Find Your Next – Book Review
Could the Business Genome ® approach help your company find it’s next competitive edge? The answer is yes, and Andrea Kates clearly lays out the reasons why in Find Your Next (McGraw Hill, 2011). Her thesis is simple: traditional management, product development and marketing require radical change.
Follow her four-step blueprint to uncover your business’s DNA, evolve your strategy and build your future:
- Sort through your options and assess hunches
- Match your genome to other successful business models
- Hybridize your company by grafting new ideas with proven successes
- Adapt and thrive by breaking old habits and starting new trends
Kates’ reveals how our imagination, optimism and desire to connect are three very powerful levers for business success. It’s a totally new concept and helps us prepare for the unpredictable, socially connected consumer.
The book is divided into three sections, with a lot of informative sidebars. Read the chapter text first, and then go back to the call out boxes. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to follow along.
Part 1 details the Business Genome approach. When you uncover these patterns, you create a fresh lens to look at business. Winning businesses consist of components of great ideas that can be melded together to create and launch new business opportunities. I love that finding your “secret sauce” is part of this process — but is your brand still relevant? Part 2 lists and explains the Business Genome elements: product and service innovation, customer impact, talent / leadership / culture, process design, secret sauce and trendability. Finally, the case studies in Part 3 really tie all the elements of the book together with real world examples, including P.F. Chang’s, GE’s Ecomagination and GM’s OnStar.
If you’re a business owner, member of your executive team or an aspiring entrepreneur, then read Find Your Next . You’ll learn to recognize the new realities, shift your focus to new questions, tap into evolving patterns and guide your organization toward opportunities for competitive advantage and distinction. Or simply, as Kates’ asks in the Conclusion, “Which emerging forces should we be tracking right now to lead our companies toward a thriving future?”
Brian–you added valuable insights to the concepts in Find Your Next. The goal of the book is to make it easy for everyone to apply this new approach and your summary painted a perfect picture of the practical application of cross-industry thinking. Thank you for such a thoughtful review.