Managers today find themselves in the grip of a Copycat Economy. Competitors worldwide quickly imitate each other, and their products, services, and technologies become undifferentiated lower-margin "commodities." To customers and investors, organizations often become part of an indistinguishable "pack." To fight commoditization and imitation in our global economy, companies must break from the pack with compelling, unconventional innovations in strategic directions, products, customer care, cost efficiencies, business models and leadership. Breaking from the pack is the most important strategic priority facing business leaders today. But, in a world market where products and services in every industry are becoming "me-too" commodities, what can leaders do to help their organizations grow and prosper in a healthy, sustained way?
(FT Press, $25.99, Hardcover, ISBN 131888633)
By management expert and bestselling author Oren Harari tells leaders how to achieve sustained competitive advantage and create the strategic audacity, organizational lunacy, and disciplined leadership vital to success in today's Copycat Economy. It shows readers at all ranks and positions how to win higher profit margins, revenues, stock value, customer loyalty, market buzz, employee excitement, investor confidence, and real --(i.e. no ethical shenanigans)-- growth.
According to Harari, "Now more than ever, the "Perfect Storm" of globalization, deregulation, and technological advance is ripping up the status quo in every business. Leaders know that relying on conventional, "me-too" and "we've always done it this way" approaches is deadly. They know they must do something very different and compelling if their organizations are to prosper in the face of relentless imitation and commoditizationthe twin scourges of the Copycat Economy."
His examples, illustrations, case studies, and anecdotes include:
- Rarely cited tales from behind the curtain at high-profile companies like Google, GE, Starbucks, Boeing, Apple, Dell, Proctor and Gamble, Samsung, Wal-Mart and Toyotaalong with discussions of the people who lead those companies.
- Revealing stories of surprisingly cutting-edge companies and organizations, from Cirque du Soleil to Jamba Juice, Sirius Satellite Radio, Bronco Wine, NASCAR, the Virgin empire, Whole Foods, Pixar, Ikea, Netflix, Jet Blue, Skype, Zara, Genentech, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and the U.S. State Department.
Readers will be intrigued by lessons from unorthodox types like Willie Nelson, Madonna, Howard Stern, Michael Bloomberg, Colin Powell, University of Florida football coach Urban Meyer, former Washington Post CEO Katharine Graham, Prussian general Claus von Clausewitz, and Bob the cabbie, who has built an empire that pays him a comfortable six-figure annual salary.
Finally, the reader will enjoy the last comprehensive chapter, which describes a personal 12-Step "recovery" program for leaders who want to take action on the book's recommendations right away. This chapter will also show leaders how they personally can break from the pack of other managersand create great opportunity and value for their careers as well as for their organizations.
"You either get eaten by the Copycat Economy or you break from it and thrive. Every manager instantly recognizes what I'm talking about. Remember the thrill we got when we first went from 56K modem to high speed Internet? Now, this once totally cool product has become much more of a commodity: we expect it at work, in our hotel room, at home, at a steadily lower price, and we have lots of choices from competing vendors as to how we get it," adds Harari.
Makers of every product and service face that challenge. Everything from credit cards to designer coffee to cable news to dishwashers to telecom services faces the same challengesmore "me-too" products, more imitators, more choices for customers, and it's harder than ever for vendors to differentiate themselves and charge the prices they want while growing their customer base. Breaking from the pack and differentiating your organization from competitors is the most important strategic and leadership challenge for leaders of today's organizations, and BREAK FROM THE PACK will show the reader how to make it happen.
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