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Doing Both: Capturing Today's Profit and Driving Tomorrow's Growth Hardcover – 27 May 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall; 1 edition (27 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137083645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137083640
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,084,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product description


As seen on The New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists.


From the Back Cover

Doing Both shows how Cisco turns business questions into market answers, offering real-life examples that will benefit forward-looking leaders.”

―Jeff Immelt

, Chairman and CEO, GE


“The best business books build around a single idea, often contrarian and counterintuitive. Everyone knows you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. One of the first things you learn at business school is that management is about making difficult choices. Well, not always. This book persuades the reader that in decision making ‘and’ is often better than ‘or.’ Well worth the read.”

―Sir Terry Leahy, CEO, Tesco


“Companies are often confronted with false choices, such as disruptive or sustaining innovation and optimization or reinvention. This book draws on Cisco’s impressive track record over the last decade to illustrate that the correct strategy is always to do both.”

―Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Group


“I have a very short personal list of ‘most-admired companies,’ and Cisco is one of them. Its management team has figured out how to break many ‘either-or’ tradeoffs that limit most companies’ abilities to innovate and grow. This book is a lucid, cogent chronicle of how they do this. Your entire management team should read it.” 

―Clayton Christensen, Robert & Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma


“Insightful recommendations from a key executive within Cisco, the game-changing leader in networking for the Internet.”

―Garth Saloner, Philip H. Knight Professor, and Dean, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University


Doing Both brings together many powerful lessons behind the story of Cisco, a company with a long record of delivering consistent innovation and strong business results. I encourage senior executives to embrace the challenges presented in this thoughtful book.”

―Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Company


Over the past seven years, in a highly unstable global economy, Cisco doubled revenue, tripled profits, and quadrupled earnings per share. How? By Doing Both. When companies face key strategic decisions, they often take one path and abandon the other. They focus on innovation and new business at the expense of core businesses or vice versa. They stress discipline and sacrifice flexibility. They focus on customers and ignore partners. And they struggle. There is a better way: Doing Both. Doing Both means approaching every decision as an opportunity to seize, not a sacrifice to endure. It means avoiding false choices, reduced expectations, and weak compromises. It means finding ways to make each option benefit and mutually reinforce the other. In this book, Cisco Senior Vice President Inder Sidhu explains why “doing both” is today’s best strategy. Then, drawing on Cisco’s hardwon insights and the experiences of companies like Procter & Gamble, Whirlpool, and Harley-Davidson, Inder presents a complete blueprint for “doing both” in your organization, too.


Win by Doing Both!

• Sustaining and Disruptive Innovation

• Existing and New Business Models

• Optimization and Reinvention

• Satisfied Customers and Gratified Partners

• Established and Emerging Countries

• Doing Things Right and Doing What Matters

• Superstar Performers and Winning Teams

• Authoritative Leadership and Democratic Decision Making

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
One of the most self-defeating mindsets is suggested by the admonition, "You can't have your cake and eat it too." Obviously there are situations when there are two options that are mutually-exclusive. However, most of the time, when facing a choice, it is a mistake to select only one and dismiss all others. Inder Sidhu does not advocate "a balanced compromise between two objectives, but a mutually reinforcing multiplier in which each side makes the other better." He cites comments included in Built to Last (1994) co-authored by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras when discussing a highly visionary company "that doesn't want to blend yin and yang into a gray indistinguishable circle that is neither highly yin nor highly yang; it aims to be distinctly yin and distinctly yang - both at the same time, all the time. Irrational? Perhaps. Rare? Yes. Difficult? Absolutely."

Sidhu devotes the bulk of his lively narrative to explaining how exemplar companies such as Apple, BYD, Cisco, GE, Google, IBM, and Procter & Gamble achieve these strategic objectives:

o Improving the core business while conducting disruptive innovation
o Strengthening current account relationships while adding new ones
o Fine-tuning what is done well while transforming or eliminating what isn't
o Creating customer evangelists while creating steadfast partners
o Thriving on "Main Street" while exploring "the road less traveled"
o Doing it right and doing what is right (i.e. what matters)

Obviously, doing both (of whatever) is not always possible or, when possible, advisable. Also, any lessons learned from the exemplar companies such as those Sidhu examines (especially Cisco) must be modified to accommodate the specific needs and resources of much smaller organizations.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars 54 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Doing Both: How Cisco Captures Today's Profits and Drives Tomorrow's Growth 4 Sept. 2010
By S. Pollock - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As I was preparing for another (virtual) Sales Meeting this year I was very fortunate to be sent a copy of this book. It really is a remarkable history of Cisco Systems told from the perspective of a great business analyst. As one might expect from a Cisco SVP, there was a bit of selling going on (which I firmly embrace) but you get a look a peek of the dirty laundry as well. We all know that everyone makes mistakes and Cisco has been no exception. What is so remarkable is how the company learned, reacted, and has continued to be on the leading edge of market transitions time and time again delivering consistent innovation and strong business results.

