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Reviews Written by
Turgay BUGDACIGIL (Istanbul, Turkey)
Different times require a new script
, January 29, 2006
“I have been rehearsing the arguments that from the backbone of ‘The Next Global Stage’ for more than two decades.” K. Ohmae writes, “My previous books, including ‘The Borderless World’ and ‘The Invisible Continent,’ examined many of the issues I am still exploring. Ideas, as I say, do not emerge in a state of perfection. In its genesis, ‘The Next Global Stage’ has been shaped by two forces. First, it bears witness to changing circumstances. Over the last two decades, the world has changed substantially. The economic, political, social, corporate, and personal rules that now apply bear scant relation to those applicable two decades ago. ‘Different times require a new script’…The second defining force behind ‘The Next Global Stage’ is that, over the last 20 years, I have witnessed some of the pioneers of the global economy firsthand. One of the first business leaders to be sympathetic to the notion of the truly global economy was the former CEO of Smith Kline Beecham, Henry Wendt. He saw cross-border alliances as a potential savior for the American pharmaceuticals industry and recognized that internationally based strategic alliances would become important, if not vital…Another early pioneer of the global economy was Walter Wriston, former chairman of Citibank. He saw globalization as an imperative not because of management or business theories, but because of technological breakthroughs. He prophesized that competition between banks would no longer be based on banking services, but on acquiring better technology. Effectively, the company able to make decisions quicker, often in the fraction of a nanosecond, would be the winner…Yet another business leader who was ahead of this time was Akio Morita, co-founder of Sony. The original business was called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo or Totsuko (TTK). This name, even in its abbreviated form, was too difficult for Western markets. So Morita came up with the four-letter Sony to represent the quality of sound from his transistor radios. For Morita, the world was one big market, with few or no barriers. He thought big but was no megalomaniac. He famously advised companies to ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’…These visionaries shared many of my views about the then-emerging global economy, explained in such books as ‘Triad Power’ and ‘The Borderless World.’ I was fortunate enough to exchange views with all three of them and many others in the mid-1980s and beyond. However, discussions on the importance of the region-state proved more elusive and troublesome. I had to wait until the developments within China post-1998 to gain any sort of useful practical perspective on this issue…’The Next Global Stage’ makes sense of the world as I see it. Twenty years ago, globalization was a term, a theoretical concept. Now it is a reality. ‘The Next Global Stage’ is part of a process of understanding the new rules that apply in this new world – and often, there aren’t rules to adequately explain what we now experience on a daily basis. İt is not an endpoint, nor is it a beginning, but I hope it is an important step forward for companies and individuals, as well as regional and national leaders (from the Introduction).”
In this context, Kenichi Ohmae divides this excellent study into three parts:
I. THE STAGE: This part looks at some of the areas of explosive growth and identifies some of the characteristics of the global economy. It then looks back at the birth point of this new era. This part end with an examination of the failure of traditional economics – and economists – to make sense of the global economy.
II. STAGE DIRECTIONS: In this part, Ohmae examines the major trends emerging on the global stage. He explores the development of the nation-state and the dynamics of what he calls region-state. He goes on to introduce the idea of platforms, such as the use of English, Windows, branding, and the U.S. dollar, as global means of communication, understanding, and commerce. Finally, he explores what parts of business have to change in line with the emerging economy. These include business systems and processes and products, people, and logistics.
III. THE SCRIPT: In this part, he provides analysis of how these changes and trends will impact governments, corporations, and individuals. He looks at some of the regions that might be the economic dynamos shaping the world beyond the global stage. Finally, he revisit his book, ‘The Mind of the Strategist,’ and think through the need for changes in the frameworks used in developing corporate strategy on the global stage.
As a final point, Ohmae says that “I hope this book helps you develop some feel for the new global economy, the coming shape of the geopolitical maps of the future, the key levers corporations can pull, and the dynamic business domains we can tap. Now it is your turn to climb up onto the global stage and perform (p.272).”
I highly recommend this excellent study.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Well-known financial concepts
, January 26, 2006
“This book traces the common thread binding together much of financial thought – arbitrage. Distilled to its essence, arbitrage is about identifying mispricing and developing strategies to exploit it. An inherently simple concept – the act of exploiting different prices for the same asset or portfolio – arbitrage is as important as it is commonly misunderstood. This is because arbitrage is so often presented in financial arguments that are long on technical detail but short on economic intuition. Many business professionals’ exposure to the concept is limited to the media occasionally associating arbitrage with high-profile financiers, like foreign currency speculator George Soros, or former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Robert Rubin, once head of arbitrage at Goldman Sachs. Yet such casual mentions do not convey the pervasive importance and usefulness of arbitrage in the world economy or in financial thought. Hence, the goal of this book is to emphasize the intuition of arbitrage and explain how it functions as a common thread in financial analysis. In so doing, I’ll provide concrete examples that illustrate arbitrage in action (from the Preface).”
