How to Make Winning Simple


In the video below, Roger Martin discusses the book he authored with former Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley called Playing to Win. The book touches on the strategies that Martin and Lafley employed to help Procter & Gamble quadruple its profits and increase its market capitalization by $100 billion in just 10 years, and how these strategies translate to every organization. A full version of the interview can be found here.

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Brendan Byrnes: We're talking about Playing to Win. Who do you think the book is most applicable for? You mentioned earlier you think it's useful for individuals, but also small business owners, not-for-profit people, big corporations. Who did you write it for?

Roger Martin: I think we wrote it for all of the above. What we wanted to do, the purpose of writing it, was to take some of the mystery and complexity out of strategy. I think lots of people think of it as a mysterious thing. "I know we have to do it, but I'm not sure how."

Then it's been complicated with all sorts of really complex words. "We're going to have a 'resource-based view' of the firm," and "We're going to have 'intrinsic synergies,'" and all of this stuff.

What you'll see is, we've used very plain words; "Where to Play," "How to Win." The purpose is to turn strategy from being something that's complicated, not so much fun and not so terribly effective, to a concept and a practice that's simple, fun, and effective.

It's aimed at anybody who wants to guide the future of their organization and would like a simple, fun, and effective way to do that.

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