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Break from the Pack


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Table of Contents

Prologue 1 Part I Resisting the Pull of the Pack Chapter 1 Welcome to Commodity Hell: The Perils of the Copycat Economy 15 Chapter 2 How to Lose: Ten Compulsions Guaranteed to Keep You Mired in the Pack 37 Chapter 3 The Madonna Effect and the Willie Nelson Principle: The Power of Calculated Reinvention 63 Chapter 4 Curious, Cool, and Crazy: Building a Culture of Disciplined Lunacy 85 Part II How to Break from the Pack Chapter 5 Dominate or Leave 107 Chapter 6 Put the Pieces Together for a Higher Cause 133 Chapter 7 Build a Defiant Pipeline 155 Chapter 8 Take Your Customer to an Impossible Place 177 Chapter 9 Take Innovation Underground 201 Chapter 10 Consolidate for Cool 225 Part III How You Can Lead the Pack Chapter 11 You, the Leader of the Pack: A 12-Step Recovery Program 253 Epilogue 283 Index 287

Promotional Information

Everywhere, products are being commoditized, services are being imitated, and traditional barriers to market entry are collapsing. To sustain competitive advantage in today's Copycat Economy, companies must break from the pack. This book will show how. Oren Harari starts by touring "Commodity Hell," and identifying 10 common mistakes that keep companies trapped in the pack. Next, Harari introduces six strategies for propelling your organization where competitors can't follow. Learn how to dominate markets (and when to leave them); how to create a "higher cause" that will mobilize stakeholders; and how to build a pipeline of cool, compelling products, in any industry. Harari reveals new ways to take customers far beyond mere "satisfaction," and shows how to innovate in even the most prosaic areas of a business. Learn how to avoid destructive mergers, and buy what really matters: talent, imagination, foresight, speed, rebelliousness, and inspiration. Finally, Harari offers a candid "12 Step" program for transforming leadership behavior to lead the charge -- and leave competitors in the dust.

About the Author

In 2002, Oren Harari was selected by the London Financial Times and Prentice Hall as one of "the world's greatest management thinkers" and was featured with 39 other prominent individuals in the book Business Minds. For the last 25 years, as a leading author, lecturer, and consultant, he has presented provocative new perspectives on competitive advantage, organizational change, and transformational leadership. In his books, articles, and blogs, Harari debunks conventional approaches to management and describes the strategic decisions and leadership behaviors that actually do propel organizations into a successful position of competitive advantage. His 2002 book The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell (McGraw-Hill, 2002) reached the best-seller lists of The New York Times, BusinessWeek, and The Wall Street Journal. Other books that he has authored or co-authored have achieved bestseller status and numerous accolades, including BeepBeep! Competing in the Age of the Roadrunner (Warner Books, 2000), Leapfrogging the Competition: Five Giant Steps to Becoming a Market Leader (Prima Publishing, 1999), and Jumping the Curve: Innovation and Strategic Choice in an Age of Transition (Jossey-Bass, 1994). Harari has contributed to many publications, including Harvard Business Review, Business Strategy Review, California Management Review, and Industrial Relations, as well as numerous nonacademic publications. He was the senior monthly columnist for Management Review from 1991 to 2000, and for the following two years he was the lead weekly columnist for the online magazine Mworld.org, the American Management Association's informational website for the management community. Currently, he is on the editorial board of the Journal of Managerial Issues. He served as a senior consultant with the Tom Peters Group from 1984 to 1996, and, in 1997 and 1998, he was the first designated "management expert" for Time Vista, Time magazine's direct resources interactive website for businesses around the world. Over the past decade, he has served on the board of directors of several entrepreneurial technology start-ups. He is currently a member of the U.S. State Department's Advisory Committee on Management and Leadership, as well as one of the founding members of The Integrity Institute, which is dedicated to elevating the standards of integrity for corporations and capital markets. Oren Harari has addressed and consulted with premier corporations and senior government groups around the world. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and currently teaches in the MBA and executive MBA programs at the University of San Francisco. For more information on Oren Harari, please visit www.harari.com.


More often than not, companies face the challenge of differentiating themselves from each other-a tricky process, but one that can be accomplished through careful planning, Harari promises. Focusing on exposure and profitability, he proposes a four-pronged process for moving into the lead, including having a contrarian mindset, a willingness to cast aside perceptions, exceptional follow-through and disciplined focus, and integrity and courage. While acknowledging that it's easy to be ahead one moment and behind the next, he also observes that if your products become irrelevant, then your company will, too. To avoid that fate, he points to the Madonna Effect, reasoning that the pop star has had such a sustainable career because she has continually reinvented herself for two decades, and that regularly reinventing your business can provide similar effects for your company. He also advocates the Willie Nelson Principle: jumping in front of a movement that is already successful, re-creating it for your own advantage and leading from there. While he isn't alone in his major emphasis-that "to break from the pack, you must dominate some significant area of the market"-his primer offers many useful, concrete tools for doing it. --Publisher's Weekly, June 19th Edition

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