In this context, Randall S. Billingsley divides this invaluable book into following seven chapters:
1. Arbitrage, Hedging, and the Law of One Price: This chapter explores the relationship between arbitrage, hedging, the Law of One Price, the Law of One Expected Return, and the structure of asset prices.
2. Arbitrage in Action: This chapter illustrates the nature of the Law of One Price, the Law of One Expected Return, arbitrage, and hedging using several examples. These concepts are first illustrated using the example of a discrepancy in the price of gold in two locations.
3. Cost of Carry Pricing: This chapter presents the cost of carry approach to identifying and exploiting mispriced positions. This useful, simple framework portrays the appropriate relationship between spot and forward or future prices. Properly priced forward/futures contracts reflect the cost and benefits of carrying a spot market commodity or security over time. The cost of carry model is illustrated in this chapter using the examples of a commodity, silver, and interest rates.
4. International Arbitrage: This chapter shows how arbitrage influences the relationship among currency exchange rates in light of international interest rate and inflation differences. Foreign exchange rates are structured by arbitrage pressures through international parity relations. Furthermore, this chapter describes various arbitrage strategies involving international interest rates and exchange rates.
5. Put-Call Parity and Arbitrage: This chapter presents the put-call parity relation, which relies on arbitrage to portray the relationship between call and put prices, the underlying stock price, the exercise price, the risk-free rate, and the time to expiration for European options. This chapter also shows how put-call parity lends insight into basic option/stock combination strategies such as the covered call and protective put.
6. Option Pricing: This chapter explains how arbitrage forms the backbone of modern option pricing.
7. Arbitrage and the (Ir)Relevance of Capital Structure: This chapter explains the role of arbitrage in assessing the relevance of capital structure decisions in the context of the Nobel Prize-winning Modigliani-Miller (M&M) theory. The chapter also shows how the firm may be viewed as put and call options and used the put-call parity framework to explain how a firm is valued from the distinct though linked perspectives of bondholders and stockholders.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Donation from Jon M. Huntsman
, January 13, 2006
Jon M. Huntsman writes, “Donations don’t always have to be money. In many ways, time is more precious than dollars. Giving of one’s time, lending one’s stature, and providing one’s expertise can be as meaningful as money (p.163).” Really, his excellent study is donation for me. I would like to share this donation to everybody with the following notes from this invaluable book:
• “The principles we learned as children were simple and fair. They remain simple and fair. With moral compasses programmed in the sandboxes of long ago, we can navigate career courses with values that guarantee successful lives, a path that is good for one’s mental and moral well-being, not to mention long-term material success (p.15).”
• “Values provide us with ethical water wings whose deployment is as critical in today’s wave tossed corporate boardrooms as they were in yesterday’s classrooms (p.29).”
• “Courage may be the single most important factor in identifying leadership. Individuals may know well what is right and what is wrong but fail to act decisively because they lack the courage their values require (p.66).”
• “As captains of our own character, it is essential we understand the great legacy of trust and integrity. We will be remembered for truthful disclosures and promises kept (p.85).”
• “Your word is your greatest asset; honesty is your best virtue (p.85).”
• “Life is not a game of solitaire; people depend on one another. When one does well, the others are lifted. When one stumbles, others also impacted. There are no one-man teams – either by definition or natural law. Success is a cooperative effort; it’s dependent upon those who stand beside you (pp.90-91).”
• “Some people earn admiration and respect. If you must choose one, however, go for respect every time (p.93).”
• “There is no book written, no guideline crafted or class devised that explain how to activate courage. Courage comes from deep within one’s being. Courage is not the understanding of what is right or wrong. Rather, it is the strength to choose the right course (pp.95-96).”
• “Most companies and individuals seek success and respect. To reach these goals requires a sense of compassion for others and desire to make others happy. Happiness is so meaningful to our lives. It often comes to us when we try to make others happy. Graciousness is catching (pp.127-128).”
• “In a family business, check your ego at the door. There is no room for self-aggrandizement or self-promotion. In a family business, everyone knows the abilities and shortcomings of the others. There are no secrets. The success of family business relies on trust, respect, and love (pp.144-145).”
• “Be a cheerleader for each other. Seek good fortune for the other person first. Most family businesses end up in disarray because of the selfish interests of one or another sibling (p.145).”
• “All companies – public or private – must create a culture in which employees come first and are treated royally. Believe me, they always return the favor (p.150).”
• “It is of little consequence where or how or to whom we give. What really matters is our attitude (p.162).”
• “True giving is doing something for somebody who can never repay you (p.169).”
