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Shift Ahead

Book Description

The future is closer than you think.

In a world that’s changing faster and more furiously than ever, the ability to shift focus is critical.

Why is it that some organizations can continually evolve to meet the times and the marketplace, and others can’t? How do some businesses recognize the right moment to shift, and others, ruefully, only after it’s too late? Packed with insightful interviews, Shift Ahead offers a smart, calculated approach to knowing when to change course and how to pull it off.

The book brings every internal and external factor into view: competitors, risks, culture, finances, and more. And it taps success stories and cautionary tales — including HBO, Adobe, BlackBerry, National Geographic, NYU, Microsoft, Kodak, and P&G — to explain how to:

  • Spot warning signs that it’s time for reinvention
  • Overcome obstacles in the way of future goals
  • Maintain authenticity when changing gears
  • Execute a bold change seamlessly

To stay competitive, you must shift; to stay credible, you must focus. Shift Ahead turns this difficult maneuver into a straightforward strategy.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half title
  3. Title
  4. Contents
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Chapter 1: Why This Book?
  7. Chapter 2: Heed the Red Flags
    1. Red Flag One: Basic Math
    2. Red Flag Two: Competing on Price, Not Differentiation
    3. Red Flag Three: Big on Data, Short on Analysis
    4. Red Flag Four: Neglecting Table Stakes
    5. Red Flag Five: Pride Often Does Go Before a Fall
    6. Red Flag Six: Being Too Deep in Your Comfort Zone
    7. Red Flag Seven: Yertle the Turtle Is Left Behind
  8. Chapter 3: The Road Barriers
    1. Kodak Read the Writing on the Wall(but Wasn’t Willing to Pay the Price)
    2. Xerox: Sunk Cost Bias and Golden Handcuffs Deterrents to Both Business and Brand
    3. Toys “R” Us: Playing Catch-up Is Hard When You’re Competing on the Wrong Metrics
    4. Procter & Gamble: Not Too Big to Fail (or Stumble)
    5. BlackBerry: Invincibility Is a Myth
    6. National Geographic: A Well-Documented Case of Cultural Myopia
    7. Playboy: A Yesterday Brand, with a Lesson Relevant for Today
    8. American Cancer Society: Leadership on Autopilot Is Fatal in Fast-Changing Conditions
    9. Teach for America: The Challenge to Get Back to the Founder’s Mentality
  9. Chapter 4: Ready the Organization for a Shift
    1. American Express: Still Shifting After All Those Years
    2. Hertz: Research as Waze
    3. Facebook: Shifting Gears Comes Naturally
    4. New York Life: Mutuality Does Mean a Lot
    5. Delta: Climbing in Employee Satisfaction, and Otherwise
    6. Sony: Going Back to Where It Plays Best
  10. Chapter 5: Making Sense of the Road Ahead
  11. Chapter 6: Which Shift to Make? It Depends on What’s Ahead
    1. Barnes & Noble: Understand Your DNA
    2. Katz’s Delicatessen: Sometimes Staying in Park Is the Right Gear
    3. Cheerios: “Small Shifts” to Meet Shifting Attitudes
    4. Hasbro: Game on . . . Shifting by “Zooming Out”
    5. CNN: An Important Message for Media Companies
    6. Conservation International: A Shift to Link Environmental Conservation to Economic Growth
    7. IBM: A Legacy of Continued Shifting
    8. Lindblad: Shifting to Deliver Deeper Expertise to a Core Focus
    9. Comcast: Two Shifts, Two Roads, One Purpose
    10. BP: A Lesson Learned
  12. Chapter 7: Leadership
    1. John Sexton: New York University (NYU)
    2. Shelly Lazarus: Ogilvy & Mather—Leading the People Who Build Leading Brands
    3. Central Park: Holding People Accountable—and Getting Your Own Hands Dirty
    4. Forbes Media: Adversity Was the Mother of Reinvention
    5. Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School: Guiding Kids—and Parents—with Honesty and Determination
  13. Chapter 8: Success Stories: What it Takes for the Long Haul
    1. Marriott International: From Root Beer to Resorts
    2. FedEx: Keeping the Purple Promise
    3. Greenwich Public Library: Successfully Shifting Ahead in the Age of Digital Information
  14. Chapter 9: Success Is Never Final
    1. IAVA: A Clearly Focused Mission as a Compass for Veterans’ Shifting Needs
    2. HBO: Always Ahead, It’s Never Been Just TV
    3. GE: Reinvention at Work for over 125 Years
  15. Concluding Remarks
  16. Notes
  17. Index
  18. About the Author
  19. Sample Chapter from Lead Right for Your Company’s Type by William E. Schneider
  20. About AMACOM
  21. Copyright