1st Edition

How to Outthink, Outmaneuver, and Outperform Your Competitors
Lessons from the Masters of Strategy

ISBN 9781466565401
Published April 17, 2013 by Productivity Press
301 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

USD $49.95

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Book Description

Supplying you with a firm grasp of the roots of strategy, How to Outthink, Outmaneuver, and Outperform Your Competitors: Lessons from the Masters of Strategy explains how to develop the skills and strategies needed to compete in today’s volatile marketplace. It interweaves the classic works of the masters of strategy, such as Sun Tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, Mao Tse-tung, Niccolo Machiavelli, Frederick the Great, Napoleon, and other renowned strategists.

The collective insights of these legendary strategists span 2,500 of combative history and have survived meticulous analysis by scholars. Applied to current competitive business conditions, their time-tested rules and guidelines will prepare you to deal with such issues as: preventing competitors from disrupting your overall growth plans, protecting yourself from a rival’s take-over strategies, and strengthening long-term customer relationships.

Whether you operate as a multinational firm maneuvering for position in a global arena, or a regional business fighting an everyday battle for survival, the foundational principles provided can reinforce your understanding and practice of strategy. The book defines the historical origins of strategy and supplies timeless insight into how successful leaders have implemented comprehensive strategy plans. It also explains how to:

  • Maneuver out of risky competitive situations and into renewed market opportunities
  • Establish a defensible position in a hotly-contested market
  • Apply competitive business techniques to outperform your rivals
  • Align competitive strategies with your organization’s culture
  • Personalize a leadership style to maximize performance from your staff

The book includes three special features:

  1. Strategy Diagnostic Tool—A structured system to help you assess your firm’s competitiveness before committing valuable resources.
  2. Appraising Internal and External Conditions—A comprehensive checklist to analyze those key factors that can determine the success of your business plan.
  3. Strategy Action Plan—A tested format that includes step-by-step guidelines to develop a personalized business plan.

The lessons gleaned from military history and strategy can be indispensable in the everyday management of your people and resources. By tapping into the universal logic and historic lessons of strategy, you will fortify your ability to think like a master strategist and add greater precision to your decision-making—thereby allowing you to outthink, outmaneuver, and outperform your competition.

Table of Contents

Apply Strength against Weakness: Maneuver by Indirect Strategy
Maneuver by Indirect Strategy
Developing an Indirect Strategy
     Define Your Strategic Goals
          What Are Your Organization’s Distinctive Strengths or Areas of Expertise?
          What Business Should Your Organization Be in over the Next Three to Five Years?
          What Segments or Categories of Customers Will Your Company Serve?
          What Additional Functions Are You Likely to Fulfill for Customers as You See the Market Evolve?
          What New Technologies Will Your Firm Require to Satisfy Future Customer Needs?
          What Changes Are Taking Place in Markets, Consumer Behavior, Competition, Environment, and the Economy That Are Likely to Impact Your Company?
     Determine the Resources Needed to Achieve Your Goal
     Gather Competitive Intelligence
     Establish Security
     Implement the Strategy
     Develop a Post Strategy

Improve Chances for Securing a Competitive Lead: Act with Speed
Obstacles to Speed
     Lack of Reliable Market Intelligence
     Mediocre Leadership Stifles Timely and Significant Progress
     A Manager’s Low Self-Esteem and Indecisiveness as Deep-Rooted Personality Traits
     Lack of Courage to Go on the Offensive, Triggered by the Manager’s Innate Fear of Failure
     Managers’ Lack of Confidence in Their Employees’ Discipline, Capabilities, and Skills
     No Trust by Employees in Their Managers’ Abilities to Make Correct Decisions
     Inadequate Support from Senior Management
     Disagreement and Open Confrontations among Line Managers about Objectives, Priorities, and Strategies
     A Highly Conservative and Plodding Corporate Culture Places a Drag on Speed
     Lack of Urgency in Developing New Products to Deal with Short Product Lifecycles
     Organizational Layers, Long Chains of Command, and Cumbersome Committees Prolong Deliberation and Foster Procrastination
     Aggressive Competitors Can Cause Fear among Employees, Damage Morale, and Result in Lost Momentum
     Complacency or Arrogance as a Prevailing Cultural Mindset
Speed in a Twenty-First-Century Global Setting

