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The Winning Performance

  • The Winning Performance
    (How America's High Growth Midsize Companies Succeed)
    by Donald K. Clifford, Jr. and Richard E. Cavanagh
    • Toward a new tradition of management
      • The neglected sector—The midsize growth companies
        • Midsize companies
          • Sales between 25 million and 1 billion
          • 15,000 businesses
          • Less than 1% of all businesses
          • 25% of all sales
          • 20% of all total private-sector employment
        • The top 25% of these midsize companies
      • Where and how to compete: The explanation of success
        • Where to compete
          • Not by following the conventional wisdom
          • Broad sectors of the economy don't win
          • Think organically and economic results
        • How to compete
          • Innovation: The best competitive edge
          • Value, not low price alone, wins
          • Diversification: Expansion by Edging Out
          • Bureaucracy: The mortal enemy
          • The bottom line: It isn't only profit—Mission and values
          • Leadership: Building an Institution
          • Sidebar : The ten commandments of How to succeed in business
    • The will to grow and the skill to win
      • The odds against reaching midsize($25 million): 1 out of 1000
      • The will to grow
        • The will to grow usually totally lacking
          • Make a living for their family
          • Contribute something to the community
          • Enjoy the many advantages of manageable pace
          • Strong and lasting relationships that can be the envy of hassled employees
        • Virtually any business can broaden its geographical horizons if it chooses
        • The constraint on growth is not lack of opportunity
      • The skill to win
        • But even companies that do aspire to grow usually fail—lack the skill
        • Up to midsize, this inability to grow usually comes down to one or more of three factors
          • Faulty business design
          • Financial overextension
          • Human frailty
        • The risk and challenges of growth beyond midsize
          • Cope with tougher financial requirements in a more hostile business environment.
          • Respond to explosive growth in product and market complexity by mobilizing new organizational capabilities.
          • Fundamentally adapt the leadership role of the CEO to shifting demands that come with growth.
    • Guerrilla strategies
      • Introduction
        • Guerrilla warfare
          • Find adversary’s weak spot and takes him off guard
        • Guerrilla basics
          • Selection of the battlefield
          • Speed and surprise
          • Fanatical spirit
          • Concentration of effort
          • Triumph of ingenuity and common sense
        • A successful business strategy provides a sustainable competitive advantage based upon delivering superior value to the customer
      • The great majority of winning performers combine five strategic traits:
        • A focus on how to compete, less so on where
        • An emphasis on innovation: The winning competitive edge
          • Innovate early and often
          • New products
          • New "old" products
          • New ways of doing business
        • Skill at creating, serving and leading in niche markets defined by customers’ needs
          • Finding the right niche
          • What is it and how do we sell it?
        • Ability to identify and build on distinctive strengths
          • The Augat Circles
          • The Analog Answer
        • Recognition that the value of product or service, not just its price spells success.
    • Winning Organization: The eternal conflict
      • Introduction
        • Organization is people with a purpose working together.
        • Good organization is effective people working constructively together toward a common goal.
        • Organization
          • Structure
          • Style and shared values
          • Management systems
          • People and institutional skills
        • The fanatic
        • The staggering task of the midsize company is to combine
          • the discipline necessary to execute the day to day activities of the business
          • the freedom to
        • The ripple factor
        • The comfort-with conflict factor
        • The "Us" factor
        • The missionary factor
        • The communication factor
      • Dynamics of Change
        • Safety-Kleen story
        • Kollmorgen
        • The Also Rans
          • Inability to leave things alone
          • Recklessness
          • Long-distance management
          • The Pollyanna syndrome
          • Focus on wrong disciplines
          • Corporate neuroses
      • How the Winning Performers Do it
        • An evangelical sense of mission
          • It distills the articles of faith
          • It zeros in on the long view
          • It beckons the stumbler back to the straight and narrow
          • It shows how to beat goliath
          • It inspires the faithful
          • It prompts the CEO to become the "Chief Evangelical Officer"
          • It supplies courage in the face of the unknown
