Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works

A.G.Lafley & Roger.L.Martin


In Circulation

Are you just playing--or playing to win? Strategy is not complex. But it is hard. It's hard because it forces people and organizations to make specific choices about their future--something that doesn't happen in most companies. Now two of today's best-known business thinkers get to the heart of strategy--explaining what it's for, how to think about it, why you need it, and how to get it done. And they use one of the most successful corporate turnarounds of the past century, which they achieved together, to prove their point. A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter & Gamble, in close partnership with strategic adviser Roger Martin, doubled P&G's sales, quadrupled its profits, and increased its market value by more than $100 billion in just ten years.

Now, drawn from their years of experience at P&G and the Rotman School of Management, where Martin is dean, this book shows how leaders in organizations of all sizes can guide everyday actions with larger strategic goals built around the clear, essential elements that determine business success--where to play and how to win.

The result is a playbook for winning. Lafley and Martin have created a set of five essential strategic choices that, when addressed in an integrated way, will move you ahead of your competitors. They are: * What is our winning aspiration? * Where will we play? * How will we win? * What capabilities must we have in place to win? * What management systems are required to support our choices? The stories of how P&G repeatedly won by applying this method to iconic brands such as Olay, Bounty, Gillette, Swiffer, and Febreze clearly illustrate how deciding on a strategic approach--and then making the right choices to support it--makes the difference between just playing the game and actually winning.

What will you learn from this book

  1. Clear Objectives are Crucial: Setting clear and specific objectives is the cornerstone of effective strategy. These objectives should be well-defined, measurable, and aligned with the company's overall mission.

  2. Understanding Winning: Lafley emphasizes the importance of defining what winning looks like for your organization. This involves understanding your market and competitive advantage, as well as how to sustain success.

  3. Differentiation is Key: Successful strategies focus on differentiation—finding unique ways to stand out from competitors in the market. This can be through product innovation, customer service, or other distinctive elements.

  4. Making Choices: Effective strategy involves making tough choices. It's about deciding what your company will do and what it won't do. This often means saying no to certain opportunities to focus on what truly matters.

  5. Playing Your Best Game: Strategy is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It requires tailoring your strategy to fit your company's strengths and capabilities. Understanding and leveraging your strengths is vital.

  6. The Role of Trade-offs: Lafley emphasizes that strategy involves trade-offs. You can't excel at everything; you need to choose where to allocate your resources to achieve the best results.

  7. Continual Improvement: Strategy isn't static. It requires continuous assessment, learning, and adaptation. Constantly evaluating and adjusting your strategy based on feedback and market changes is critical.

  8. Engaging the Whole Organization: Successful strategies involve the entire organization. Everyone from top management to front-line employees should understand the strategy and how their role contributes to its success.

  9. Risk Management: Lafley stresses the importance of managing risks effectively. This involves understanding potential pitfalls, considering various scenarios, and having contingency plans in place.

  10. Execution is Key: A great strategy is useless without effective execution. Implementation and follow-through are critical components of success. Aligning actions with the strategic plan is essential for achieving desired outcomes.

Language English
ISBN-10 142218739X
ISBN-13 9781422187395
No of pages 272
Font Size Medium
Book Publisher Harvard Business Review Press
Published Date 05 Feb 2013

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