Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works. A.G. Lafley, Roger L. Martin. Harvard Business Review Press.




Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works Book Cover Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works
A.G. Lafley, Roger L. Martin
Harvard Business Review Press
February 5, 2013
Hardcover
272
9781422187395

Strategy is not complex. But it is hard. It’s hard because it forces people and organizations to make specific choices about their future – something that doesn’t happen in most companies.

Now two of today’s best-known business thinkers get to the heart of strategy – explaining what it’s for, how you think about it, why you need it, and how to get it done. And they use one of the most successful corporate turnarounds of the past century, which they achieved together, to prove their point.

A. G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter & Gamble, in close partnership with strategic advisor Roger Martin, doubled P&G’s sales, quadrupled its profits, and increased its market value by more than $100 billion in just ten years. Now, drawn from their years of experience at P&G and the Rotman School of Management, where Martin is dean, this book shows how leaders in organizations of all sizes can guide everyday actions with larger strategic goals built around the clear, essential elements that determine business success – where to play and how to win.

The result is a playbook for winning. Lafley and Martin have created a set of five essential strategic choices that, when addressed in an integrated way, we’ll move you ahead of your competitors. They are:

  • What is our winning aspiration?
  • Where will we play?
  • How will we win?
  • What capabilities must we have in place to win?
  • What management systems are required to support our choices?

The stories of how P&G repeatedly won by applying this method to iconic brands such as Bounty, Gillette, Swiffer, and Fabreeze clearly illustrate how deciding on a strategic approach – and then making the right choices to support it – makes the difference between just playing the game and actually winning.

A. G. Lafley is the former Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Procter & Gamble. Under Lafley’s leadership, P&G’s sales doubled, its profits quadrupled, its market value increased by more than $100 billion, and its portfolio of billion-dollar brands – like Tide, Pampers, Olay, and Gillette – grew from 10 to 24. Today, Lafley consults on business and innovation strategy, advises on CEO succession and executive leadership development, and coaches experienced, new, and potential CEOs.

Roger L. Martin is Dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and an advisor to CEOs on strategy, design, innovation, and integrative thinking. In 2011, Roger was named by Thinkers50 as the sixth top management thinker in the world. This is his eighth book; he also contributes regularly to Harvard Business Review, the Financial Times, and the Washington Post, among others.