• “The elders of any society frequently view the younger generation as possessing fewer values than they have, but the fact is we all start out the same. Each generation has unique challenges; no generation has a monopoly on values (p.174).”
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Overcome the barriers to change
, January 12, 2006
“A fundamental message of this book is that what you see in any situation depends in very large part upon what you bring to the table. What you see in this book is no exception. You are involved as much as we are in the process of making sense of the ideas presented. More than what we have written here, your own experiences and mindsets will shape what you get out of this process… How do we engage in impossible thinking? The parts of the book that follow provide an overview of a process...”
In this context, Yoram (Jerry) Wind and Colin Crook with Robert Gunther write,
1. First, we need to recognize the importance of models and the way they create limits and opportunities, as discussed in Part I.
• RECOGNIZE THE POWER AND LIMITS OF MENTAL MODELS
• Understand how models shape your world
• Recognize how models limit or expand your scope of actions
2. Then we have to find ways to keep our mental models relevant, deciding when to change to a new model (while adding the old to our portfolio of models), where to find ways of seeing, how to zoom in and out to make sense of a complex environment, and how to conduct continuous experimentation, as considered in Part II.
• KEEP YOUR MENTAL MODELS RELEVANT
• Know when to shift horses
• Recognize that paradigm shifts are a two-way street
• See a new way of seeing
• Zoom in and out to make sense from complexity
• Engage in experiments
3. Even if we are willing to change our thinking, we also need to recognize the walls that keep us in the old models, the confining influence both of the infrastructure and processes of our lives and of the slowly adapting models of around us. In Part III we consider these obstacles to change and strategies for addressing them.
• OVERCOME INHIBITORS TO CHANGE
• Dismantle the old order
• Find common ground to bridge adaptive disconnects
4. Finally, we recognize that models are used in order to act quickly, and in the last part of the book we explore ways to access models quickly through intuition to transform our world.
• TRANSFORM YOUR WORLD
• Develop and refine your intuition
• Transform your actions
Yoram (Jerry) Wind and Colin Crook with Robert Gunther say that transforming your mental models can help you think impossible thoughts and overcome the barriers to change in your life, work and society. This book will show you how.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
What’s Next? Three Scenarios for the Next Decade
, January 11, 2006
“This book is for all of the ‘scout bees’ of the human world – those explorers who find it their calling to seek, on behalf of us all, a better future. I hope it makes a modest contribution to strengthening your wings, animating your dance, refreshing your optimism, framing your insights, and, above all, helping you make a difference in the world (from the Preface).”
In this context, Eamonn Kelly divides this invaluable study into four sections.
I. What’s Happening?: Predicting the Present
II. What If ?: Challenges and Changes Ahead
III. What’s Next?: Scenarios for the Next Decade
IV. So What?: Acting in an Age of Transformation
In the third section, he says that “I consider how we might expect a new global order to evolve, offering three very different scenarios that we might see unfold in the coming decade. While we must prepare for all three of these futures, each holds profoundly different implications (p.15).”
Three Scenarios for the Next Decade:
1. New American Century: This is a future in which the United States achieves unparalleled leadership in world affairs, reasserting and strengthening its influence, and essentially establishing the core values and rules - economic, political, and cultural – by which the entire world will play for generations.
A. Global society & culture identities
• Ambitious, progressive, and conservative
• Toward U.S. –centered homogeneity
• “Ownership” not “entitlement”
• Numerous pushback movements (mostly environmental)
B. Global economy & business environment
• Global corporations run mostly by Western rules
• Further liberalization of Chinese, Indian markets
• Outsourcing popular
• Political pressure to “protect” vulnerable domestic industries
• Lighter regulation
• Bilateral trade negotiations
C. Global politics & relationships
• China remains strategically quiet
• Powerful global moral majority, with a dominant sacred worldview
• EU gives more power to Eastern European nations; plans for accession of Turkey
• Liberalization in Middle East states
• Underlying, simmering resentment of U.S. power
2. Patchwork Powers: This is a future in which geopolitical and economic power and influence is distributed and shared between many different international bodies, geographical regions, and nation-states. This is also a future in which influence is projected through a complex and sometimes confusing patchwork of alliances and treaties.
A. Global society & culture identities
• Powerful national and regional
• Ambitious, individualistic, and meritocratic
• Asian cultures more influential around the world
• Society more inter-dependent
• Mature and risk averse
• Belief in the collective, in checks and balances
B. Global economy & business environment
• Tighter regulation
• Solid but sluggish economic growth
• Numerous international alliances and joint ventures
• Importance of cultural competence
• Regional blocs retain influence over trade negotiations
C. Global politics & relationships
• Multipolar; lots of summits and handshakes
• Asian nations more powerful in global agreements
• Middle East, Russia become strategic battlegrounds
• Relative harmony over global problems
• Ambiguity, gamesmanship, and issues of trust
3. Emergence: This is a future in which the established, traditional models of power and leadership prove to be largely unsuited to the challenges of a world of increased interdependence, complexity, uncertainty, and diversity. Instead, change and coherence come from the bottom up, as centralized and hierarchical governments, international institutions, and many large corporations prove slow to adapt to new challenges and opportunities.
