Book Review

New Book, New Rules

Source | LinkedIn : By Geoffrey Moore

Why do start-ups routinely outperform incumbents when it comes to catching the next wave in disrupted markets? Because they are not conflicted!

So what would happen if the established leaders could sort out their internal (and external) conflicts? What if they could organize in a way that let them leverage their size and use it to their advantage? What if an aging gorilla could become Godzilla?

That is the outcome Zone to Win seeks to enable—to help established enterprises organize to compete in an age of disruption. Its key principles include the following:

  • The resource allocation conflicts that paralyze established enterprises derive from competing ROI time horizons. To resolve them companies must organize into zones defined by which horizon is being targeted.


  • Three of the four required zones are typically already in place and function reasonably well—although they could do better. These are the Performance Zone, the Productivity Zone, and the Incubation Zone.


  • The fourth zone by contrast, the one that enables an established enterprise to onboard a disruptive business model and scale it to material size, is typically neither organized nor funded to succeed. This is the Transformation Zone, and it requires a very specific set of disciplines if its transformational goals are to be achieved.


  • Transformational initiatives put enormous pressure on each of the other three zones, so in fact the entire enterprise must reorganize and reprioritize across all four zones in order to succeed.


  • Finally, such transformations can be entered into voluntarily in an effort to catch the next wave ahead of the competition—what we call playing Zone Offense, the case study for which is—or reactively in an effort to keep the next wave from catching you—what we call playing Zone Defense, for which the case study is Microsoft.

Zone to Win overall is a playbook. It is highly prescriptive and pulls no punches. Its BHAG is indeed big, hairy, and audacious—namely, to reengineer conventional management principles to compete successfully in an age of disruption. If this is something you would like to learn more about, please click here.

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