Secure a Competitive Advantage: Concentrate at a Decisive Point
Defining a Decisive Point or Segment
Identify a Decisive Point in a Market Segment
Classic Techniques for Selecting a Market Segment
     Demographic Segmentation
     Geographic Segmentation
     Psychographic Segmentation
     Product Attributes
Advanced Techniques for Selecting a Segment’s Decisive Point
     Natural Markets
     Leading-Edge Markets
     Key Markets
     Linked Markets
     Central Markets
     Challenging Markets
     Difficult Markets
     Encircled Markets

Create a Lifeline to Business Strategy: Employ Competitor Intelligence
Employing Agents
     Native Agents
     Inside Agents
     Double Agents
     Expendable Agents
     Living Agents
Market Signals
Tools and Techniques of Competitive Intelligence
     Sales Force
     Customer Surveys
     Published Data
     Government Agencies
     Industry Studies
     On-Site Observations
     Competitor Benchmarking

Maintain High Performance: Align Competitive Strategy with Your Company’s Culture
Qualities of High-Performing Business Cultures
     Symbols and Rituals
Revitalize Your Company’s Culture

The Force Multiplier behind Your Business Strategy: Leadership
Strategic Direction and Policies
Self-Confidence and Leadership
Mastering Leadership Skills
Barriers to Effective Leadership
     Employees Remain Deficient in Skills
     Employees’ Negative Perception of Managers
     Limited Support from Management
     Conflicts Concerning Objectives, Priorities, and Strategies
     A Ponderous Corporate Culture
     Limited New Product Development
     Unwieldy Committees That Initiate Delays
     Pressure from Aggressive Competitors
Leadership in the Competitive World
Using Leadership as a Force Multiplier
     Interpersonal Skills
     Conceptual Skills
     Technical Skills
     Tactical Skills

Engage Heart, Mind, and Spirit: Create a Morale Advantage
Motivational Behavior
     Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory
     McGregor’s XY Theory
     Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
     Ouchi’s Theory Z
Morale Links to the Human Heart
Morale Links with Trust
Morale Leads to Unity
Morale Interfaces with Innovation
The Relationship between Morale and Technology
Morale Generates Momentum
Obstacles to Fostering Morale
     Deficiency in Planning Skills
     Lack of a Strategic Outlook
     Absence of Creativity
     Inadequate Self-Development
     Minimal Self-Confidence
     Inferior Communication Skills
     Volatile Conduct
Creating a Morale Advantage

Turn Uncertain Market Situations into Fresh Opportunities: Move to the Offensive
Estimates and Calculations
Use a Diagnostic Tool
Use Reserves to Seize Opportunities
Assess Levels of Creativity and Innovation
Friction within the Company and from the Marketplace

Think like Strategists: Lessons from the Masters of Strategy
The Human Factor
     Expand Your Employees’ Awareness
     Recognize That Employees Harbor Ingrained Habits
     Learn to Wait
     Learn to Restrain Irritation
     Look for the Good in Yourself and Your Employees
Managing Knowledge
Turn on Intuition

Strategy Diagnostic Tool
Appraising Internal and External Conditions
Strategy Action Plan

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Norton Paley has brought his world-class experience and unique approach to business strategy to some of the global community's most respected organizations. Having launched his career with publishers McGraw-Hill and John Wiley & Sons, Paley founded Alexander-Norton Inc, bringing successful business techniques to clients around the globe including the international training organization Strategic Management Group, where he served as senior consultant.

Throughout his career Paley has trained business managers and their staff in the areas of planning and strategy development, raising the bar for achievement and forging new approaches to problem solving and competitive edge. His clients include:

  • American Express
  • IBM
  • Detroit Edison
  • Chrysler (Parts Division)
  • McDonnell-Douglas
  • Dow Chemical (Worldwide)
  • W.R. Grace
  • Cargill (Worldwide)
  • Chevron Chemical
  • Ralston-Purina
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • USG
  • Celanese
  • Hoechst
  • Mississippi Power

Paley has lectured in The Republic of China and Mexico and has presented training seminars throughout the Pacific Rim and Europe for Dow Chemical and Cargill. As a seminar leader at the American Management Association, he conducted competitive strategy, marketing management, and strategic planning programs for over 20 years.

Published books include:

  • The Marketing Strategy Desktop Guide, 2nd Edition
  • How to Develop A Strategic Marketing Plan
  • The Managers Guide to Competitive Marketing Strategies, 3rd Edition
  • Marketing for the Nonmarketing Executive: An Integrated Management Resource Guide for the 21st Century
  • Successful Business Planning: Energizing Your Company's Potential
  • Manage To Win
  • Mastering the Rules of Competitive Strategy: A Resource Guide for Managers
  • Big Ideas for Small Businesses