A. Global society & culture identities
• Rebellious, youthful, and risk-loving
• Connected by issues, not nationalities
• Highly transparent and very confusing
• Increasingly spiritual
B. Global economy & business environment
• Highly turbulent (“booms” and “busts”)
• Networked; big organizations as enablers and small as operators
• Coexistence of different models of capitalism
• Emergent, open standards
• Open source and other radical business models
C. Global politics & relationships
• Crises of confidence for national governments
• Issue-driven political alliances
• City-states win power over nation-states
• Darwinian approaches create real successes and failures; Singapores and Somalias
• Civil society and NGOs more influential
• Governments less controlling, more enabling
Finally, Eamonn Kelly writes, “These three scenarios – New American Century, Patchwork Powers, and Emergence – cannot, of course, encompass the entire range of possibilities regarding the future world order. But they are plausible and important possibilities, and worth considering in turn. What might each of these worlds look like? Here are three snapshots that summarize each (accompanied by short vignettes that provide a glimpse of one person’s life in that world), beginning with the scenario that some might consider the U.S.’s ‘official future’.”
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Winning and Losing Practices
, January 1, 2006
“This book reveals the secrets of the long-term better-than-industry performance of the winners. I t shows distinct patterns in the 1992 to 2002 results. The differences in outcome are not random or a matter of mere chance. The circumstances that the big winners and big losers faced were similar. What explains the differences in performance is that the winners pursued and executed different strategies than the losers. In this book, I reveal how the traits of the big winners came together into larger patterns made up of a sweet spot, agility, discipline, and focus. Firms that achieved advantage wove together these elements into larger wholes. The positive aspects of the separate components supported and reinforced each other. Similarly, the negative traits of the losing firms supported and reinforced each other…Most of the insights in this book derive from the reports that the managers wrote. Their names and the companies they analyzed are listed in the Acknowledgments. The reports pointed me in certain directions, but I take full responsibility for where I ended up. The conclusions are my own. I presented the results and obtained feedback at a number of venues…All long, lessons are learned and specific advice is given on what a company can do to become a big winner and avoid being a big loser. This advice is concrete, specific, and actionable. It is among the most important takeaways you will get from this book (from the Preface).”
In this context, Alfred A. Marcus divides this invaluable book into fourteen chapters. At the end of each chapter, he summarizes these chapters as following:
1. Persistent Winning and Losing – Achieving sustained competitive advantage is not easy. You cannot dismiss any element. A sweet spot, agility, discipline, and focus are essential. Although managers might able to identify future opportunities, few have the agility to move into them, the discipline to protect them, and the focus to take full advantage of them…
2. Companies That Hit and Missed the Mark – This chapter has shown that firms that are big winners and firms that are big losers are hard to find. Being a big winner is harder than being a big loser. Some industries have no firms that are big winners or big losers. Firms that are big winners are concentrated in large industries; in large industries, there is more open space for finding a sweep spot. Big winners are smaller than big losers. Small firms are more agile than large firms. Their smallness makes it easier for them to escape detection. They are more likely to avoid competitive retaliation. Big winners and big losers are in industries with higher market returns. The potential profits are greater. There is more risk and more opportunity…
3. Companies That Keep Winning – This chapter has described the nine big winners that are the subject of further analysis in this book. Several points stand out. The nine winning companies succeeded despite being in small industries that did not have good returns. These industries were not ones where they could easily find sweet spots no other firms occupied. The big winners succeeded despite low overall returns in the industries in which they competed. These firms were survivors of a poor overall stock market in the first six months of 2002. The fact that their sales tended to be spread out helped them do well in this period. When the tech market collapsed, they had alternative customers to which they could turn…
4. Sweet Spots – This chapter has provided examples of the sweet spots that the big winners occupied. These sweet spots depend on gaining control over the classical five forces in strategy starting with customers. Big winners gained control of the five forces through the following measures: (1) co-designing products and services with their customers, (2) embedding themselves in their customers’ central processes and infrastructure, and (3) being a broker between themselves, their customers, and their suppliers. The sweet spots that the big winners occupied increased their alignment with their customers…
5. Agility – This chapter has shown the moves that the big winners made. They were agile. There was no single formula they followed, but a general pattern to their agility. They responded swiftly to threats and opportunities. Their small size gave them great flexibility. They grew their business in accord with their customers’ changing needs. They moved toward new and promising markets where their customers had specialized needs that only they could meet…
6. Discipline – This chapter has shown the discipline that the sweet spot companies displayed. They maintained ongoing, effective programs that reduced costs and raised quality. They took control of distribution. They smoothly managed their acquisition. They created special cultures that got their employees involved. They monitored and influenced regulatory changes and promptly complied with government laws and requirements. They not only put themselves in sweet spots, but they also developed the capabilities to protect them…
7. Focus – This chapter has shown the type of focus that sweet spot companies exhibited. They concentrated on their core strengths. They did not chase opportunities that were too risky. They had plans for product enhancements, extensions, and sequels. Their dedication to their customers was near total. Extensive collaboration led them to meeting the cutting-edge needs of customers for solutions. They were not in the business of providing mere isolated products, no matter how technically superior the products might be. With great care, they applied these principles to their global expansion. They identified markets with growth potential. They developed and extended the reach of their high-growth, application-specific products and deepened their penetration of global markets…
8. Companies That Keep Losing – This chapter provides information about the industries in which the big losers competed, the products they sold, and their competitors. This analysis parallels that of Chapter 3, “Companies That Keep Winning.”
