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The Breakthrough Imperative


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Two long-time directors of consulting giant Bain & Company and former line general managers themselves, distill the results of their 20-year study of successful managers into the essential four laws of managerial success. Stemming originally from an influential Harvard Business Review article by author Mark Gottfredson, The Breakthrough Imperative is based on Gottfredson and Schaubert's more than 25 years of experience at Bain and on a quantitative study of over 1,500 companies over a 20-year period. Based on this study, they'e distilled the science of management down to four key principles that managers at any level can use, indeed MUST use, if they're to succeed. While most managers may be intuitively familiar with some of these ideas, very few managers manage to strategically employ them in order to grow their business: 1. Costs & prices always decline 2. Market position dictates strategy 3. Profit pools don't stand still 4. Simplicity gets results New managers have a very short and measured amount of time to get results, about 18 months at the latest. And they don't come into an organization that's standing still, in the language of physics, the organization has mass, velocity, and acceleration (or deceleration); in the language of business, it has existing strengths and weaknesses, threats and opportunities. A manager who fails to properly assess the organization's existing situation (point of departure) and desired goals (point of arrival) will inevitably fail to reach their mark. Gottfredson and Schaubert show how these ideas, relentlessly applied, will allow any manager, regardless of their individual strengths and weaknesses, to develop a framework for action, a road that will take them from departure to arrival. Supported by Gottfredson and Schaubert's own decades of experience as managers and then consultants, THE BREAKTHROUGH IMPERATIVE is that rare business book that's rigorous yet accessible, authoritative yet instantly compelling. 1) MAJOR MARKETING CAMPAIGN FROM BAIN & COMPANY: Bain chooses one book per year from their partners to promote in a major campaign; this is their title for 2008. Features of the campaign include: promotion in all 36 cities where Bain has offices, including London. There will be promotion at the World Economic Forum and World Knowledge Forum; placement of bylined articles by authors in The Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, and Financial Times; e-blast to 12,000+ Bain clients; bulk sales pitches to clients; and much more. 2) CONCISE PRINCIPLES FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS: Authors have taken massive research and tremendous experience and boiled it down to the four key essentials. These laws are both sufficient (they WILL lead managers to success) and complete (properly applied, they're all that's required for managerial success). 3) PLATFORM: Authors have decades of managerial experience plus over four decades combined of consulting experience. Bain & Company is one of the world's largest and most respected consulting groups.

About the Author

Mark Gottfredson is a partner in Bain & Company's Dallas, Texas, office, which he founded in 1990. Currently global head of Bain's performance improvement practice, he has advised clients in a wide range of industries and is a leader in the firm's business strategy, airline, manufacturing, and retailing practices. In 2005, Consulting Magazine named him one of the world's top twenty-five consultants. He has written extensively for publications such as the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Singapore Business Times, The Edge (Malaysia), South China Morning Post, London Business School's Business Strategy Review, and World Business Review. He is fluent in Japanese and has worked extensively in Japan. Mark graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University and received his MBA from Harvard Business School with high distinction in 1983. He lives in Dallas. Steve Schaubert is a partner in Bain & Company's Boston, Massachusetts, office. He joined the firm in 1979 and became a partner the following year. Currently Bain's chief investment officer, he has worked with clients in numerous industries including steel, textiles, automotive, health care, consumer products, distribution businesses, and financial services. Prior to joining Bain, he held several senior general management positions in the health care industry. A summa cum laude graduate of Yale, Schaubert earned his MBA from Harvard Business School with high distinction, and an MS in engineering management from Northeastern University. He lives in Boston.


"[Gottfredson and Schaubert] outline a road map for new leaders to follow: how to diagnose your current state, plan the end goal, and get results." -- Booklist

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