Roger L. Martin
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Strategy is not complex. But it is hard. It’s hard because it forces people and organizations to make specific choices about their futuresomething that doesn’t happen in most companies.
Now two of today’s best-known business thinkers get to the heart of strategyexplaining what it’s for, how to think about it, why you need it, and how to get it done. And they use one of the most successful corporate turnarounds of the past century, which they achieved together, to prove their point.
A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter & Gamble, in close partnership with strategic adviser Roger Martin, doubled P&G’s sales, quadrupled its profits, and increased its market value by more than $100 billion in just ten years. Now, drawn from their years of experience at P&G and the Rotman School of Management, where Martin is dean, this book shows how leaders in organizations of all sizes can guide everyday actions with larger strategic goals built around the clear, essential elements that determine business successwhere to play and how to win.
The result is a playbook for winning. 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:
What is our winning aspiration?
Where will we play?
How will we win?
What capabilities must we have in place to win?
What management systems are required to support our choices?
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 approachand then making the right choices to support itmakes the difference between just playing the game and actually winning.
Named one of "10 Must-Read Career and Leadership Books For 2022" by Forbes
The ultimate guide to the essentials of strategy and management, from one of the world's top business thinkers.
Over a stellar career, Roger Martin has advised the CEOs of some of the world's most successful companies. From the beginning, he noted that almost every executive he talked to had a "model"—a framework or way of thinking that guided their strategy and activities. But these models tended to become automatic, so much so that when one didn't work, the typical response was just to apply it again—with greater enthusiasm.
Martin took a fresh, critical approach to helping. When company leaders came to him with fundamental questions—How do you decide where to play and how to win? What is the key to shaping and changing corporate culture? How can you design a successful, sustainable innovation process?—his first response was to break the spell of the current model with a memo articulating a new way to think about the problem at hand and a more powerful and effective way to successfully overcome it.
Over time, these ideas worked their way into Martin's many Harvard Business Review articles. Now, for the first time, they appear together in A New Way to Think. With his trademark incisive intellect and clarity, Martin covers the entire breadth of the management landscape—illuminating the true nature of competition, explaining how company success revolves around customers, revealing how strategy and execution are really the same thing, and much more.
Reading like a series of one-on-one sessions with one of the world's leading business thinkers, A New Way to Think is an essential guide for any current or aspiring business leader.
If you want to be as successful as Jack Welch, Larry Bossidy, or Michael Dell, read their autobiographical advice books, right? Wrong, says Roger Martin in The Opposable Mind. Though following best practice can help in some ways, it also poses a danger: By emulating what a great leader did in a particular situation, you'll likely be terribly disappointed with your own results. Why? Your situation is different.
Instead of focusing on what exceptional leaders do, we need to understand and emulate how they think. Successful businesspeople engage in what Martin calls integrative thinking creatively resolving the tension in opposing models by forming entirely new and superior ones. Drawing on stories of leaders as diverse as AG Lafley of Procter & Gamble, Meg Whitman of eBay, Victoria Hale of the Institute for One World Health, and Nandan Nilekani of Infosys, Martin shows how integrative thinkers are relentlessly diagnosing and synthesizing by asking probing questions including: What are the causal relationships at work here? and What are the implied trade-offs?
Martin also presents a model for strengthening your integrative thinking skills by drawing on different kinds of knowledge including conceptual and experiential knowledge.
Integrative thinking can be learned, and The Opposable Mind helps you master this vital skill.
Why? In The Design of Business, Roger Martin offers a compelling and provocative answer: we rely far too exclusively on analytical thinking, which merely refines current knowledge, producing small improvements to the status quo.
To innovate and win, companies need design thinking. This form of thinking is rooted in how knowledge advances from one stage to another—from mystery (something we can't explain) to heuristic (a rule of thumb that guides us toward solution) to algorithm (a predictable formula for producing an answer) to code (when the formula becomes so predictable it can be fully automated). As knowledge advances across the stages, productivity grows and costs drop-creating massive value for companies.
