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Find Your Next: Using the Business Genome Approach to Find Your Company’s Next Competitive Edge Hardcover – November 8, 2011
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Palgrave Marketing & Management
Take a first principles approach to marketing strategy
About the Author
Andrea Kates created the Business Genome approach to synthesize the insights she acquired during 15 years as the leader of more than 250 strategy initiatives for global corporations as well as entrepreneurs. Her client list includes Hewlett-Packard, Royal Dutch Shell (Asia-Pacific), JPMorgan Chase, Brinker International, Humana, KPMG, and the Houston Texans (NFL).
Top Customer Reviews
Early in the book she says, "Genome business approach consists of components of great ideas that can be melded together to create and launch new business opportunities." Notice she did not say start a new business she talks about blending businesses. As a constant breaker of rules, she got my attention.
A business leader often is stuck in her office. She rarely goes out to talk to staff in her building, and rarely talks to leaders in other industries. Ms. Kates points out that could be a big mistake. Instead, she advocates watching, talking and collaborating with other companies to enhance products or services that you are each producing independently.
There are many examples of real companies throughout the book that illustrates the "genome approach." Once you read this book, your mind will be racing with ideas and possibilities. AND by the way, she believes you should pay close attention to your intuition.
I loved the title. I am a big believer in competitive advantage. And my "know yourself" attitude makes me gravitate to things that help me determine my advantages.
Find Your Next presents an organized way to do this. They call it a genome that consists of 6 parts:
1 - Product or Service innovation. Find what resonates.
2 - Customer impact. Does your community support it?
3 - Process Design. Align the how with the customer need. This can be execution.
4 - Talent and Leadership - It is about the culture.
5 - Secret Sauce. What is your differentiation.
6 - Trendability. Look to the future. What are the trends and can you capitalize on them.
The book is a how to, step by step guide that asks a lot of questions. I did not follow the process through for any particular company - rather, I read the book (so likely did not get the same value someone would who actually took the steps and did the exercises)
One of my all time favorite books is Blue Ocean Strategy. Find Your Next strikes me as being a perfect companion book to that. Find Your Next is the how to guide for Blue Ocean.
All the best business models embrace and construct systems. This book helps you to identify and create systems to remain competitive and demonstrates countless companies that have used this system to excel, along with example of how failure to innovate and systemise spelled the end of other businesses.
I particularly like the analysis and research aspects of determining customer needs and interests. Using this to enter a new market, or to validate your current niche, is vital to the success of your business and Andrea walks you through the best and most practical methods in which to do this correctly.
Follow her four-step blueprint to uncover your business's DNA, evolve your strategy and build your future:
1. Sort through your options and assess hunches
2. Match your genome to other successful business models
3. Hybridize your company by grafting new ideas with proven successes
4. Adapt and thrive by breaking old habits and starting new trends
Kates' reveals how our imagination, optimism and desire to connect are three very powerful levers for business success. It's a totally new concept and helps us prepare for the unpredictable, socially connected consumer.
The book is divided into three sections, with a lot of informative sidebars. Read the chapter text first, and then go back to the call out boxes. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to follow along.
Part 1 details the Business Genome approach. When you uncover these patterns, you create a fresh lens to look at business. Winning businesses consist of components of great ideas that can be melded together to create and launch new business opportunities. I love that finding your "secret sauce" is part of this process -- but is your brand still relevant? Part 2 lists and explains the Business Genome elements: product and service innovation, customer impact, talent / leadership / culture, process design, secret sauce and trendability. Finally, the case studies in Part 3 really tie all the elements of the book together with real world examples, including P.F. Chang's, GE's Ecomagination and GM's OnStar.
If you're a business owner, member of your executive team or an aspiring entrepreneur, then read Find Your Next. You'll learn to recognize the new realities, shift your focus to new questions, tap into evolving patterns and guide your organization toward opportunities for competitive advantage and distinction. Or simply, as Kates' asks in the Conclusion, "Which emerging forces should we be tracking right now to lead our companies toward a thriving future?"