Playing to Win: A Look at Business Strategy

According to A.G. Lafley, the formerly retired and recently re-instated Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Proctor and Gamble, most companies have a vision statement and a mission statement but most companies don’t really have a strategy.  Companies that have strategies are companies that win in business.  A.G. Lafley knows exactly what he is talking about when he makes that statement.  Lafley previously served as P&G’s President & CEO from 2000 to 2009. During this time, the Company more than doubled sales and grew its portfolio of billion-dollar brands from 10 to 23 with a focus on consumer-driven innovation and consistent, reliable, sustainable growth. The Company’s market capitalization has made P&G among the 10 most valuable companies in the world.

A.G. Lafley, co-author of the book Playing to win: How Strategy Really Works, answers the following  question in his book: What is the Fundamental measure of winning?  His answer is summarized in the six questions below.  Winning, according to Lafley, is being able to answer the following six questions in a positive manner.

  1. Am I creating a customer?
  2. Am I creating more customers?
  3. Are my customers more loyal to me?
  4. Do they love my product more?
  5. Do they love my service more?
  6. Do they think that it is a better value than what the market offers?

Check out this short video loaded with wisdom and advice for more insight from Lafley regarding how to win in business.

 

 

The High Level Summary of this book is:

Winning CEO A.G. Lafley is now back at the helm of consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble. If you want to know the strategy he’ll use to restore P&G to its former dominance—read this book.

Playing to Win, a noted Wall Street Journal and Washington Post bestseller, outlines the strategic approach Lafley, in close partnership with strategic adviser Roger Martin, used to double P&G’s sales, quadruple its profits, and increase its market value by more than $100 billion when Lafley was first CEO (he led the company from 2000 to 2009). The book shows leaders in any type of organization how to guide everyday actions with larger strategic goals built around the clear, essential elements that determine business success—where to play and how to win.

Lafley and Martin have created a set of five essential strategic choices that, when addressed in an integrated way, will move you ahead of your competitors. They are: (1) What is our winning aspiration? (2) Where will we play? (3) How will we win? (4) What capabilities must we have in place to win? and (5) What management systems are required to support our choices? The result is a playbook for winning.

The stories of how P&G repeatedly won by applying this method to iconic brands such as Olay, Bounty, Gillette, Swiffer, and Febreze 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.

Playing to Win outlines a proven method that has worked for some of today’s most celebrated brands and products. Let this book serve as your new guide to winning, as well.

Also, check out an additional post (and Video) on the subject of business strategy and Competitive Advantage by Rita Gunther McGrath of the Columbia Business School.  McGrath is globally recognized expert on strategy in uncertain and volatile markets and she is the author of numerous publications and awards for her scholarship and work.

Great Quotes by Peter Drucker

How to build a winning value proposition

Creating Fans instead of Customers

 

 

 

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