The Inside Advantage

Wydawnictwo: McGraw-Hill
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What The Book Is All About In The Author’s Words: "I’ve written a book for the growth-starved business people who want to learn to do what I did – take their businesses, divisions or brands and make them better, bigger, and stronger. I wanted the book to be honest, innovative, and results-generating book for the 24 million-plus business start-ups, owners and managers in this country as well...

What The Book Is All About In The Author’s Words:

"I’ve written a book for the growth-starved business people who want to learn to do what I did – take their businesses, divisions or brands and make them better, bigger, and stronger.

I wanted the book to be honest, innovative, and results-generating book for the 24 million-plus business start-ups, owners and managers in this country as well as the countless corporate owners and managers all over the world who struggle every day to ignite the spirit of entrepreneurship in their giant enterprises.

In my 45 year career, I have discovered that every enterprise has at least one strategic asset – one existing strength – that can form the foundation for future growth. I call this an Inside Advantage because this strength usually lies unrecognized in an activity the business is currently performing, or a concept or idea that the business already owns and can exploit. Finding this hidden potential, nurturing and communicating it, and becoming well known for it will grow the business. This principle has been the foundation of my growth strategy.

My strategy worked well as I grew my father’s 12-person Dallas ad agency into a national force and later, as I grew the US operations of Publicis Worldwide, and as I applied it to my clients’ businesses.

My ambition is to make my way of growing businesses accessible to the business community at large. My readers have no time or use for academic theory – they have an urgent need for a practical, easy-to-use solution that’s proven to work in the business trenches. My readers don’t need to learn about strategy theory – they just need to create a doable strategy for their growth-starved business. Unlike most other business books – there is nothing to study or memorize and there are no forms to fill out or DVDs to buy. I simply want to show the heads of firms, managers, and entrepreneurs that their potential to grow exists within their companies right now. I show them how to look for their Inside Advantage and grow their business, their division, or the brand that they manage by capitalizing on that advantage."

I provide readers with a simple path of discovery: a process that will help them identify the core strengths inside their business and create a realistic, low cost strategy that will quickly drive growth. I’ve put it in simple language that, while easy to understand, reflects my lifetime of experience in growing businesses.

I call my approach the Growth Discovery Process.

It empowers readers to gain a profound new insight into the core values of the business they manage or own. It guides them to a clear understanding of who their customers are, what their special offering to those customers should be, how to persuade customers to buy from them rather than competitors. In all, these roll up into a sound strategic framework for the firm’s Inside Advantage.

Once this strategic framework is in place, my Growth Discovery Process facilitates the generation of inventive activities to establish and maintain a reputation for the enterprise based on its special offering. This series of creative ways to reinforce and highlight the firm’s Inside Advantage will enable the company or brand to be well known to its customers and prospects alike.

They will come away with a new, deeper understanding of the fundamental nature of their business and of its primary strategic assets. The concrete end product is a clarifying statement for each of the four components of the Growth Discovery Process, ending up with a concise 40 or 50 word strategic framework that becomes the centerpiece of their growth plan. By following my process to its completion, readers will have in their possession a dynamic, growth strategy with imaginative tactics that will put their Inside Advantage to work immediately.

The Growth Discovery Process, as elaborated upon in the book, boils down to these four steps:

Who + What + How + own It! = INSIDE ADVANTAGE

WHO – Who is the core customer of the enterprise. This defines the potential customers most likely to buy the product or service in the quantity required for optimal profit.

WHAT – What is the inside offering that the business will own and leverage. This tangible and emotional customer benefit is the company’s inside advantage.

HOW – How becomes the persuasive strategy that will convince the core customer to buy the firm’s uncommon offering vs. all competitive offerings. This sells WHAT to WHO.

OWN IT! – is the series of imaginative acts that will celebrate the company’s uncommon offering and make it well known to its core customer. Through these acts, the company or brand becomes what its uncommon offering says it is. It’s the fun and magical part of the Growth Discovery Process.

The resulting plan is neither theoretical nor radical – instead it’s a fully-integrated, down-to-earth strategic blueprint that fits perfectly with the company’s core competencies. For the

growth-challenged business of any size, the Growth Discovery Process will clarify their vision, focus their goals, refresh their entrepreneurial spirit, and set them firmly on the road to growth.

I have used my growth strategy with a great many clients, some of the largest and best-known companies in the world, digging deeply into their businesses to locate the hidden strengths they could own and leverage.

I have taken my Growth Discovery Process to a wide variety of companies, conducting intensive, one day strategy sessions for my growth-starved clients. I lead them in the discovery process, and they leave at the end of the day with a powerful strategic framework and an Inside Advantage they can quickly use to generate the growth their business needs.

I have been careful to translate the dynamics of these sessions into a language and a process that inspires readers to think creatively and strategically, and of equal importance, empowers them to take immediate action. I show them how to work through the Growth Discovery Process quietly by themselves or, preferably, with an informal group of tough mindedgr people they respect or in the case of larger companies, groups of key executives or board members.

Throughout the book I demonstrate how to discover a hidden strength or asset to grow a business or brand of any size or type. Examples of the larger businesses in the book include:

• Launching Southwest Airlines as the world’s first successful low cost airline with its “love your customer” culture

• Jump-starting the growth of T.G.I. Friday’s

• Introducing the Theraflu line of liquid cold products for Sandoz (now Novartis)

• Expanding the L’Oreal Paris brand in the U.S.

• Increasing US sales for BMW

• Helping Nestle grow its U.S. food business by reinvigorating its Libby’ canned pumpkin brand

• Launching and growing the T-Mobile brand

• Transforming Zales from a modest entrepreneurial enterprise into North America’s largest jewelry store chain

The business examples that I use in the book are all clients with whom I’ve worked quite recently. All the companies discussed are real, although to assure confidentiality, names of the companies are not identified, and some specific information is changed. They include:

• national chain of suburban newspapers

• technology provider to international communications industries

• sports and entertainment agency

• multi-channel golf products retailer

• prominent wealth management firm

• large high end jewelry store

• start-up fitness center

• upscale chain of tanning salons

• publisher of information for the insurance and banking industries

• non-profit providing housing and services to New Yorkers with special needs

• renowned international symphony orchestra

I also draw on my work with Stanley Marcus, the founder of Neiman Marcus, and numerous other great minds from today’s business world, to bring readers to a closer understanding of how successful companies leverage and grow the hidden strengths of their businesses.

Starting and running a successful business is more challenging than ever. Globalization and the Internet change everything, repeatedly. Markets evolve and dissolve more rapidly than ever. Each year, almost 600,000 US companies close their doors, most as a result of not capitalizing on their hidden strengths – their Inside Advantage. Here’s the simple truth – businesses must grow or die.


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