Bain, the KGB of consulting companies and breeding ground for presidential hopefuls, announced the results of a 10 year study on business which essentially said companies wont be able to buy or create a solution to their impending doom. Needless to say it was a bit of a downer. The
study, book advertisement, announcement was a teaser for Chris Zook’s (a consultant with Cialis model looks) latest corporate page turner called Unstoppable: Finding Hidden Assets to Renew the Core and Fuel Profitable Growth. I havent read the book yet (hope its at the library) but the line below really jumped out at me:
The study reveals that by contrast, common paths that many companies pursue when their business gets in trouble – such as leaping to new hot markets, pursuing “big bang” transforming mergers, or launching broad-based innovation programs – solved the fundamental growth and survival issue only about 10% of the time.
So basically, “innovation” is not gonna save these firms, nor is trying to be more entrepreneurial and Web 2.0 savvy. According to Zook the only thing thats gonna keep’em going is if they figure out how to sell more of the same old stuff to new people or new stuff to the same old people. As someone who works in what might be called an “innovation program” and an advocate on the transformative powers of an entrepreneurial approach, this isnt a message I want to have widely promoted. Thanks goodness the book is not on a best sellers list so its almost guaranteed that no one in the executive suites of corporate America will read it. Still gotta figure out how to get it off of 800-ceo-read. If you work in an innovation group and find yourself confronted by Zook reading managers refer them to any work by Jane Linder and send them this article as a good antidote.