Martin shows how leading companies such as Procter & Gamble, Cirque du Soleil, RIM, and others use design thinking to push knowledge through the stages in ways that produce breakthrough innovations and competitive advantage.
Filled with deep insights and fresh perspectives, The Design of Business reveals the true foundation of successful, profitable innovation.
Move Beyond Trade-Off Thinking
When it comes to our hardest choices, it can seem as though making trade-offs is inevitable. But what about those crucial times when accepting the obvious trade-off just isn't good enough? What do we do when the choices in front of us don't get us what we need? In those cases, rather than choosing the least worst option, we can use the models in front of us to create a new and superior answer. This is integrative thinking.
First introduced by world-renowned strategic thinker Roger Martin in The Opposable Mind, integrative thinking is an approach to problem solving that uses opposing ideas as the basis for innovation. Now, in Creating Great Choices, Martin and his longtime thinking partner Jennifer Riel vividly illustrate how integrative thinking works, and how to do it.
The book includes fresh stories of successful integrative thinkers that will demystify the process of creative problem solving, as well as practical tools and exercises to help readers engage with the ideas. And it lays out the authors' four-step methodology for creating great choices, which can be applied in virtually any context. The result is a replicable, thoughtful approach to finding a "third and better way" to make important choices in the face of unacceptable trade‐offs.
Insightful and instructive, Creating Great Choices blends storytelling, theory, and hands-on advice to help any leader or manager facing a tough choice.
Just what is going on here? Is it the inevitable decline of the American economy? Is it the new normal in a technology-enabled global marketplace? Or is it possible that the very theories we’ve embraced to underpin our capital markets are actually producing these crises?
In Fixing the Game, Roger Martin reveals the culprit behind the sorry state of American capitalism: our deep and abiding commitment to the idea that the purpose of the firm is to maximize shareholder value. This theory has led to a massive growth in stock-based compensation for executives and, through this, to a naive and wrongheaded linking of the real market—the business of designing, making, and selling products and services—with the expectations market—the business of trading stocks, options, and complex derivatives. Martin shows how this tight coupling has been engineered and lays out its results: a single-minded focus on the expectations market that will continue driving us from crisis to crisis—unless we act now.
Using the National Football League as his primary example, Martin illustrates that it is possible to take a much more thoughtful and effective approach than we now do to the intersection of the real and the expectations markets and to governance in general in the capital markets. Martin shows how we can act to end the destructive cycle, including:
• Restructuring executive compensation to focus entirely on the real market, not the expectations market
• Rethinking the meaning of board governance and role of board members
• Reining in the power of hedge funds and monopoly pension funds
Concise, hard-hitting, and entertaining, Fixing the Game advocates seizing American capitalism from the jaws of the expectations market and planting it firmly in the real market—and it presents the steps we must take now to do so.
American democratic capitalism is in danger. How can we save it?
For its first two hundred years, the American economy exhibited truly impressive performance. The combination of democratically elected governments and a capitalist system worked, with ever-increasing levels of efficiency spurred by division of labor, international trade, and scientific management of companies. By the nation's bicentennial celebration in 1976, the American economy was the envy of the world.
But since then, outcomes have changed dramatically. Growth in the economic prosperity of the average American family has slowed to a crawl, while the wealth of the richest Americans has skyrocketed. This imbalance threatens the American democratic capitalist system and our way of life.
In this bracing yet constructive book, world-renowned business thinker Roger Martin starkly outlines the fundamental problem: We have treated the economy as a machine, pursuing ever-greater efficiency as an inherent good. But efficiency has become too much of a good thing. Our obsession with it has inadvertently shifted the shape of our economy, from a large middle class and smaller numbers of rich and poor (think of a bell-shaped curve) to a greater share of benefits accruing to a thin tail of already-rich Americans (a Pareto distribution).
With lucid analysis and engaging anecdotes, Martin argues that we must stop treating the economy as a perfectible machine and shift toward viewing it as a complex adaptive system in which we seek a fundamental balance of efficiency with resilience. To achieve this, we need to keep in mind the whole while working on the component parts; pursue improvement, not perfection; and relentlessly tweak instead of attempting to find permanent solutions.
