THE BOOK AMERICA NEEDS IN THESE TROUBLED TIMES, A "Roadmap To Profitable Growth"... A PROVEN SUCCESSFUL APPROACH TO THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE EVERY COMPANY FACES: PROFITABLE GROWTH
ROADMAP TO PROFITABLE GROWTH
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
Telling the readers right up front why they should read your book is a funny way to start a book, isn't it? I am opening this way in hopes of getting your attention. There are way too many books these days, and most of them are way too long. Who has time to read all that stuff? And how do you know if the author really had a clue? After all, there is no formal quality assurance for books other than the editor, the publisher and the readers.
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You should read this book because you want to suc- ceed. Most people do want to succeed, and I assume that you're no different in that respect. And you don't have an abundance of time, and competition is tough and get- ting tougher. Here's the situation: resources are limited; opportunities are limitless; success depends on finding "the Intersection"--that's where your strategy aligns with your past proven success and gives you a better chance of beating competitors. In fact, it gives you the best possible chance of success.
Businesses must have reason to exist. "The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer." I first read this in Theo- dore Levitt's classic book, The Marketing Imagination and I have never forgotten it. But for a business to survive, it must also be profitable. That is an essential key to success.
I should take a paragraph to explain about "intersections" and "roadmaps." This book started out as "The Intersection" with a wide variety of subtitles. The more I kept explaining what "The Intersection" meant, the more I realized that the concept was great, but as a title, it was too non-specific to describe what the book was all about. Then one day, the realization struck me that "intersections" are simply part of a larger picture on what many people still call "roadmaps" (Although the growth of GPS navigation systems will soon obsolete that term too!)
Too many people get lost and wander about aimlessly because they have no "roadmap" for where they wanted to go, or if they did, they failed to use it. In this book, I will give you that "roadmap"--but you must resolve to follow through and use it.
Every journey starts with a few simple questions. Whether you actually ask them or not, the questions are: "Where are you going?" or, where do you want to go--or end up?"
The comparable questions any business must answer is, "What do you want to sell to whom--and why?" "What unrecognized needs can you find?" "What unfilled wants will you fill?"
Too often, companies don't start with "what do we want to sell to whom". They start with an idea--a product, a service, a new breakthrough technology, or something they think is unique and should be desirable, but desirable to whom? And why? The creators think it's a great idea and don't want to be slowed down with these seemingly picky questions--never knowing whether they're creating an answer to a question no one's asked.
Now that you have a taste of where the book started, read on and see where the book leads you. When you are done, I hope you will clearly see how to find and follow the four paths that lead to profitable growth. Skip through it if you like, but you'll "get it" better if you read straight through it. You should be able to read this in a long trip or a quiet weekend. Don't bother trying to read it at work. The interruptions will overwhelm your ability to think about what I am saying.
Table of Contents
- THE INTERSECTION DEFINED - The Four Paths
- PART I - THE ROADMAP TO THE INTERSECTION EXPLAINED
- Choosing Targets
- Avoiding Complexity
- PART II - THE ROADMAP TO BEST VALUE
- Understanding Value
- A Framework for Thought
- The Power of Partnerships
- The Essential Leadership
- The Importance and Power of People
- The Power of Information
- PART III - USING THE ROADMAP TO CONVERGE ON THE INTERSECTION
- Strategic Thinking
- Strategic Planning
- Goals, Objectives & Metrics
- REVIEW, SUMMARY & CONCLUSION
- BONUS FEATURE: The Missing Metrics
On Finding Profitable Growth: Adapted from "Roadmap To Profitable Growth"
The four paths on the Roadmap lead to an Intersection--one where you can find Profitable Growth. These paths involve the choices everyone must make, just like alternative routes on a map.
- What is your goal, or target market; your strategic direction?
- What has worked for you in the past, and why?
- Are there big market opportunities? What are they?
- Can you find incremental markets where a little leverage will provide a large return?
Do not confuse the setting of goals and objectives as making strategy. It isn't that at all. Goals and objectives tell you how well or how poorly you are doing. You achieve goals and objectives as a result of strategies and tactics that you execute well.
The ultimate goal/objective is profitable growth from gaining and sustaining competitive advantages over your competitors--and doing it in such a way that customers prefer what you offer.
Once your customer owns the decision, you own customer preference, and competitors face a big uphill battle to unseat you. Incorporate these advantages as you develop new products or services, and you are on your way to finding profitable growth--at the Intersection of the four paths.
Mariotti Featured In New Book On Risk Management
John Mariotti's essay entitled The Missing Metrics: Managing the Cost and Risk of Complexity is the leadoff article in this new compendium on the topic of Risk, published by Bloomsbury, the leading London, UK publisher. The Kindle version of the book is available on amazon.com.
Mariotti & Lukas' 2012 Book Is "Filled with Insights for Obama's 2nd Term"
What others have said about HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY: Leadership Lessons from the Obama Presidency:
Written with co-author D. M. Lukas, this is an easy to read book full of thirty leadership lessons, each of which draws its "case study" from a mistake, a failure or a leadership lapse during the past three years of the Obama presidency.