        • Relentless Focus on the fundamentals
          • Financial performance
          • Operations
          • External focus
        • Bureaucracy: The Archenemy
        • Encourage Experimentation
        • Getting Inside The Customer's Mind
        • Counting on People
          • Attracting and developing people
          • Motivating people
    • The CEO: Mainspring of a Winning Team
      • How hard the work
      • How they cope
        • Commitment and Perseverance
        • Builders, not bankers
          • Pursuing the Vision
          • Building an institution
        • Team Players and Individualists
        • Calculating Risk-Takers
          • Taking Risk
          • Knowing the Odds
          • And a little bit of luck
      • The changing role of the CEO
        • Stages of Leadership
        • Toughest Element of Change
          • A heightened emphasis on team building
          • Greater skill in communication
          • A higher level of personal discipline
        • Patterns of personal change
          • Structural change
          • Changing people
          • Reeducation
          • Reprogramming
        • Managing Succession
    • When bad things happen to good companies
      • It happens to almost everybody
      • Responding to trouble
        • Positive
          • Sell divisions that no longer show promise or meet financial standards
          • Invest in new product lines or technology
          • Reorganize to recapture former simplicity by combining divisions
          • Split up divisions to created smaller, more entrepreneurial, faster response businesses.
          • Double R&D to regain product advantage
          • Put top priority on trimming the inefficiencies that crept into their cost structure
          • Severing unproductive people
          • Adding new skills that may be key to coping with the new problems
        • Avoid unsound business and financial practices
          • Shipping poor-quality
          • Unsound financial practices
          • Shortsighted organizational steps
          • Don't assume that the problems will solve themselves if the company simply "stays the course"
      • What happened to cause the trouble
        • Trouble in the economy
        • New competitive tactics
        • Strategic errors
        • Organization weaknesses
    • Putting it All together—Examples
      • The genius of Cray Research
        • Strategic Positioning
          • Innovation as a way of life
          • Leading in Niche Markets
          • Building on Strength
          • Competing on Value
        • Focused Organization
          • Institutionalizing Mission and Shared Values
          • Mastering the Business Fundamentals
          • Fighting Bureaucracy, Encouraging Experimentation
          • Understanding Their Customers
          • Attention to People
        • Evolving CEO Leadership
      • The intensity of ADP Automatic Data Processing
        • Strategy
          • Wall street "back office" Operations
          • Collision estimating
          • Automobile dealers
        • Organization: Disciplined Freedom
        • Attention to the fundamentals
        • Fight Bureaucracy, Encourage Experimentation
        • Think like customers
        • An emphasis on people
      • The Winning Team at Sealed Air Corporation
    • The Entrepreneurial Corporation
      • Managing Purposeful Innovation
        • Innovation is technological but not necessarily technical
        • Innovation and bureaucracy just don't mix
        • Customers and distributors as partners in the innovation process
        • Creativity is highly valued and effectively promoted
        • Creating new markets
        • New ways of doing business
      • Orchestrating Spirit and Discipline
        • The false dichotomy—The humanist vs the rationalist
        • Situational Management
        • Selective Discipline—Knowing what few things to control
        • Synchronization
          • Avoiding conflicting objectives
          • Consistency
      • Providing Entrepreneurial Leadership
        • Commitment to the point of Obsession
        • Institutionalizing Values, Passion, and Leadership
          • Transforming personal commitment and obsession into institutional obsession and energy
          • A special pride in the central values of excellence
          • A commitment to and understanding of the values
          • Acts—symbolic and substantive—build meaning for these companies
        • Perspective
          • Outward vision
          • Internal realism
      • So What?
    • Appendix
      • Members of the American Business Conference
      • 119 Fastest growing publicly listed midsize companies in the USA
      • Technical notes on Approach and Analysis
        • Methodology
        • Description of Data Sources
        • Description of Data Analyses and Finding (similar to industrial profile)
          • Analysis of all midsize companies


“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker

The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure

Managing Oneself is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context




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