Filled with keen economic insight and advice for citizens, executives, policy makers, and educators, When More Is Not Better is the must-read guide for saving democratic capitalism.
What constitutes successful thinking in business? What are some of the techniques used by top business minds in order to solve problems and create value? Diaminds breaks new ground in addressing these questions.
Mihnea Moldoveanu and Roger Martin, creators of the Integrative Thinking curriculum at the Rotman School of Management, draw upon case studies and interviews - as well as theories and models from cognitive psychology, epistemology, analytic philosophy, and semiotics - to offer a new conception of successful intelligence that is immediately applicable to business situations. The 'diamind' (or dialogical mind) is characterized by bi-stability (simultaneously holding opposite plans, models, courses of action in mind while retaining the ability to act), meliorism (increasing the logical depth and informational breadth of one's thinking processes), choicefulness (retaining the ability to choose among various representations of the world, the self and others) and polyphony (thinking about the way one formulates and solves a problem while at the same time thinking about the problem itself).
End-of-chapter exercises encourage readers to examine and re-engineer their own thought and perception patterns to develop these qualities and cultivate their own 'diaminds.'
Who drives transformation in society? How do they do it?
In this compelling book, strategy guru Roger L. Martin and Skoll Foundation President and CEO Sally R. Osberg describe how social entrepreneurs target systems that exist in a stable but unjust equilibrium and transform them into entirely new, superior, and sustainable equilibria. All of these leaders--call them disrupters, visionaries, or changemakers--develop, build, and scale their solutions in ways that bring about the truly revolutionary change that makes the world a fairer and better place.
The book begins with a probing and useful theory of social entrepreneurship, moving through history to illuminate what it is, how it works, and the nature of its role in modern society. The authors then set out a framework for understanding how successful social entrepreneuars actually go about producing transformative change. There are four key stages: understanding the world; envisioning a new future; building a model for change; and scaling the solution. With both depth and nuance, Martin and Osberg offer rich examples and personal stories and share lessons and tools invaluable to anyone who aspires to drive positive change, whatever the context.
Getting Beyond Better sets forth a bold new framework, demonstrating how and why meaningful change actually happens in the world and providing concrete lessons and a practical model for businesses, policymakers, civil society organizations, and individuals who seek to transform our world for good.
Canadians have achieved an enviable balance of economic prosperity and civic harmony, but as emerging countries like China, India, and Brazil take their place alongside developed economies, we cannot be complacent. Our high paying jobs, world-class learning and research institutes, excellent health care, and social safety nets exist only to the extent that we are innovative and competitive globally.
Canada: What It Is, What It Can Be provides an incisive examination of this country's increasing prosperity gap – the difference in value between what we do create and what we could create if we performed at our full potential. As Roger Martin and James Milway demonstrate, although we are proud of our trading prowess, we do not participate as aggressively in world markets with innovative products and services as we could. While we want to take risks to achieve success, our business strategies and economic policies need to set the bar higher to achieve the success we want for Canada.
Written in an accessible style that helps general readers understand complex economic concepts, Canada: What It Is, What It Can Be exposes the myths currently guiding our public policy, and provides ground-breaking new approaches for realizing our full prosperity potential.
The Future of the MBA provides a sorely needed detailed and systematic review of the major contemporary debates on management education. At the same time, it makes a striking new proposal that will certainly have an impact in business schools: that managers need to develop a series of qualitative tacit skills which could be appropriately developed by integrative curricula brought from different disciplines, including sociology, philosophy, and other social sciences. Moldoveanu and Martin, both involved in the greatly respected integrative business education program at the Rotheman School of Management, provide a guide on how to design a reliable integrated program for management students. One of the main assets of the book is that it relies not just on speculative thinking, but on real life experience, and that it also includes case studies that will appeal to practicing managers. As an authoritative reference on MBA education, it will appeal to faculty and staff of business schools, as well as students in related fields like education and public policy.