Synopses & Reviews
As we continue in an era of simultaneous innovation and commoditization, enabled by digital technologies, managers around the world are asking themselves "how can we both adapt to rapid changes in technology and markets, and still make enough money to survive--and thrive?"
To provide answers to these important and urgent questions, MIT Sloan School of Management Professor Michael Cusumano draws on nearly 30 years of research into the practices of global corporations that have been acknowledged leaders and benchmark setters--including Apple, Intel, Google, Microsoft, Toyota, Sony, Panasonic, and others in a range of high-technology, services, and manufacturing industries. These companies have also encountered major challenges in their businesses or disruptions to their core technologies.
If we look deeply enough, he contends, we can see the ideas that underpin the management practices that make for great companies, and drive their strategic evolution and innovation capabilities.
From his deep knowledge of these organizations, Cusumano distills six enduring principles that he believes have been--in various combinations--crucial to their strategy, innovation management practices, and ability to deal with change and uncertainty.
The first two principles--platforms (not just products), and services (especially for product firms)--are relatively new and broader ways of thinking about strategy and business models, based on Cusumano's latest research. The other four--capabilities (not just strategy or positioning), the "pull" concept (not just push), economies of scope (not just scale), and flexibility (not just efficiency)--all contribute to agility, which is a mix of flexibility and speed. Many practices associated with these ideas, such as dynamic capabilities, just-in-time production, iterative or prototype-driven product development, flexible design and manufacturing, modular architectures, and component reuse, are now commonly regarded as standard best practices.
These six enduring principles are essential in a new world dominated by platforms and technology-enabled services.
"[The book's] six principles represent a set of guidelanes that executives in any company or industry should consider in order to achieve high performance over the long terms."--Strategy+Business (named a 2011 Best Business Book)
Business news tends to focus on the travails of a handful of giants: Apple's iPad, the Toyota recall, the controversy over Google's book-digitization program. Whatever the day's headlines, though, most of these firms have been there before--up and down, written off and overpraised--yet they endured and triumphed. What is their secret? What is it that has lifted them to preeminence and allowed them to come out of each crisis stronger than before?
In Staying Power, Michael A. Cusumano provides the answers. A bestselling business author and leading scholar, Cusumano has spent a quarter of a century studying the world's most successful companies--many of them from the inside, by serving as an advisor to more than one hundred firms. He identifies six critical principles that have driven the success of today's foremost companies, including Google, Intel, Apple, JVC, Toyota, and Microsoft. He argues that companies today must develop distinctive organizational capabilities, not just business strategies; focus on platforms and services, not just products; pull information from the market, responding to real-time changes in demand and competitive conditions, and not just push products out; achieve economies of scope, not just scale, by creating efficiencies across all a firm's activities; and acquire flexibility, in addition to efficiency, to quickly adapt to a volatile marketplace. Drawing on real-life examples, he illustrates how the best companies put these principles into practice, identifying precisely how these ideas have lead to concrete success time after time.
Business books, the author notes, often promote short-lived fads in management thinking. But Staying Power is different. Written by a bestselling international expert, this book focuses on lasting success, analyzing the fundamental elements common to the leading competitors in the world today.
About the Author
Michael A. Cusumano is the Sloan Management Review Distinguished Professor of Management and Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, with a joint appointment in MIT's Engineering Systems Division. He specializes in strategy, product development, and entrepreneurship in the software business. He has consulted for more than 50 major firms around the world and is the author or co-author of 8 books. The Business of Software
was named one of the top business books of 2004 by Steve Lohr of the New York Times
. The international best-seller Microsoft Secrets
(1995, with Richard Selby), has been translated into 14 languages. Competing on Internet Time: Lessons from Netscape and its Battle with Microsoft
(1998, with David Yoffie) was named a top-10 Business Week book.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Six Enduring Principles
1. Platforms, not Just Products
2. Services, not Just Products (or Platforms)
3. Capabilities, not Just Strategy
4. Pull, Don't Push
5. Scope, not Just Scale
6. Flexibility, not Just Efficiency
Conclusion: The Power of Ideas - for Practice and Research