If strategy is about creating a competitive advantage that allows a firm to win, then pinpointing your strategy to a few critically important choices will dramatically increase your chances of success. This is especially true in the volatile and complex environment that has become the norm for all of us. Yet the authors of Playing to Win, A. G. Lafley, the former CEO of Procter & Gamble and one of the most successful business leaders of the last century, and Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management, say most firms shy away from these difficult strategic choices, settling instead for false approaches that can lead to irreversible blunders.
A.G. Lafley has been named the new Chief Executive Officer, President, and Chairman of Procter & Gamble, where he previously served as CEO from 2000-2009. 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 as a result of his focus on winning strategic choices, consumer-driven innovation, and reliable, sustainable growth. Roger Martin is Dean of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management and an adviser 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. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB in economics from Harvard College.