most companies, the hierarchy is the singular operating system at the heart of the firm. But the reality is, this system simply is not built for an environment where change has become the norm. Kotter advocates a new systema second, more agile, network-like structure that operates in concert with the hierarchy to create what he calls a dual operating systemone that allows companies to capitalize on rapid-fire strategic challenges and still make their numbers.Accelerate (XLR8) vividly illustrates the five core principles underlying the new network system, the eight Accelerators that drive it, and how leaders must create urgency in others through role modeling. And perhaps most crucial, the book reveals how the best companies focus and align their peoples energy and urgency around what Kotter calls the big opportunity.If youre a pioneer, a leader who knows that bold change is necessary to survive and thrive in an ever-changing world, this book will help you accelerate into a better, more profitable future.
The international bestsellernow with a new preface by author John Kotter.Millions worldwide have read and embraced John Kotters ideas on change management and leadership.From the ill-fated dot-com bubble to unprecedented M&A activity to scandal, greed, and ultimately, recessionweve learned that widespread and difficult change is no longer the exception. Its the rule. Now with a new preface, this refreshed edition of the global bestseller Leading Change is more relevant than ever.John Kotters now-legendary eight-step process for managing change with positive results has become the foundation for leaders and organizations across the globe. By outlining the process every organization must go through to achieve its goals, and by identifying where and how even top performers derail during the change process, Kotter provides a practical resource for leaders and managers charged with making change initiatives work. Leading Change is widely recognized as his seminal work and is an important precursor to his newer ideas on acceleration published in Harvard Business Review.Needed more today than at any time in the past, this bestselling business book serves as both visionary guide and practical toolkit on how to approach the difficult yet crucial work of leading change in any type of organization. Reading this highly personal book is like spending a day with the worlds foremost expert on business leadership. Youre sure to walk away inspiredand armed with the tools you need to inspire others. Published by Harvard Business Review Press.
Get your idea off the ground.You've got a great idea that will increase revenue or boost productivity-but how do you get the buy-in you need to make it happen? By building a business case that clearly shows your idea's value. That's not always easy: Maybe you're not sure what kind of data your stakeholders will trust. Or perhaps you're intimidated by number crunching.The HBR Guide to Building Your Business Case, written by project management expert Raymond Sheen, gives you the guidance and tools you need to make a strong case. You'll learn how to:Spell out the business need for your ideaAlign your case with strategic goalsBuild the right team to shape and test your ideaCalculate the return on investmentAnalyze risks and opportunitiesPresent your case to stakeholders
Too many companies are managed not by leaders, but by mere role players and faceless bureaucrats. What does it take to be a real leaderone who is confident in who she is and what she stands for, and who truly inspires people to achieve extraordinary results?Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones argue that leaders dont become great by aspiring to a list of universal character traits. Rather, effective leaders are authentic: they deploy individual strengths to engage followers hearts, minds, and souls. They are skillful at consistently being themselves, even as they alter their behaviors to respond effectively in changing contexts. In this lively and practical book, Goffee and Jones draw from extensive research to reveal how to hone and deploy ones unique leadership assets while managing the inherent tensions at the heart of successful leadership: showing emotion and withholding it, getting close to followers while keeping distance, and maintaining individuality while conforming enough. Underscoring the social nature of leadership, the book also explores how leaders can remain attuned to the needs and expectations of followers.Why Should Anyone Be Led By You? will forever change how we view, develop, and practice the art of leadership, wherever we live and work.
Look around your office. Turn on the TV. Incompetent leadership is everywhere, and there's no denying that most of these leaders are men. In this timely and provocative book, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic asks two powerful questions: Why is it so easy for incompetent men to become leaders? And why is it so hard for competent people - especially competent women - to advance? Marshaling decades of rigorous research, Chamorro-Premuzic points out that although men make up a majority of leaders, they underperform when compared with female leaders. In fact, most organizations equate leadership potential with a handful of destructive personality traits, like overconfidence and narcissism. In other words, these traits may help someone get selected for a leadership role, but they backfire once the person has the job. When competent women - and men who don't fit the stereotype - are unfairly overlooked, we all suffer the consequences. The result is a deeply flawed system that rewards arrogance rather than humility, and loudness rather than wisdom. There is a better way. With clarity and verve, Chamorro-Premuzic shows us what it really takes to lead and how new systems and processes can help us put the right people in charge.
Offers a set of practices for creativity in various human enterprises. This book provides readers with a sense of the role that the notion of possibility can play in different aspects of our lives. It shifts readers perspective with stories, parables, and anecdotes from the authors' personal experiences as well as from everyday heroes.
An outstanding book about CEOs who excelled at capital allocation. Warren Buffett#1 on Warren Buffetts Recommended Reading List, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Letter, 2012Named one of 19 Books Billionaire Charlie Munger Thinks You Should Read in Business Insider.A book that details the extraordinary success of CEOs who took a radically different approach to corporate management. Charlie Munger, Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway CorporationThorndike explores the importance of thoughtful capital allocation through the stories of eight successful CEOs. A good read for any business leader but especially those willing to chart their own course. Michael Dell, chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of DellWhat makes a successful CEO? Most people call to mind a familiar definition: a seasoned manager with deep industry expertise. Others might point to the qualities of todays so-called celebrity CEOscharisma, virtuoso communication skills, and a confident management style. But what really matters when you run an organization? What is the hallmark of exceptional CEO performance? Quite simply, it is the returns for the shareholders of that company over the long term.In this refreshing, counterintuitive book, author Will Thorndike brings to bear the analytical wisdom of a successful career in investing, closely evaluating the performance of companies and their leaders. You will meet eight individualistic CEOs whose firms average returns outperformed the S&P 500 by a factor of twentyin other words, an investment of $10,000 with each of these CEOs, on average, would have been worth over $1.5 million twenty-five years later. You may not know all their names, but you will recognize their companies: General Cinema, Ralston Purina, The Washington Post Company, Berkshire Hathaway, General Dynamics, Capital Cities Broadcasting, TCI, and Teledyne. In The Outsiders, youll learn the traits and methodsstriking for their consistency and relentless rationalitythat helped these unique leaders achieve such exceptional performance.Humble, unassuming, and often frugal, these outsiders shunned Wall Street and the press, and shied away from the hottest new management trends. Instead, they shared specific traits that put them and the companies they led on winning trajectories: a laser-sharp focus on per share value as opposed to earnings or sales growth; an exceptional talent for allocating capital and human resources; and the belief that cash flow, not reported earnings, determines a companys long-term value.Drawing on years of research and experience, Thorndike tells eye-opening stories, extracting lessons and revealing a compelling alternative model for anyone interested in leading a company or investing in oneand reaping extraordinary returns.