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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Best Business Books #5--Competing for the Future

Competing for the Future by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad (Harvard Business Press, 1994) argues that strategic planning is not simple and mechanical, rather complex and emotional. The authors suggest opening up strategy by considering meaning, purpose and passion. Unfortunately, managers spend less than 3% of their time in this important area. Hamel and Prahalad posit that a company should see itself as a portfolio of competencies rather than a collection of business units. They offer a great list of “Rules for Success,” such as: “A company surrenders tomorrow’s business when it gets better without getting different.” Also, one of my favorites: “Companies pay millions of dollars for the opinions of McKinsey’s bright 29-year-olds, but ignore their own bright 29-year-olds.”

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