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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne.

"Compelling read for business executives"  

Genre: Business & Management

Our Say: An eye-opener 4/5

Language used: Understandable with some technical jargon

Application in business world: Great reviews from executives 

Review -

W.Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne base this book on the idea of competing healthily in today’s world of cut-throat competition, as against sabotaging each other.

He believes organizations shouldn’t attempt to compete with each other, rather try to nullify them. As he quotes “the only way to beat competition is to stop trying to stop beating them” – clichéd as it might sound, it makes sense when thought over.

When an organization tries to outperform its competition, its focus shifts away from its more important target segment to the frivolous rival companies. It becomes a ‘someone else’ instead of being ‘itself’.

The smarter way out is quit playing within the industry’s conventionally defined boundaries but to define untapped markets. This creates new demand & promotes highly lucrative growth. The author believes that defeating the opponent is essentially a war element- where the battle is to conquer a piece of land which is limited & constant; unlike the dynamic scenario of business.

A couple of chapters through, the book gets a bit technical and lays out an analytical framework for the organization to work in.

It’s almost like a DIY to help formulate and execute the blue ocean strategy which revolves around the 6 principles of the same. Another thing to be noted is that the book is loaded with examples and unlike an “in search of excellence” or a “built to last”, it quotes examples of a tad less successful companies too.
All in all, it’s a pretty helpful read that changes the mindset of the managers at companies to think beyond competition. Work on your core competence & build it to have successful growth.  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Good to Great by Jim Collins

“Attitude Booster for working professionals”

Genre: Business & Management

Our Say – Must go on book-shelf - 4/5

Language used – Simple yet strong & convincing

Practicality in business world – Extremely applicable & helpful

Collins scores big time with this one.

First things first, commendable and convincing effort in the research put behind writing the book. Collins, along with his team conducted a research on some companies over a period of five years, studied their journey or leap as he calls it from being a mediocre good to being tremendously great.
As he puts it – Good is the enemy of GREAT.

In this read, he very smoothly communicates the various trends that are essentially noted in the “good to great” companies – the observations which now serve as directional guidelines for companies looking to make the leap successfully.

He throws light on the various factors responsible for giving an impetus to the leap and very intelligently explains both its importance and its functioning.

In addition to that, he clears existing myths concerning “revolutionary changes” that give an organization its clichéd “breakthrough”.

All in all, the book is extremely well written with no-frills and a powerful language usage.
It’s sure to leave an impression on the reader and, if put into practice, certainly the organization too.

Author’s say:
“I’m also convinced that the good-to-great findings apply broadly—not just to CEOs but also to you and me in whatever work we’re engaged in, including the work of our own lives. For many people, the first question that occurs is, “But how do I persuade my CEO to get it?” My answer: Don't worry about that. Focus instead on results—on subverting mediocrity by creating a Flywheel Effect within your own span of responsibility. 

So long as we can choose the people we want to put on our own minibus, each of us can create a pocket of greatness. Each of us can take our own area of work and influence and can concentrate on moving it from good to great. It doesn’t really matter whether all the CEOs get it. It only matters that you and I do. Now, it’s time to get to work."