9. Sour Spots – Companies find themselves in sour spots when they lose control over the classic five industry forces, the most important of which is customers. You can avoid losing control by doing the following: (i) make sure that you are able to sell your products and services at prices that your customers can afford; (ii) price these products and services at levels that enable you to make a profit; and (iii) have business models that are simple enough that you can carry out tasks and activities well. Being in a sour spot means distance and misalignment with customers. It means that you are unable to sell them sufficient quantities of goods and services to be consistently profitable. Your customers’ switching costs are low, and it’s easy for them to abandon you. This chapter has provided examples of sour spots you should avoid…
10. Rigidity – This chapter has shown the failed moves of the big losers. They tended to rely exclusively on the expansion of their core products for growth. These products were hard-to-differentiate commodity products sold on the basis of price. Big losers accumulated additional product capacity at high prices even though there was insufficient demand for their product. They did not respond vigorously when they experienced a decline in their core business. Their size took away from their flexibility. Because they were rigid, they inhabited sour spots.
11. Ineptness – This chapter has shown the ineptness of the big losers. They did not develop capabilities to defend the positions they occupied. They lacked skills to provide customers best-in-class service and customizable offerings at low cost. Also, these losing companies did not gain mastery over the supply chain and were ineffective in managing their acquisitions. They neither motivated their employees to ensure that their moves were well-executed, nor did they adhere to high ethical standards and have the capabilities to manage regulation. They were in sour spots not only because of rigidity and ineptness, but also because of a lack of focus.
12. Diffuseness – This chapter has shown the lack of focus that the big losers showed. They spread themselves thin and failed to maintain clear strategic direction. They were unable to identify and emphasize markets with future promise. They tended to rely on global business to try to fix domestic problems. None of what they did worked quite as intended.
13. Winning and Losing Practices – This chapter has explained what it takes to be a consistent long-term winner. It takes finding a niche that no one else occupies, but that is not enough. You need the agility to move that space, the discipline to protect it, and the focus to fully exploit. You must do it all. Anything less, and being a big winner will be beyond your reach.
14. Turnarounds – The lessons in this chapter have special relevance if you are trying to manage yourself out of decline or trying to keep your company’s strengths intact. The key to being a big winner is to find a sweet spot. Focus on it. Have the discipline to protect it. Have the agility to move it. The key to being a big loser is the opposite. Be diffuse, inept, and rigid, and you will find yourself in a sour position.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A roadmap for retail strategy
, December 24, 2005
“Who doesn’t want to run his own business? Who doesn’t want to have her own store? If you’re young, you think about it from time to time. If you’re older, you wish you had opened that little shop before the kids came – or you plan to open it when you retire. We all want to control our destiny. We all want to express our creativity. We all want to build something that will last. But how do you start a retail operation? That’s the question I am most often asked. How do you create a going concern, one that will grow and build long-term value? That is another common query. ‘Built for Growth: Expanding Your Business Around the Corner or Across the Globe’ answers these and related questions (from the Introduction).”
Arthur Rubinfeld, the architect behind Starbucks’ expansion, helped build Starbucks into one of the world’s top brands, says that ‘Build for Growth’ distills what I have learned into a comprehensive view of what it takes to develop a winning retail concept. This shows you:
• How to combine core personal and company values with your business expertise to create a meaningful brand.
• How to creatively craft your on-the-street retail presence to capture the essence of your brand and develop customer loyalty.
• Hot to identify the best locations for your concept.
• How to build your management team, organization, and systems – whether you want to have one store or 1,000.
• How to systematically and aggressively execute your plans.
• How to successfully operate your business to keep customers coming back.
