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Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Worksby A. G. Lafley
Synopses & Reviews
"Amid the profusion of strategy books, this new offering by former Procter & Gamble CEO Lafley (coauthor of The Game-Changer) and Martin (dean of the Rotman School of Management and author of Fixing the Game) is a clear standout, sure to take its place on business students' bookshelves next to Mike Porter's classic, Competitive Strategy. This engaging look at how strategy really works draws on academic theory, but is deeply grounded in real life corporate lessons (including mistakes) learned at P&G both before and throughout Lafley's tenure, during which time Martin served as an adviser to the firm. The authors ask basic, practical questions that separate true strategy from mission, vision, or planning, asserting that the essence of strategy is about winning and the tough choices leaders and organizations need to make to achieve that victory. Theoretical concepts about how to win in what space come to life through entertaining and engrossing stories of how P&G developed or positioned well-known brands as Bounty, Swiffer, Force Flex, and Oil of Olay. This collection of insights and captivating examples about strategy is a must-read for leaders at any level in the for-profit or not-for-profit world. Agent: Tina Bennett, Janklow & Nesbit Associates." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The only strategy book youll ever need
If strategy is about creating a competitive advantage that allows a firm to win, then pinpointing your strategy to a few critically important choices will dramatically increase your chances of success. This is especially true in the volatile and complex environment that has become the norm for all of us. Yet the authors of Playing to Win, A. G. Lafley, the former CEO of Procter and Gamble and one of the most successful business leaders of the last century, and Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management, say most firms shy away from these difficult strategic choices, settling instead for false approaches that can lead to irreversible blunders. Among the most common:
Mistaking tactics for strategy
Using "the world is changing" excuse to make it up as you go
Tweaking outdated plans to minimize disruption
Leaning on strategy consultants to make the tough choices
Dont be most firms. Drawn on their years of experience working together and separately at P&G and the Rotman School of Management, Lafley and Martin present a deceptively simple set of exercises and questions that can guide the decisions of anyone in an organization. The book helps you and those who work with you to figure out the relationship of the day-to-day work to larger strategic goals—something woefully lacking from many strategy books but also from the real world.
There are plenty of books written by CEOs that champion the work that, truthfully, only they could do, in their unique circumstances with their considerable resources. Playing to Win is different. It's a strategy book for everyone, that works everywhere. Once you open it you'll see why it's the only strategy book you'll ever need.
This is A.G. Lafleys guidebook. Shouldnt it be yours as well?
Winning CEO A.G. Lafley is now back at the helm of consumer goods giant Procter and Gamble. If you want to know the strategy hell use to restore P&G to its former dominance—read this book.
Playing to Win, a noted Wall Street Journal and Washington Post bestseller, outlines the strategic approach Lafley, in close partnership with strategic adviser Roger Martin, used to double P&Gs sales, quadruple its profits, and increase its market value by more than $100 billion when Lafley was first CEO (he led the company from 2000 to 2009). The book shows leaders in any type of organization how to guide everyday actions with larger strategic goals built around the clear, essential elements that determine business success—where to play and how to win.
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: (1) What is our winning aspiration? (2) Where will we play? (3) How will we win? (4) What capabilities must we have in place to win? and (5) What management systems are required to support our choices? The result is a playbook for winning.
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.
Playing to Win outlines a proven method that has worked for some of todays most celebrated brands and products. Let this book serve as your new guide to winning, as well.
About the Author
A.G. Lafley is the former Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Procter and Gamble. With Lafley at the helm, sales doubled, profits quadrupled, and the companys market value increased by over $100 billion dollars, making P&G among the most valuable companies in the world. He has authored numerous Harvard Business Review articles and is co-author, with Ram Charan, of The Game-Changer: How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation (2008). Roger Martin is dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and a professor of strategic management at the school. He authored The Responsibility Virus, The Opposable Mind, The Design of Business, Fixing the Game and many articles in leading business publications including Harvard Business Review, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, and Barron's.
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