If You’re in a Dogfight, Become a Cat! – Leonard Sherman
If You’re in a Dogfight, Become a Cat! – Strategies for Long-Term Growth.
If You’re in a Dogfight, Become a Cat! explains how businesses such as Yellow Tail survive and thrive in industries embroiled in “dogfights”—intense competition among established companies for a small piece of the market. Leonard Sherman, a longtime business consultant and faculty member at Columbia Business School, has developed a three-part strategy based on years of consulting for such companies as Audi, Toyota, and United Technologies.
His advice: compete on different terms to attract new customers. FedEx, Apple, Southwest Airlines, and Starbucks have thrived as cats by differentiating their businesses, aligning their goals and practices, and continuously innovating their products. Rather than compete head-on with other PC manufacturers, Apple introduced a new category of tablet devices to unlock latent demand for mobile computing.
Yellow Tail turned beer- and liquor-lovers on to casual, inexpensive, drinkable wines through youthful packaging. In this book, managers of companies big and small encounter dozens of model strategies for product design and forward-thinking organization that have resulted in real long-term, profitable growth.
A wonderfully comprehensive view of competition and competitive strategy and illustrating it well with contemporary examples and citing of the scholarly literature and linking that to action oriented techniques. (John Czepiel, New York University Stern School of Business)
With an incisive writing style rarely seen in studies of business strategy, Sherman neatly reevaluates some corporate reputations that have failed the test of time and elevates more lasting examples from his own research. The result is that all-too-rare combination for books on management: advice that is as valuable as it is readable. (Alex Taylor, former senior editor at large, Fortune)
Sherman takes a machete to standard thinking in strategy, offering up a common sense but deeply insightful―and sometimes surprising―recipe for what it takes to win in business. (Sydney Finkelstein, professor, Dartmouth College and author, Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent)
In this important book, Leonard Sherman takes on dangerous shibboleths of business strategy. Foremost among them is the purported priority of maximising shareholder value. Too often, this goal has led to manipulating short-term earnings and stock prices, in the interests of maximising gains to management from stock-related pay. Maximising rewards to shareholders is the outcome of a good business strategy; it is not itself a business strategy at all. (Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator, Financial Times)
A thorough study of strategy and how it needs to be done today. The author’s ability to put new strategy concepts in the context of fifty plus years of management science is a real gift. Detailed, rigorous, but never boring, this book gives every executive everything they need to know to run a business in today’s fast changing world. A rare book that combines the right elements of marketing strategy with business strategy to come up with real winning business solutions. (Paul F. Nunes, Global Managing Director of Thought Leadership, Accenture Research)
If You’re in A Dogfight, Become A Cat! not only offers a devastating critique of the biggest and worst idea in business―maximizing shareholder value―it also offers a coherent and practical guide to the strategy of innovation that should replace it. (Stephen Denning, author of The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management)
Insightful, thought-provoking, and practical. Len Sherman takes us on an enjoyable journey through five decades of some of the most influential written works on business management and strategy and shows how history has judged these various concepts. He translates these observations into a framework that prompts you to drive clarity in how you can fulfill your company’s core mission behind the execution of three strategic imperatives, and ultimately find sustained long-term profitable growth. The book is filled with case studies that will inspire you to think critically about how these concepts apply to your own business. Sherman offers insights that would be of value to all levels of business leaders who have an interest in sharpening their strategies. (William Deutsch, founder and chairman, Deutsch Family Wines & Spirits)
Leonard Sherman’s book If You’re in a Dogfight, Become a Cat!, based on his decades of business management experience, provides a much-needed approach to sustaining an innovative enterprise. It should be read by everyone concerned about business from MBA candidates to their professors to incumbent executives. This book makes the company rather than the industry the focus of analysis, confronts the erroneous and damaging ideology that companies should be run to ‘maximize shareholder value,’ and offers executives a new set of principles for strategizing about how an enterprise can be innovative. The many real-life examples that Sherman provides should stimulate plenty of informed discussion about what an innovative enterprise is really about. (William Lazonick, professor, University of Massachusetts Lowell and president, Academic-Industry Research Network)
This book provides countless concrete examples of how businesses can create real value and continuously renew competitive advantage. It’s a must-read, as relevant to senior executives as to MBA students aspiring to become next generation business leaders. (Marty St. George, executive vice president for Commercial and Planning, JetBlue)
This book integrates key ideas from the most influential strategy thinking of the last forty years with Len Sherman’s extensive practical business experience to present a convincing and practical case for the three strategic imperatives that drive sustained profitable growth. Be a cat and pounce on this book! (Niraj Dawar, Ivey Business School)
Leonard Sherman is an executive in residence and adjunct professor of marketing and management at the Columbia Business School. He has worked as a senior partner at Accenture, as a managing partner of J.D. Power and Associates, and as a partner at Booz, Allen & Hamilton.
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