I admit it—I’m passionate about what I do. My work—with the students I teach, clients for whom I consult, and audiences to whom I speak—revolves around helping organizations “break from the pack”. Accordingly, I deal with three issues: One, what organizations must do in order to gain sustainable competitive advantage and profitable growth in today’s chaotic global marketplace. Two, what it takes to change an organization in order to develop, execute and monetize “break from the pack” strategies. Three, what transformational leaders must do to make all this happen. I’m committed to helping leaders and organizations achieve these milestones. With that context, then, here are a few details about my career.
Currently, I'm Professor at the Graduate School of Business in the University of San Francisco. I teach strategic and global management to really sharp, talented MBA and executive MBA students. What's really cool about this is that I learn a lot from my students, and several of them work with me in doing cutting-edge research on emerging market trends, and how the most successful organizations and leaders today capitalize on them.
I was honored to be chosen and interviewed as one of the 40 "best minds" in management in the world by the editors of Business Minds, published by the London Financial Times in Fall, 2001.
Over the past 25 years, I have had the opportunity to speak and consult with high-caliber audiences and clients on every continent on earth (okay, with the exception of Antarctica!) Some of these groups are listed on the "Speaking" section of this website.
If I had to point to the experience that had the greatest impact on the shape of my career, it would have to be my 12-year run with The Tom Peters Group. From 1984-1996, I was a senior consultant and speaker with that band of crazies. What a great experience that was! Talk about being on the cutting edge! From 1993-1995, I also served on the Editorial Board of Tom's monthly newsletter On Achieving Excellence.
My most recent book is my eighth one. It's called Break From the Pack: How to Compete in a Copycat Economy.
This book tells leaders how to achieve competitive advantage in a global marketplace where all products are becoming commodities and all services are being imitated by others. I describe the strategic audacity, organizational lunacy, and iron discipline that's necessary to build new markets, products, customers, talented people, dynamic partnerships, and vibrant growth. I also tell leaders how to execute all this cool stuff, and I cap it off with my "12 Step Recovery Program" for leaders. The reason I'm telling you all this is because Break From the Pack summarizes many of the issues that I have had great success in presenting in both my public speaking and my consultative work. I'm quite proud of this book. It’s received accolades from around the world, and it won the 2008 Golden Book Award of the Chinese Management Association. If you'd like to know more about it, please see the "Books" tab on this website or the www.breakfromthepack.com website.
After the surprising reception of my 1996 article about Colin Powell's leadership principles (in 1999 Powell told me that it was being reprinted everywhere in DC, and my research assistant located 40 different websites featuring it), I authored The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell, published by McGraw-Hill in 2002. This book reached the NY Times, Wall St. Journal, and BusinessWeek best-seller lists. In 2003, I authored a follow up corporate handbook The Powell Principles, also published by McGraw-Hill.
After three years of negotiation with Warner Bros. to use the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoon characters, Chip Bell and I co-authored Beep! Beep! Competing in the Age of the Roadrunner, published by Warner Books, March, 2000. In March and April, 2000, this book was rated as one of Amazon.com's top 500 requested books. It was updated and reissued in paperback, December 2000.
One of my personal favorites is Leapfrogging the Competition: Five Giant Steps to Market Leadership. The first edition was published by American Century Press in 1997, and was rated by Management General as one of ten best business books of 1997. The book (and I) were featured in 2-hour PBS Business Channel special in 1998. The second edition (fully revised) Leapfrogging the Competition: Five Giant Steps to Becoming a Market Leader, was published by Prima Publishing in 1999.
A decade ago, I joined forces with my USF colleague Nicholas Imparato to write Jumping the Curve: Innovation and Strategic Choice in an Age of Transition. It was published by Jossey-Bass in 1994, and reissued in paperback in 1996. In hindsight, we anticipated and confronted many of the issues that are now being faced by businesses, which is perhaps why the book was chosen by Library Journal as one of 41 best business books of 1994.
Back in the 1980's, I traveled, lived and worked in several countries in Africa. One of the byproducts of these experiences was a book I co-authored with Dr. David Beaty of South Africa and Zimbabwe. It was called Lessons from South Africa: A New Perspective on Public Policy and Productivity, published by Ballinger/Harper, 1989. This book challenged the foundations of apartheid in South Africa and offered corporate and government initiatives that would lead to economic growth in developing countries.
I had a great 10-year run with the American Management Association. From 1991 to March 2000, I was senior monthly columnist ("Harari At Large") in Management Review. I was pleased that my articles were cited and reprinted in numerous publications around the world. From August 2000 to July 2001 I was senior weekly columnist for MWorld, the AMA's management information portal. More recently, I have written a series of articles for the Financial Times website, on a variety of issues (mergers, growth strategies, niche marketing, branding, talent management, etc.). You can read them in the “Articles” tab of this website
Also in this website, in the “Blog” tab, you’ll be able to tap into my weekly syndicated blog essays, where I “intelligently rant” on a wide variety of issues that face leaders in today’s explosive marketplace. I hope you enjoy them.
Over the past 20 years, I've contributed to many professional journals, including Harvard Business Review, Business Strategy Review, Industrial Relations, and Executive Excellence. I've also contributed to numerous trade and popular publications. Currently, I'm on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Managerial Issues.
A few final historical notes:
From 1997 to 1999, I served as the First Designated "Management Expert" for Time Vista, the Time Magazine-Direct Resources Interactive Website for businesses around the world. On a regular weekly basis, I fielded e-mails from entrepreneurs and managers around the world, and gave advice on many strategic, organizational, leadership and career questions that came my way.
From 2000-2004 I was a member of the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Council on Leadership and Management. The Council had nothing to do with foreign policy. Rather, our role was to help Secretary of State Colin Powell manage an enormously complex global organization: the State Department. Everything from systems management to the physical safety of ambassadors was on the table. From 2004-2006 I served a term on The Integrity Institute, a foundation aimed and elevating the integrity of corporations and capital markets. More recently, I have partnered with Peter Walts, CEO of Centropy Group, to form BFP Partners, a company which develops products and tools to help leaders position their organizations to “break from the pack”.
I’ve been fortunate to have a rewarding and varied career. Most rewarding for me—I’m still genuinely excited about my work and I hope that as you scan this website, you’ll find something that will help you sharpen your leadership and strategy skills. Thanks much for your interest! Oren Harari