Competing for the Future Paperback – 1 Mar 1996
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Winning in business today is not about being number one--it's about who "gets to the future first", write management consultants Gary Hamel and CK Prahalad. In Competing for the Future, they urge companies to create their own futures, envision new markets and reinvent themselves.
Hamel and Prahalad caution that complacent managers who get too comfortable in doing things the way they have always done will see their companies fall behind. For instance, the authors consider the battle between IBM and Apple in the 1970s. Entrenched as the leading mainframe-computer maker, IBM failed to see the potential market for personal computers. That left the door wide open for Apple, which envisioned a computer for every man, woman and child. The authors write, "At worst, laggards follow the path of greatest familiarity. Challengers, on the other hand, follow the path of greatest opportunity, wherever it leads". They argue that business leaders need to be more than "maintenance engineers", worrying only about budget cutting, streamlining, re-engineering, and other old tactics. Definitely not for dilettantes, Competing for the Future is for managers who are serious about getting their companies in front. --Dan Ring, Amazon.com
Named one of "The 25 Most Influential Business Management Books" by "TIME Magazine" (TIME.com)
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Top Customer Reviews
However, neither nostalgia or originality are the reasons to buy this book - rather it's simply that it's so well written - each argument is clear, progressing through why competitive strategy is not quite as mechanical as Porter would have us believe, and then illustrating how this has been achieved by well-known companies.
The result is a compelling and convincing read, which has stood the test of time - if you're looking for a framework for understanding how to compete with other firms, grab a copy.
The authors were intrigued by the question of why smaller rivals could beat much bigger, richer companies and why market power and market share advantages were not a strong enough defence. This focused their attention on the entire process of creating future competitive advantages. They noticed that some management teams had more foresight and competed to build future competencies rather than immediate market share.
I particularly like the power of these three questions asked early in the book to focus attention on how much time you really spend thinking about what may happen.
1 - What percentage of your time is spent on external rather than internal issues?
2 - Of this time, how much is spent considering how the world will be different in five to ten years time?
3 - Of the time devoted to looking outward and forward, how much of it is spent consulting with colleagues to build a shared, well tested view of the future?
They found a 40/30/20 rule which meant that just 2.4% of time was spent building a shared view of the future. In some cases it was less than 1% and that's a sobering thought.
They argue that strategy should be about competing for future opportunity share rather than market. It is based on building competencies that give you the opportunities to compete in multiple markets, many of which don't exist yet.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a corporate strategy consultant who works mostly with FORTUNE 200 companies. Strategic thinking has gone in and out of fashion in such companies several times in the last 40... Read morePublished on 30 May 2004 by Donald Mitchell
This is a very well written business book for practical application to a wide range of business scenarios - veyr readable style, well structured, and with useful illustrations and... Read morePublished on 23 Oct. 2001
I began to read the first page and found it very difficult to put the book down. HAMEL AND PRAHALAD go into great depth about the WHY! Read morePublished on 9 Aug. 2000
As a grad student, I found this book to be an excellent one regarding strategic management. I first read the HBR article on "core competencies" and found the concept... Read morePublished on 19 May 1999
The authors have done an excellent job in focusing attention on the high-level, strategic problems most companies face. Read morePublished on 23 Mar. 1999
A 1000 words are not enough to describe the beauty and sound business sence the book projects. I really feel sorry for any organization that is not currently putting together a... Read morePublished on 23 Mar. 1999
The book is excellent!! I liked it so much that I summarized each chapter; the first summary was 25 pages long! Read morePublished on 5 Nov. 1998
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