At the start, I was reminded of another book The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking by Robert Martin, which present a similar concept (integrative thinking) at a more clinical level. He describes the habit of parallel or complex thought - instead of a simple succession of thoughts in linear order, the procedure is complex, and the mind appears to be possessed of the power of simultaneous vision from different standpoints. Martin suggests that integrative thinking can be taught, although largely it is not, certainly something we might consider. Integrative thinking produces possibilities, solutions, and new ideas. It creates a sense of limitless possibility. Conventional thinking hides potential solutions in places they can't be found and fosters the illusion that no creative solution can be found.

Inder takes integrative thinking to the business level through his magnificent stories exploring ways to do both:

* Sustaining and Disruptive Innovation
* Existing and New Business Models
* Optimization and Reinvention
* Satisfied Customers and Gratified Partners
* Established and Emerging Countries
* Doing Things Right and Doing What Matters
* Superstar Performers and Winning Teams
* Authoritative Leadership and Democratic Decision Making

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, I'm sure you will too.

Inder Sidhu is the Senior Vice President of Strategy & Planning for Worldwide Operations atCisco, and the author of Doing Both: How Cisco Captures Today's Profits and Drives Tomorrow's Growth. Follow Inder on Twitter at @indersidhu
2.0 out of 5 stars mixed feelings 18 July 2014
By kkc - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is a good introduction into Cisco and innovation in the tech sector in general. I just wish that the management mistakes were not glossed over and history re-written. If we cannot acknowlede our mistakes, how can we improve and maintain humility.

On the other hand the innovation and sustainable business precepts are good and well explained.

Despite this though, I failed to finish the last 20% of the book.
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story of constant reevaluation 9 Mar. 2013
By Robert Kirk - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an interesting book about one of the fastest growing and quietly important companies. Although it does it a bit technical in many parts the point of the book is that the author and company seemed to always strive for growth and constant improvement. With a company the size of Cisco growth has been become more difficult and the author's insight into why Cisco has tried to grow via acquisitions. All in all this book is actually pretty interesting for any company trying to grow (who isn't??) and is on the quest to creatively find those opportunities.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Insights and Lessons Not To Be Missed 9 July 2010
By C. Hartman - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Business books are a "dime a dozen". Fortunately, this book is one that stands apart from the pack. Insightful, thoughtful, compelling and thought provoking, "Doing Both: How Cisco Captures Today's Profits and Drives Tomorrow's Growth" takes the reader on a dynamic journey into the inner workings of Cisco and it's remarkable transformation. Inder SIdhu's storytelling is highly entertaining and provides unique insights that today's business leaders must not miss. This book will be one that I highly recommend to my friends and colleagues.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Living Example of why "Both-And" wins over "Either-Or" 25 July 2010
By DrProactive Randy Gilbert - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is evidence showing up everywhere that the "both-and" theory is not only real, but far more powerful than the limiting "either-or" postulate. "Doing Both," by Inder Sidhu is not only strong evidence that it works, but a wider, broader scope for its use.

We've seen parts of the both-and theory at work in business through co-opetition. However, simple collaboration habits often times do not include the factors that influence business success. Some people might think that today's collaborator would more likely be a new college graduate who works for a start-up technology company who uses a BlackBerry to increase personal productivity.

But, there is more to it than that. Both-and is allowing product innovation and the balancing of many seemingly conflicting goals to be maintained within an organization. Profitability is enabled by balancing seemingly conflicting purposes, not by choosing one or the other.

Inder Sidhu addresses multi-evolutionary product development agendas with a very elegant way of "Doing Both" things. Cisco has become a role model of sorts, where workers are empowered with personalized services, choice, and work-life balance in a human network to get their work done and make organizations thrive. The opening analogy on doing both form and function with the Golden Gate Bridge Bridge is very powerful as it became the symbol for Cisco.

Hopefully their example will inspire you to influence your current environment with the expectation that cultural factors influencing collaboration will include role modeling by senior leaders, a formal collaboration process, tools, training and rewards that will work for you.

"Doing Both" provides insight that will help ease the transition from the old management style to this new more profitable one. This book earns 5 stars because it is inspiring, insightful, and most importantly, practical. It is very well written and is fluid as well as engaging. It very proactively makes the both-and theory come across as quite believable and doable.

This book represents some fresh thinking to current business challenges. Definitely worthwhile spending some serious focus time on.

Let me also tell you about another new business challenge that I believe would be just as important spending some good focus time is proactive managing your online reputation. In addition to "Doing Both" I would highly recommend getting Wild West 2.0: How to Protect and Restore Your Reputation on the Untamed Social Frontier.

Even though Cisco is a great company, it still has customer problems ... and you will to. It is inevitable that you will get some bad product reviews, or even worse, revengeful customers who will try to ruin your company's online reputation. Wild West 2.0 tells you exactly where to look for reputation problems and then how to repair them. Internet Reputation Management should not be delegated to your webmaster. From my experience it is now a critical management and marketing issue that concerns everyone from the CEO on down.
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