Bookshelf: Outsmart! How To Do What Your Competitors Can't

March 7, 2008
By Jim Champy, FT Press, 2008, 208 pages, $22.99

"There's not much new in management, but there is a lot new in business," says Jim Champy. In this book, he reveals surprising, counterintuitive lessons companies that have achieved super-high growth for at least three straight years. Champy, chairman of Perot System's consulting practice, draws on the strategies of some of today's best "high velocity" companies.

The emphasis is not limited to optimizing manufacturing processes. He identifies powerful new ways to compete in new business models over and over again. The focus is on finding sustainable advantages in products, services, and achieving surprising delivery methods while connecting to unexpected customers with unexpected needs. Champy looks to identifying "bubbles worth bursting" and thinking outside the bubble, not the box. His case studies document tapping others' successes and illustrate how to win by simplifying complexity. Chapters typically conclude with questions that can help introspective readers to outsmart the competition yet again.

For example:
  • Have you invested enough in the service component of your work? Are you too dependent on technology to self-fix customer problems?
  • Would your customers and company benefit from collaboration with other companies, even competitors?
  • Do you know he source of your distinctiveness? What do you really do well? What business processes must you continue to directly control?
  • Thinking ahead, what will you do when growth of the host product slows down? Can your product be modified for other uses? Or can you branch out to related products or services that you can sell without piggybacking on anything else?
  • Is your technology enabling you to improve your business processes?

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