• How to innovate and renew your brand.
In addition, he says, “Other books deal with one or two of these topics, but none has taken a holistic approach to retail development, combining theory and practical ideas to cover the entire scope of what it takes to succeed in retail.”
In this context, this invaluable book has been organized into sections based on four fundamental principles: (1) Make No Little Plans, (2) Go Long, (3) Own Main & Main, and (4) Push the Envelope. Each of these sections has covered a major aspect of retail strategy, in order in which you will normally experience them as you grow your business.
I highly recommend.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Eight Attributes of Lasting Leadership
, December 18, 2005
“In Lasting Leadership, we identify eight attributes or qualities that have enabled the 25 individuals (Of the 25 leaders profiled in this book, two have died – Sam Walton in 1992 and Mary Kay Ash in 2001. We were able to get interviews with 15 of the other 23, including Jeff Bezos, John Bogle, James Burke, Michael Dell, William George, Louis Gerstner, Lee Iacocca, Herb Kelleher, Andrew Grove, Peter Lynch, Charles Schwab, Fred Smith, Ted Turner, Jack Welch, and Muhammad Yunus, in addition to Mary Kay Ash’s son, Richard Rogers) to overcome major challenges as well as to nurture their own leadership styles. These attributes – each of which has its own chapter in the book – include
• Building a strong corporate culture
• Truth telling
• Finding and catering to under-served markets
• ‘Seeing the invisible’ – that is, spotting potential winners or faint trends before their rivals or customers do
• Using price to build competitive advantage
• Managing and building their organization’s brand (which, in some cases, may be their own name)
• Being fast learners
• Managing risk
None of the leaders in this book has all these attributes. If that were a requirement of lasting leadership, the world would have no leaders at all. At the same time, one attribute alone is not enough to ensure long-lived leadership. A leader with a single attribute may succeed briefly, but the success will not be sustained unless other qualities exist to keep the momentum going (from the Introduction).”
In this context, to explore the theme of lasting leadership, Mukul Pandya and Robbie Shell divide this invaluable handbook into ten chapters. Each of the chapters from one to nine takes a close look at 25 leaders’ approach to leadership.
Finally, in the last chapter – conclusion, Pandya and Shell say that “the lives of the 25 leaders covered in these pages are instructive because of the choices they made – often in the face of adversity – on their way to defining success in their respective fields. Their experiences suggest questions worth considering when assessing the leadership potential of ourselves or others:
• Do we seek the positive seam when confronted with circumstances?
• How do we cultivate a corporate culture that inspires and empowers those around us?
• How do we emphasize the importance of honesty, especially at times when honesty is not the easiest course to pursue?
• Have we sought to identify and cultivate underserved markets?
• Can we see the invisible? Are we able to dig deeper and understand the connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena?
• Do we understand the role of price as a potential competitive advantage in our particular industry?
• Do we cultivate and maximize brand identity?
• Are we fast learners, able to make decisions quickly and reserve position when necessary?
• How well do we manage risk? (pp.240-241)”
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A valuable guide for future execution decisions and actions
, December 11, 2005
“This book focuses on a critical management issue: Making strategy work or executing strategy effectively…What differentiates this book from others, beyond its emphasis on a critical management need? I’m excited about the present approach to execution for the six following reasons.
• Learning from experience: This book is based on data. It borrows from the experiences of hundreds of managers actually involved in strategy execution…
• What you need to lead: The focus of the book is on the knowledge, skills, and capabilities managers need to lead execution efforts. Its content is action-and result-oriented…
• The big picture: In this book, I develop a unifying, integrated approach to execution. I focus on the big picture, as well as the nitty-gritty of the execution process and methods…
• Effective change management: Leading successful execution efforts usually demands the effective management of change, and this book integrates important change-management issues into its treatment of execution…
• Applying what you learn: This book practices what it preaches. The final chapter shows how to apply the logic, insights, and practical advice of preceding chapters to a real, huge, and pervasive problem. Making mergers and acquisitions (M&A) work…
• The bottom line: …This book covers more of the important factors and decisions related to successful execution. It offers an empirically-based, integrative, complete approach to making strategy work and focuses more extensively on managing change than other publications dealing with implementation…
Leading execution and change to make strategy work is a difficult and formidable task. For the six reasons I have listed, I believe this task can be made more logical, manageable, and successful by the present book’s approach and insights (from the Introduction).”
In this context, Lawrence G. Hrebiniak divides this excellent book on strategy into ten chapters. At the end of each chapter, he summarizes these chapters as following:
Summary of the summaries:
1. Strategy Execution Is the Key
• Execution is a key to strategic success…
• Strategy execution is difficult but worthy of management’s attention across all levels of an organization…
• Part of the difficulty of execution is due to the obstacles or impediments to it…
• Knowing execution hazards (opportunities) is necessary but not sufficient…
2. Overview and Model: Making Strategy Work: This chapter has presented an overview of the strategy-execution process. It emphasizes the following:
• Strategy execution is difficult and is not easily explained by managerial sound bytes or the idiosyncrasies of a few successful managers.
