The Seven Steps to Nirvana: Strategic Insights into eBusiness Transformation

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9780071375221: The Seven Steps to Nirvana: Strategic Insights into eBusiness Transformation

How do we transform our business into e-business? This is the challenge that many traditional companies are facing. As the framework for business changes, these traditional companies must continually adapt and innovate in order to survive. The old rules of business no longer apply. The transformation from business to ebusiness is not a one-shot process, it is a journey - a systematic series of stages. This text describes the seven stages of ebusiness transformation, from developing a vision to organising the operation. Following a strategic approach, it focuses on reinventing the whole traditional, non-tech business into a strategic ebusiness, rather than integrating an Internet component into an existing business. It shows the reader how to build an underlying framework for decision-making and implementation that will stand the test of time and adapt to the continual changes within the organization.

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Review:

While some might find the title's promise of transcendental beatitude a trifle overreaching, The Seven Steps to Nirvana nonetheless provides some excellent insight into the design and implementation of an e-business game plan at "low-tech, smokestack" companies that have heretofore shied away from cyber-strategies. Mohan Sawhney, the McCormick Tribune Professor of Electronic Commerce and Technology at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and Jeff Zabin, a consultant, writer, and speaker, have produced a thought-provoking yet practical entry point for senior managers and other leaders at these firms. The book progresses from creating an overarching initial vision and initiating other critical preliminary preparations to "putting your money where your mouth is, and getting people in the organization to embrace the oft-threatening new world of e-business." Particularly notable are sections on "thinking like an architect (to) open your mind to new possibilities for business innovation" and mitigating channel conflict--or "dissension among the existing institutions"--by making sure the electronic enhancements you are about to append are truly synchronized complements to what you already have. The ideas behind it all are solid and, perhaps most commendably, are anchored to the needs of a real-world customer base. --Howard Rothman

From the Back Cover:

Insights and Frameworks for Transforming Traditional Bricks-and-Mortar Operations into Fast-Responding, Customer-Centered Companies

"This book provides the best roadmap I have seen for harnessing the power of e-business to leverage your company's advantages. Sawhney and Zabin present customer-centered business models for an e-enabled world, a refreshing change from technology-centered books."

­­Philip Kotler

S. C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing

Kellogg Graduate School of Management

"In a clear and compelling style, Sawhney and Zabin provide a cogent roadmap to navigate the challenging world of e-business without losing sight of the timeless elements of management."

­­Ravi Kalakota, Ph.D.

CEO, E-Business Strategies

Author, E-Business 2.0: Roadmap for Success

"The Seven Steps to Nirvana is an invaluable compass for enterprises as they chart their course on digital strategy. It stands tall above the hype and confusion surrounding e-business."

­­Melvyn E. Bergstein

Chairman and CEO

DiamondCluster International

"When I took a look at Boeing's interaction costs and discovered that e-enabling the business could save as much as 50 percent, I became an instant believer. Anyone still sitting on the fence ought to read this book."

­­Phil Condit

Chairman and CEO

The Boeing Company

"Mohan Sawhney has provided inspiration to me and my colleagues. This book is written for real managers in real business."

­­Jack M. Greenberg

Chairman and CEO

McDonald's Corporation

"To date, the incursion of e-business skirmishes has been perpetuated for the most part by startups, technology companies, and the so-called early adopters among the Global 2000. But soon­­just as all disruptive innovations tend to experience a lag time to mainstream acceptance­­the real revolution will begin, with the lion's share of low-tech, smokestack businesses finally getting religion! Rather than preach to the converted, this book is targeted to senior managers and leaders of these latter companies. To borrow a phrase from Apple Computer, this book is e-business for the 'rest of us.' There are no Ciscos and Dells here. ... In this book, we focus on real people and real businesses in mundane sectors of the economy. ... For them, this book lays out a systematic approach for exploiting the new possibilities of e-business."

­­From the Introduction

In the world of e-business, "e" is just the means. "Business" is the end. The fundamentals of business have not changed. Firms still win by creating superior value for their customers and by building superior business architectures. Executives who lose sight of this fact­­whether due to technology, bureaucracy, or the gold-rush mentality­­risk becoming disoriented and even lost.

