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The Self-Destructive Habits of Good Companies ...And How to Break Them
Jagdish N. Sheth

Retail Price: $29.99
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Format: Paperback, 304pp.
ISBN: 9780136117414
Publisher: Wharton School Publishing
Pub. Date: May 6 2007

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Why Even Great Companies Fail: Diagnose the Symptoms and Cure Them!
  • Conquer–or prevent–the seven disastrous “addictions” that can destroy your company
  • Overcome corporate denial, arrogance, complacency, “competency dependence,” turf wars, and more
  • For every executive, strategist, entrepreneur, and manager who wants to sustain success
GM. Ford. AT&T. Sears. Firestone. Krispy Kreme. Digital. Kodak. Once, they were riding high, the exemplars of business excellence. Then, disaster. Is your company headed for the same fate? How do you know? How do you change course? Find out. Shine a light on the dark places in your business. Uncover your self-destructive habits before they destroy you. The blinders, culture confl icts, and corporate denial. The competitive myopia. The focus on volume, not profits. Root them out–all of them. Then, instill the good habits your business needs: the habits of sustainable profitability and market leadership. This book shows you how–in detail, from start to finish.

Why do so many good companies engage in self-destructive behavior? This book identifies seven dangerous habits even well-run companies fall victim to—and helps you diagnose and break these habits before they destroy you. Through case studies from some of yesterday’s most widely praised corporate icons, you’ll learn how companies slip into “addiction” and slide off the rails...why some never turn around...and how others achieve powerful turnarounds, moving on to unprecedented levels of success. You’ll learn how an obsession with volume leads inexorably to rising costs and falling margins...how companies fall victim to denial, myth, ritual, and orthodoxy... how they start wasting vital energy on culture confl ict and turf wars...how they blind themselves to emerging competition...how they become arrogant, complacent, and far too dependent on their traditional competences. Most important, you’ll find specific, detailed techniques for “curing”—or, better yet, preventing—every one of these self-destructive habits.
  • The “cocoon” of denial
    Find it, admit it, assess it, and escape it
  • The stigma of arrogance
    Escape this fault that “breeds in a dark,closed room”
  • The virus of complacency
    Six warning signs and five solutions
  • The curse of incumbency
    Stop your core competencies from blinding you to new opportunities
  • The threat of myopia
    Widen your view of your competitors—and the dangers they pose
  • The obsession of volume
    Get beyond “rising volumes and shrinking margins”
  • The territorial impulse
    Break down the silos, factions, fiefdoms, and ivory towers

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About the Author

Dr. Jag Sheth is the Charles H. Kellstadt Chair of Marketing in the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. Dr. Sheth is a renowned scholar and world authority in the field of marketing. His insights on global competition, strategic thinking, and customer relationship management are considered revolutionary. Professor Sheth has published more than 200 books and research papers in different areas of marketing and business strategy, many of which are considered classic references. His timely advice promises to aid business leaders looking to develop immediate and long-term strategies for improving their competitive position.

Table of Contents
1Why Do Good Companies Go Bad?
2Denial: The Cocoon of Myth, Ritual, and Orthodoxy
3Arrogance: Pride before the Fall
4Complacency: Success Breeds Failure
5Competency Dependence: The Curse of Incumbency
6Competitive Myopia: A Nearsighted View of Competition
7Volume Obsession: Rising Costs and Falling Margins
8The Territorial Impulse: Culture Conflicts and Turf Wars
9The Best Cure is No Cure at All

Customer Reviews
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Bunnie trails and short on how to's January 3, 2010
Reviewer: Edward Hayes from United States
This book was interesting with some anecdotes on companies such as the founding of Avon, the history of its name, and how demographics led it to venture overseas. There is a very interesting piece on how Enterprise snuck up on Avis and Hertz while these two long-time rivals just focused on each other. The author described this as "competitive myopia".

Beyond the interesting anecdotes, I found that the author went down some related yet distracting trails such as US corporate tax history and asset accounting. Though fascinating, I did not find that these side trail discussions were very helpful. Rather, I had a difficult time correlating the companies covered and how they correlated to the destructive habit the author was describing.

Finally, I felt as if the author did not spend enough time on instructing how to break these habits.

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