• A logical model and a disciplined approach are needed to understand the strategy-execution process. Emphasis must be on what to do, when, why, and in what order…
• The key ingredients defining strategy execution include decisions about strategy, structure, coordination, information sharing, incentives, and controls. These decisions take place within an organizational context, aspects of which include power, culture, leadership, and the ability to manage change…
3. The Path to Successful Execution: Good Strategy Comes First: A number of points in the present chapter relate to the success of a company’s execution or implementation efforts.
• Strategy is the essential ingredient, the driving force behind execution efforts…
• It is vitally important to integrate corporate and business strategies. This means that effective communication is needed between levels, along with processes that enable decision-makers to reach agreement on strategies, goals, and performance metrics…
• Long-term strategic needs of the organization must be translated into short-term operating objectives in order to successfully execute-strategy…
• Finally, strategy makes demands on organizational resources and capabilities…
4. Organizational Structure and Execution: Four key conclusions or takeaways are suggested by the present chapter, beyond the basic point that structure is important to the execution of strategy.
• The first is that structure affects real costs and benefits to an organization…
• The second key conclusion follows logically from the first: The right mix of centralization and decentralization must be attained to optimize both efficiency and effectiveness…
• This chapter also stressed that there are strategic drivers of structural choice. These include: (a) type of strategy (global, low-cost), (b) the need for efficiency or effectiveness, (c) market and technological relatedness, and (d) organizational size/growth…
• Finally, the chapter suggests that a sequential process of analysis is useful when examining relationships between strategy and structure…
5. Managing Integration: Effective Coordination and Information Sharing: Three major conclusions or key takeaways were suggested in this chapter. Each is an important aspect of structural integration, and each is critical to making strategy work.
• It is necessary to define interdependence before choosing or investing in coordination methods…
• Information sharing, knowledge transfer, and effective communication are vital to execution…
• Finally, for execution to work, all responsibilities and accountabilities for key decisions and actions must be clear or unambiguous. They must be understood by all managers involved in the execution process…
6. Incentives and Controls: Supporting and Reinforcing Execution
• Incentives motivate behavior toward ends consistent with desired strategy execution…
• There are some basic aspects of “good” incentives and basic rules for using incentives wisely in the strategy execution process…
• Controls provide feedback about performance, reinforce execution methods, provide a corrective mechanism for an organization, and facilitate learning and change…
• The role of leadership in the control process is central and pervasive. Problems occur when leaders aren’t up to the leadership tasks vital to controls and execution…
• Finally, this chapter has stressed the necessity of conducting a strategy review…
7. Managing Change: There are a number of key points about managing change that are important to the success of execution. They are as follows:
• Managing change is important for strategy execution. Execution often implies change in key factors such as strategy, structure, coordination mechanisms, short-term measures of performance, incentives, and controls…
• Managing change is still a major execution problem, as the data reported in the present research strongly suggest…
• This chapter has focused on the first three issues, as these have not been systematically considered in the literature on change management. Specifically, the impact of the relationship between (a) the size of a change problem and (b) the time available for execution on (c) how a change is executed is explored. Four approaches to change – evolutionary, managerial, sequential, and complex – are analyzed in depth, along with their costs and benefits for an organization.
• A major conclusion of this analysis is that complex change is difficult and dangerous, often resulting in poor change management and failed execution…
• When the strategic problems facing an organization loom large, sequential change is preferred…
• Other factors affect the success of change management, including culture and overcoming resistance to change…
8. Managing Culture and Culture Change: Change culture is difficult, but it can be accomplished. The “rules” or steps for managing culture change:
• The reasons for change must be clear, compelling, and agreed upon by key players.
• Focus on changing behavior – not directly on changing culture.
• Effective communication is vital to culture change.
• Adequate effort must be expanded to reduce resistance to change.
• Beware of excessive speed.
9. Power, Influence, and Execution
• Power affects strategy execution…
• Power is simply the opposite of dependency…
• In organizations, the demands generated by strategy affect structure…
• Having power facilitates the formulation and execution of strategy…
• To receive support, execution methods and plans must produce clear, measurable, and positive value-added results…
• The desired perpetuation of power by those who have it creates a potential downside for the organization...
