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Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company Paperback – March 16, 1999
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Alfred Sloan's My Years with General Motors."
"This terrific book is dangerous...It will make people think."
"This book is about one super-important concept. You must learn about Strategic Inflection Points, because sooner or later you are going to live through one."
--Steve Jobs, CEO, Pixar Animation Studios
"Andy explains--with modesty that cannot conceal his brilliance, how he has led Intel through changes and challenges that many companies could not cope with...The country will benefit from his vision."
--Reed Hundt, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
From the Inside Flap
Grove calls such a moment a Strategic Inflection Point, which can be set off by almost anything: mega-competition, a change in regulations, or a seemingly modest change in technology. When a Strategic Inflection Point hits, the ordinary rules of business go out the window. Yet, managed right, a Strategic Inflection Point can be an opportunity to win in the marketplace and emerge stronger than ever.
Grove underscores his message by examining his own record of success and failure, including how he navigated the events of the Pentium flaw, which threatened Intel's reputation in 1994, and how he has dealt with the explo
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I also love how the story isn't one of those "Look at this successful person this is what it's like to be successful don't you want to be successful too" books. I actually read and understood the struggles that Grove faced while working at Intel. It's easy to look at Intel and think that they've been there forever and that they are now predestined to succeed. In reality, Grove's life was no walk in the park. In fact, it was much more like Dark Souls.
Worth every penny you spend buying it and worth every minute you spend reading it. 5 stars.
The principles that Groves propounds here remain relevant and sound nearly twenty years later. Indeed, his description of how companies can and should respond to strategic inflection points is perhaps even more relevant in era where the pace of technological change has accelerated. Consider the changes that Intel has undergone in the eighteen intervening years as the world and scope of computing has vastly expanded and consumer needs and expectations have been transformed. Companies in the modern era may be required to reinvent themselves every few years, not once in an epoch.
Given this, I strongly recommend this book. It provides sound leadership advice without lurching into nonsensical exhortations and paeans to positivity.
1- "Business success contains the seeds of its own destruction. The more successful you are, the more people want a chunk of your business and then another chunk and then another until there is nothing left. I believe that the prime responsibility of a manager is to guard constantly against other people's attacks and to inculcate this guardian attitude in the people under his or her management."
2- "We all need to expose ourselves to the winds of change. We need to expose ourselves to our customers, both the ones who are staying with us as well as those that we may lose by sticking to the past. We need to expose ourselves to lower-level employees, who, when encouraged, will tell us a lot that we need to know. We must invite comments even from people whose job it is to constantly evaluate us and critique us, such as journalist and members of the financial community. Turn the tables and ask them some questions: about competitors, trends in the industry and what they think we should be most concerned with. As we throw ourselves into raw action, our senses and instincts will rapidly be honed again."
3- "A strategic inflection point is when the balance of forces shifts from the old structure, from the old ways of doing business and the old ways of competing, to the new. Before the strategic inflection point, the industry simply was more like the old. After it, it is more like the new. It is a point where the curve has subtly but profoundly changed, never to change back again."
4- "Of all the changes in the forces of competition, the most difficult one to deal with is when one of the forces become so strong that it transforms the very essence of how business is conducted in an industry."
5- "When an industry goes through a strategic inflection point, the practitioners of the old art may have trouble. On the other hand, the new landscape provides an opportunity for people, some of whom may not even be participants in the industry in question, to join and become part of the action."
6- "When a strategic infection point sweeps through the industry, the more successful a participant was in the old industry structure, the more threatened it is by change and the more reluctant it is to adapt to it. Second, whereas the cost to enter a given industry in the face of well-entrenched participants can be very high, when the structure breaks, the cost to enter may become trivially small."
7- "I suspect that the people coming in are probably no better managers or leaders than the people they are replacing. they have only one advantage...the new managers come unencumbered by such emotional involvement and therefore are capable of applying an impersonal logic to the situation."
8- "As these questions to attempt to distinguish signal from noise: 1) Is your key competitor about to change? 2) Is your key complementor about to change? 3) Do people seem to be "losing it" around you?"
9- "I call the divergence between actions and statements strategic dissonance. It is one of the surest indications that a company is struggling with a strategic inflection point."
10- "Ideally, the fear of a new environment sneaking up on us should keep us on our toes. Our sense of urgency should be aided by our judgement, instincts and observations that have been honed by decades spent in the business world. The fact is, because of our experience, very often we managers know that we need to do something. We even know what we should be doing. But we don't trust our instincts or don't act on them early enough to take advantage of the benign business bubble. We must discipline ourselves to overcome our tendency to do too little too late."
Top international reviews
I also particularly enjoyed the section on changing direction and how to manage people when the mission of the company changes.
Really a realistic outook on business and assessing risk.
Wenn man damit klarkommt, daß das Buch vor 25 Jahren geschrieben worden ist, ist dies vermutlich das Beste Business Buch aller Zeiten !
Die Vorraussichten die postuliert werden, und heute auch eingetroffen sind, sind bemerkenswert.
Die Erfahrungen die er hier teilt sind unschlagbar zutreffend auch in der heutigen Zeit. Eine Fa. zu führen heisst eben nicht nur "we're gonna be a billion dollar company by the year xyz" zu postuliueren ( Frei nach "wir schaffen das" :-).
In einer Zeit, in der "Manager" die meisten Chefetagen verseuchen präsentiert er wie wichtig "Leadership" mit klaren Prioritätsvorgaben auch bei großen unternehmen ist. Da reichen ein Paar aus Umfrageergebnissen destillierte "Corporate Values" bei weitem nicht aus.Die meisten "Corporate Values" und "Mission Statements" sind so trivial generisch und nichtssagend, daß sie für jede Schuhfabrik als auch alle Würstelbuden zutreffen würden.
--- Kurz: Lesenswert ! ----
(Der aktuelle Preis von 16 Eur für die Taschenbuchausgabe ist für den gebotenen Inhalt ein Schnäpchen.)
Dies und weitere Management-Methoden zum Meistern von Herausforderungen in großen Unternehmen werden vom Author in diesem Buch glaubwürdig dargestellt.