Adrian Slywotzky, Karl Weber

It’s a funny thing about demand: There’s often a huge gap between what people buy and what they truly want and need. That gap is revealed by the Hassle Map—and that gap is where the opportunity to create huge new demand is hiding. There are various kinds of Hassle Maps. Some Hassle Maps are lists of the steps involved in a process, often including … [ Read more ]

The Art of Hassle Map Thinking

Let’s face it: All too often, life is a succession of hassles. There’s an endless array of frustrations, inconveniences, complications, disappointments, and potential disasters lurking in most of our daily experiences. Even very good products and services (we’ll call them simply “products” for simplicity’s sake) have their weaknesses and drawbacks. My new smartphone sometimes drops my calls; my favorite hotel chain sometimes loses my reservation; … [ Read more ]

The Upside of Strategic Risk

How Coach learned to know, not guess, what customers want.

Countering the Biggest Risk of All

You’re insured and hedged against many risks-but not the greatest ones, the strategic risks that can disrupt or even destroy your business. Learn to anticipate and manage these threats systematically and, in the process, turn some of them into growth opportunities.

Brand Investment Traps

Brands have become increasingly fragile and difficult to sustain. Failure to invest in the right mix of activities at the right time risks eroding the brand. On the other hand, those companies that anticipate and avoid the common investment traps can reap superior growth in brand value over a long period of time.

Countering strategic risk with pattern thinking: How to identify tomorrow’s profit zones before the competition

Companies face numerous types of risk, and they hedge or insure against them in a variety of ways. However, the largest potential risk to a corporation–strategic risk–must be borne directly by managers and shareholders. They face the consequences if a company’s shareholder value collapses, stagnates, or becomes dwarfed by a competitor’s. Pattern thinking can help managers both foresee risk and identify new profit opportunities … [ Read more ]

Rethinking Risk: Adventures on the strategic risk frontier

Beyond earthquakes and currency fluctuations, there’s a broad array of strategic risks poised to disrupt or even destroy any business. But embracing risk is also part of the growth equation. Is your business prepared? And what are the risks you should be taking but aren’t?

Profit Patterns: 30 Ways to Anticipate and Profit from Strategic Forces Reshaping Your Business

Profit Patterns opens with a series of chaotic paintings by Pablo Picasso. Each piece is increasingly difficult to recognize; the final portrait is little more than a jumble of shapes and colors. But what does Picasso have to do with profitability? By recognizing industry patterns–by seeing the order beneath the surface chaos–managers, investors, and entrepreneurs can prepare for change before it even occurs. And while … [ Read more ]

How to Grow When Markets Don’t

In this shrewdly titled volume for today’s tough economy, global strategy consultants Slywotsky (The Art of Profitability) and Wise analyze companies in mature markets that have managed to achieve significant growth without venturing outside their industry, manipulating their financial statements or acquiring dot-coms. Their chief insight is that established companies with experience in their field have, aside from their core business, a wealth of hidden … [ Read more ]

How to Stop Bad Things from Happening to Good Companies

Catching the right moment to take action when successful business models begin to wane requires skilled detection work and the courage to face reality. In this article on value migration — the process by which changing markets and new competitors threaten a company’s equilibrium — a system of early-warning diagnostics is recommended.

Double-Digit Growth in No-Growth Times

It’s every company’s goal — but it’s one that few manage to achieve. Here are strategies and tactics to make your company grow again, drawn from in-depth research on companies that have been registering double-digit growth for years. Tired of cutting costs and downsizing dreams? This is your wake-up call.

The Art of Profitability

Consultant Slywotzky’s new book describes a series of twenty-three fictional meetings (between a frustrated manager and a guru), each covering a distinctive “profit pattern.” Put yourself in the student’s role — do the homework and the recommended reading — and you’ve got a complete toolbox of strategic models for profit-making.

Editor’s Note: The Art of Profitability is available for immediate download as an ebook. … [ Read more ]

Strategic Sales Management: A Boardroom Issue

“The pressure is on for strategic sales management. We attempt to alleviate this pressure for all arenas by explaining first of all that strategic sales management works: we present data which reveal that corporate financial performance depends on a well-run sales force. We next turn to the importance of customer selection, customer focus and customer retention. We explain the importance of designing a sales force … [ Read more ]