The Upside

The 7 Strategies for Turning Big Threats Into Growth Breakthroughs

By Adrian J. Slywotzky; Karl Weber
(Crown Business, Hardcover, 9780307351012, 270pp.)

Publication Date: May 15, 2007

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Today, when your fortunes can literally change overnight, the new strategic imperative is making your moment of maximum risk your moment of maximum opportunity. In The Upside, Adrian Slywotzky provides bold and original ideas for growth breakthroughs as well as the practical tools to use Monday morning, such as
-How to change the odds for your next major initiative and create potential industry breakthroughs, as Toyota did with its expanding universe of Prius vehicles.
-Shape and exploit risk, don't be shaped by it. Become a knowledge-intensive business and continuallyincrease the knowledge gap between yourself and rivals, as Coach and Tsutaya of Japan have convincingly done.
-A category killer can't kill what's not in its category. When basketball legend Bill Russell faced a taller, stronger Wilt Chamberlain, he led the Celtics to victory by inventing a different game. The same thinking lets Target prosper in a Wal-Mart world--and can help you outcompete the "unbeatable" rival in your own industry.
-When you come to a fork in the road--take it Only a fraction of companies survive when industries experience technological or strategic transitions. To be a survivor, learn the secret that enabled Microsoft to weather the advent of the Internet--the art of the double bet.
-Stuckinabusinessbox? Findthebiggerbox--and then the biggest.When growth stagnates, capture more of your customer's dollars through demand innovation and big-box thinking, as companies from Continental AG and Ikea to Procter & Gamble have done.
-Your competitors can also be your greatest enablers of profit. Stop competing yourself to death The key is knowing when to compete and when to collaborate, as Apple has shown with its revolutionary approach to the music business.
In the 1980s conventional wisdom was that you could have high quality or low cost, but not both--until Japanese makers of cars and electronics showed otherwise. Now, high quality and low cost are required just to enter the marketplace. Today, we face a similar paradox when it comes to risk and reward. Rather than shrink from the high risk so integral to the tumultuous global economy, Adrian Slywotzky shows how it can be your greatest source of growth and future reward.

About the Author
ADRIAN J. SLYWOTZKY is a partner at Oliver Wyman, an international management consulting firm. The" Times" of London named Slywotzky one of the top 50 business thinkers and "Industry Week" has named him one of the six most influential management thinkers, "promising to be what Peter Drucker was to much of the twentieth century: the management guru against whom all others are measured."

Writer and editor specializing in topics from business, politics, and current affairs.
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