10. Summary and Application: Making Mergers and Acquisition Work: Making M&A strategies work is a difficult task. Much is at stake, and success depends very much on managing a complex set of activities or actions. This chapter has applied aspects of this book’s approach to the successful execution of M&A strategies, emphasizing the key steps, actions, or decisions it espouses…
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
It is about discipline, culture, and learning from the experiences of others
, December 4, 2005
“This is not a book about crisis management. It is not about managing public relations, the victims, the lawyers, or the shareholders. It is about discipline, culture, and learning from the experiences of others to improve the odds that you can avoid the things we label as accidents, disaster, or crisis altogether. Even if you do not totally avoid such situations, knowledge of the typical patterns that occur should help you create an organization that is observant enough to intervene early and minimize damage. Learning and implementing the lessons described here will not mean that you throw away your plans for handling problem situations. But it could mean that you will never have to manage the aftermath of an unpleasant situation (from the Introduction).”
In this context, Robert E. Mittelstaedt, Jr. divides this excellent handbook into ten chapters and an Appendix as summary of insights.
For this Appendix, R. E. Mittelstaedt, Jr. says that “Summarized here are the insights associated with the accidents, incidents, and successes examined in the book. They are offered with the caution that slavishly adhering to them in the hope of avoiding all mistakes will not necessarily lead to success, because success is different than a lack of failure, which might lead to mediocrity. Despite the caution that success requires more than avoiding mistakes, these are powerful insights into the ways that many have ‘snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.’ The patterns are similar and have shown themselves repeatedly over and over again in a variety of industries, countries, and businesses. Additionally, if we are honest we can see similarities to the things that drive or hinder our personal success in school, careers, sports, and social relationships. Consider these guidelines for most situations, personal or business, and look not only for their occurrence individually, but in patterns that serve as warnings for analysis and action (p.289).”
Summary of Robert E. Mittelstaedt’s Summary of Insights:
• Insight #1: Mental preparation is critical because organizations and individuals are rarely good at learning by drawing parallels.
• Insight #2: Fly the airplane.
• Insight #3: You cannot afford even a whiff of an ethical lapse.
• Insight #4: Execution mistakes can be generated through a lack of resources or knowledge.
• Insight #5: Establish and enforce standard operating procedures.
• Insight #6: Make responsibilities clear.
• Insight #7: Seek advice and seek to understand assumptions.
• Insight #8: If something does not make sense or feels confused, STOP and figure out what’s going on.
• Insight #9: People are usually at the root of the problem.
• Insight #10: A significant portion of execution-related mistakes occur because criteria for measuring progress and performance have not been identified and/or communicated explicitly.
• Insight #11: Failure to analyze data points and ask what they mean is a major source of mistakes.
• Insight #12: Ignoring data is dangerous – ignoring or misinterpreting consumer data can be catastrophic.
• Insight #13: Across industries and situations, ineffective communications can accelerate deterioration of a mistake chain.
• Insight #14: Spending time and money to build a culture that takes mistakes seriously may have the highest ROI of anything you can do as a manager.
• Insight #15: Look for the opportunity for an accident or even a major success to be a rallying cry for change and transformation.
• Insight #16: A very successful business can blind you to opportunity.
• Insight #17: Your competitors are not who you think they are.
• Insight #18: Sometimes a mistake is not a mistake.
• Insight #19: Even companies that have successfully reinvented themselves have to work hard, perhaps even harder, to understand when it is time to do so again.
• Insight #20: With disruptive technology, prices usually drop and value shifts to customers.
• Insight #21: Some changes happen without your permission.
• Insight #22: Many more industries and companies will see the value continue to shift from hardware to software and services.
• Insight #23: Test and retest assumptions – until proven beyond a doubt.
• Insight #24: Push or ignore engineered safety at your peril.
• Insight #25: Believe the data.
• Insight #26: Use available resources.
• Insight #27: Train for the “can’t happen” scenario.
• Insight #28: Open your mind past your blinders.
• Insight #29: Culture is a powerful – what creates success may kill you.
• Insight #30: Culture is powerful, but be sure you understand where to extend it.
• Insight #31: Rapid culture change designed to obliterate mistakes in supercritical areas is possible, but sharp focus, extra diligence, and continuous training are necessary for success.
• Insight #32: Most cultures develop by accident – those that are designed to accomplish a purpose are more effective.
• Insight #33: Economic forces and laws are real, industry changes are real. They are not as unexpected as most people believe – it is usually only a matter of the timing.
• Insight #34: Being #1 or #2 really does matter.
• Insight #35: Economic business visioning (EBV) is not optional.
• Insight #36: Startups and small businesses make mistakes in the same ways that larger organizations make mistakes. However, they usually have fewer resources to avoid or recover and less flexibility to survive mistakes with alternate plans or products.
• Insight #37: Do you want to trust “saving the business” to your last line of defense?
• Insight #38: If you do not make any mistakes, you may not be taking enough risk, but failing to take any risks at all may be the most dangerous type of mistake that a business can make.