The lessons are applicable to business, career, personal (or political) situations. A full recap of the book can be seen in the Books section of this site and more information is available at the book's website.
Improve Profitability And Reduce Risk
Now you CAN "have your cake and eat it too"--improving profitability and reducing risk--both at the same time.
- Read THE COMPLEXITY CRISIS and follow the principles outlined in it. That is a great start; simple, low cost, and easy to do.
- Visit the Ontonix site, (or simply try it yourself--click on the Rate A Business icon below) and take the next steps.
Ontonix has developed a simple, effective and very economical on-line tool to evaluate the level of complexity and risk in any business. Using their on-line self-rating service, any business can clearly see where complexity exists and how to begin managing it, and reducing risk at the same time.
Simply click on the "Rate a Business" logo and follow the easy steps. You can analyze your Balance Sheet, your Income Statement, and nearly any other aspect of your business that can be expresses in columns and rows of data showing results, status, etc. Then use the output to direct your action, to manage and reduce complexity, to reduce risk and finally, to improve your overall profitability. Try it. It really works.
Critically Acclaimed! Get It Now: The Chinese Conspiracy
You can get it at amazon.com.
"The book starts off strong and never stops. This is a techno thriller with action that spans two continents. There are over 100 short chapters in the book which should provide the reader a convenient place to stop reading. With a suspenseful end to each chapter, the reader is drawn to the next. This was a very difficult book to put down. John Mariotti's easy to read writing style combined with excellent plot, colorful characters, and realistic technology make The Chinese Conspiracy a book that lovers of action thrillers will really enjoy." -- James Hutchings of The Book Review
"John, what a masterpiece! A real wake up call for those around the world. You put much thought in to this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it... " Cy Hilterman, (Reviewer)
The Complexity Crisis
Why Too Many Products, Markets & Customers Are Crippling Your Company—And What To Do About it
By John L. Mariotti
The Problem: Where have all the profits gone?
Businesses must compete in more complex markets than ever before. Companies are seeking growth at double-digit rates in markets that are growing at single-digit rates, or not at all. This quest for growth has led to runaway complexity and proliferation in products, customers, markets, suppliers, services, locations and more. All of these add costs, which go untracked by the best of modern cost systems. All of these fragment management focus, waste time and money and reduce shareholder value. And all of this goes on under the radar of management or board attention. The Complexity Crisis is arguably the most insidious profit drain in modern business.
The Challenge: What can we do about it?
First, recognize that rampant proliferation adds to costs in a manner that goes untracked. Then track it down. Where it adds value, alter processes to accommodate it. Where it doesn't, which is most places, stop it. Reduce or eliminate it. And institute safeguards—systems and metrics—to prevent its unnoticed return. Most of all, find quick and easy ways to describe The Complexity Crisis so it is recognized as a potential profit drain, and managed like the critical business consideration it has become.
The Premise: What Gets Measured, Gets Managed.
To understand the success factors in business is critical. To understand the obstacles that get in the way is equally important. This is the purpose, indeed, the job of management. The tools used that allow management to do this job are metrics and then the actions that result when the metrics expose an area for management attention. The good news—many of the necessary tools already exist, and may be in use. The bad news—complexity is, by its very nature—"complex" and thus it defies many existing measurement techniques.
The Approach: Find it; Fix it; "Use It or Lose It" (and Keep It Simple)
First, recognize what constitutes complexity and the hidden costs it creates; the places it siphons off profit into blind alleys and hidden corners of the business. Next, find it in your business and decide if it creates or destroys value for customers. Then, decide to either " Use It"—change structure and processes to accommodate value-added complexity for competitive advantage, or "Lose It" and reduce or eliminate non-value added complexity wherever it has crept into your business. Finally, institute new metrics and modifications to existing cost and management control systems to choose when to keep it out, and when to capitalize on complexity. Last, and most important: Keep the management of The Complexity Crisis as SIMPLE as possible, so whether you "use it or lose it" you solve the problem and keep it solved.
Experienced executive—15 years—President, Huffy Bicycles & Rubbermaid Office Product Group
Accomplished author—8 books and hundreds of columns/articles in leading publications, web sites
Director on six corporate boards, and an advisor to several others
Consultant & keynote speaker: Titleist, Colgate Scotts, Southern Co., Emerson, Deere, etc.
Guest lecturer for several major universities business schools
Contributor, Business—the Ultimate Resource, Encyclopedia of Health Care Management
M. S., M. E. University of Wisconsin, B. S. M. E. Bradley University
John Mariotti's newest book The Complexity Crisis-Why Too Many Products, Markets & Customers Are Crippling Your Company-And What To Do About It IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR ORDERING from (click on your choice) Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million and other leading booksellers or in larger quantities from . You can also request the book at leading bookstores nationally, which should be getting it shortly.
The Complexity Crisis, TABLE OF CONTENTS