Competing for the Future

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9780875847160: Competing for the Future

New competitive realities have ruptured industry boundaries, overthrown much of standard management practice, and rendered conventional models of strategy and growth obsolete. In their stead have come the powerful ideas and methodologies of Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad, whose much-revered thinking has already engendered a new language of strategy. In this book, they develop a coherent model for how today's executives can identify and accomplish no less than heroic goals in tomorrow's marketplace. Their masterful blueprint addresses how executives can ease the tension between competing today and clearing a path toward leadership in the future.

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Winning in business today is not about being number one--it's about who "gets to the future first," write management consultants Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad. In Competing for the Future, they urge companies to create their own futures, envision new markets, and reinvent themselves.

Hamel and Prahalad caution that complacent managers who get too comfortable in doing things the way they've always done will see their companies fall behind. For instance, the authors consider the battle between IBM and Apple in the 1970s. Entrenched as the leading mainframe-computer maker, IBM failed to see the potential market for personal computers. That left the door wide open for Apple, which envisioned a computer for every man, woman, and child. The authors write, "At worst, laggards follow the path of greatest familiarity. Challengers, on the other hand, follow the path of greatest opportunity, wherever it leads." They argue that business leaders need to be more than "maintenance engineers," worrying only about budget cutting, streamlining, re-engineering, and other old tactics. Definitely not for dilettantes, Competing for the Future is for managers who are serious getting their companies in front. -- Dan Ring

About the Author:

C.K. Prahalad is the Harvey C. Fruehauf Professor of Business Administration at the University of Michigan Graduate School of Business Administration and Chairman of the Board of Praja, a technology management company in San Diego. He lives in San Diego but travels extensively.

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