The Seven Steps to Nirvana is a compass for senior executives as they embark on the journey of e-business transformation. Tested before thousands of executives, whose collective insights helped shape its content, this visionary book provides a systematic roadmap for the steps needed to convert large, established companies into fierce, twenty-first-century competitors.

Steeped in ancient wisdom, grounded in a powerful array of sense-making frameworks, and brought to life through dozens of real-world examples, The Seven Steps to Nirvana brings clarity and insight to a wide range of strategic issues, including:

  • Understanding the true scope of e-business
  • Defining the evolutionary path for your e-business initiatives
  • Formulating a winning e-business strategy
  • Finding opportunities for leveraging the core business
  • Synchronizing customer touch points and resolving channel conflict

The Seven Steps to Nirvana is more than just another "e-business book." It is, in fact, a strategy book for the new world of business. It shows how to weave technology, strategy, processes, infrastructure, and organizational issues into a rich tapestry to create the businesses of the future. And it reminds us that e-business is ultimately business, by putting customers at the front and center of e-business initiatives.

"This book provides the best roadmap I have seen for harnessing the power of e-business to leverage your company's advantages. Sawhney and Zabin present customer-centered business models for an e-enabled world, a refreshing change from technology-centered books."

­­Philip Kotler

S. C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing

Kellogg Graduate School of Management

"In a clear and compelling style, Sawhney and Zabin provide a cogent roadmap to navigate the challenging world of e-business without losing sight of the timeless elements of management."

­­Ravi Kalakota, Ph.D.

CEO, E- Business Strategies

Author, E-Business 2.0: Roadmap for Success

"The Seven Steps to Nirvana is an invaluable compass for enterprises as they chart their course on digital strategy. It stands tall above the hype and confusion surrounding e-business."

­­Melvyn E. Bergstein

Chairman and CEO

DiamondCluster International

"When I took a look at Boeing's interaction costs and discovered that e-enabling the business could save as much as 50 percent, I became an instant believer. Anyone still sitting on the fence ought to read this book."

­­Phil Condit

Chairman and CEO

The Boeing Company

"Mohan Sawhney has provided inspiration to me and my colleagues. This book is written for real managers in real business."

­­Jack M. Greenberg

Chairman and CEO

McDonald's Corporation

"Sawhney and Zabin present an excellent, customer-focused framework for guiding every company's inevitable foray into the world of e-business. The book could become the premier strategic guidebook for planning and managing e-business initiatives within traditional companies."

­­Patrick G. Ryan

Chairman and CEO

Aon Corporation

"Mohan Sawhney has emerged as a true e-business visionary. He and Jeff Zabin have written a must-have book for anyone intent on winning in the changing business environment.... It's clear, comprehensive, and compelling."

­­Paula Sneed

Group Vice President and President of E-Commerce and Marketing Services

Kraft Foods

"Sawhney and Zabin illuminate the pathway with the bright and steady light of a customer-centered business model, rather than the flash of the tech revolution."

­­Michael A. Volkema

Chairman, President, and CEO

Herman Miller, Inc.

"After reading The Seven Steps to Nirvana, I now know this is much more than an eBusiness book­­it is an innovative blueprint for all managers confronting the new challenges of the Internet economy from the reality of their existing company."

­­James J. O'Connor

Retired Chairman and CEO

Unicom Corporation

"Using rich metaphors and an engaging style, this book gives wise counsel to established companies on thinking strategically about e-business. The authors shatter many popular misconceptions and myths about e-business, and show how to place customers at the front and center of your e-business strategy."

­­Earnest W. Davenport, Jr.

Chairman and CEO

Eastman Chemical Company

"Seven Steps is at once deeply insightful and immensely practical. It beautifully illustrates, with many real-life examples and lasting images, how to seamlessly blend the 'hard' business issues with the 'soft' people and leadership issues. The wisdom in this book hit me like a ton of clicks!"

­­Deepak Sethi

Vice President, Executive & Leadership Development

The Thomson Corporation

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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