The Art of What Works: How Success Really Happens

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9780071412063: The Art of What Works: How Success Really Happens

A commonsense approach to creating effective new strategies from ones that are proven to work

From Napoleon through Jack Welch, great leaders have always "borrowed" great ideas from others. The Art of What Works cuts against the grain of today's one-size-fits-all strategic gurus to argue that there are no intrinsically good or bad strategies--just flexible strategies that work best in given situations. Welch's appropriation of Six Sigma from Motorola, and use of its best features to revitalize GE, is a recent example of this approach.

In this insightful and practical guide, leading strategist William Duggan lays the groundwork for building new strategic frameworks by observing what works--and what doesn't--in the real world. The Art of What Works shows business professionals how to:

  • Recognize and adopt great ideas and strategies
  • Modify strategically sound ideas to their own benefit
  • Decide on a course of action--then modify it when necessary

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From the Publisher:

How to Find Effective Solutions for Any Business Problem--By Recognizing and Building on the Successes of Others

"There is nothing new under the sun."

Though coined more than 2,000 years ago, this truism has straight-line relevance to today's business world. Because while every business situation you confront is unique, it is invariably made up of questions and elements that have been confronted--and solved--by others before you. The Art of What Works outlines a step-by-step program for understanding how and why others succeeded, and then drawing on their successes to help solve your own business problems. Outlining an approach that is exceedingly straightforward yet dramatically effective, this landmark book will help you:

* Systematically draw on the past successes of others to fuel innovations of your own
* Lead effectively by learning how to construct one, dramatic solution from several elements
* Overcome obstacles that prevent good ideas from taking shape, and rising to the top

What has worked in the past, more often than not, will work again in a new combination. The Art of What Works reveals how to transform this intuitive observation into a structured program designed to save time, energy, and money for both yourself and your organization, by giving you the freedom to recognize--and rely on--the simplicity of what works.

About the Author:

William Duggan, Ph.D. is a former strategy advisor for The Ford Foundation and is a visiting professor at Columbia Business School. A former economic consultant for the World Bank, USAID, and Winrock International, Duggan is a popular speaker on strategy.

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