Playing to Win
How Strategy Really Works
A champion of innovation, cross-disciplinary study, and learning-by-doing, Roger Martin is one of the most respected business minds in the world today. A highly regarded author (his newest is Getting Beyond Better) and director of the Rotman School’s Martin Prosperity Institute, Martin is changing the face of business—and business education.
“Instead of focusing on what exceptional leaders do,” Roger Martin says, “we need to understand and emulate how they think.” And, if you study them closely, many of today’s exceptional leaders—from A.G. Lafley of Procter and Gamble to Meg Whitman of eBay—practice Martin’s form of Integrative Thinking; a big picture approach which takes into account the fact that, at top levels of management, problems rarely fall neatly into segregated categories. He’s also an advocate of Design Thinking—a concept that balances analytical thought processes with intuitive thinking. With Martin’s expert guidance, these two schools of thought can be successfully learned and implemented.
“What may be the first book to document the practices of social entrepreneurs. You couldn't ask for better guides.”— Financial Post on Getting Beyond Better
In his newest book, Getting Beyond Better: How Social Entrepreneurship Works, Martin examines the role that social entrepreneurs play in driving societal transformation. He explores their propensity to target existing systems that are stable, yet unjust, and disrupt and transform them using novel ways of thinking. In Playing to Win, Martin shows leaders in any type of organization how to guide everyday actions with larger strategic goals—a proven method that has worked for some of today’s most celebrated brands and products. Fixing the Game takes lessons from the National Football League and applied them to a critical issue facing American capitalism: that increasing shareholder value is the ultimate job of any company. The Design of Business shows how leading companies such as Procter & Gamble, Cirque du Soleil, RIM, and others use design thinking to produce breakthrough innovations. And, The Opposable Mind, a Globe and Mail Top Ten Business Book, focuses on what leaders think, rather than what they do.
“Managers everywhere should be grateful.”— Fortune Magazine on Playing to Win
Since Martin joined Rotman in 1998, the school has rocketed up worldwide MBA rankings, while never being surpassed. The late Peter Drucker said, “What the Rotman School is doing may be the most important thing happening in management education today.” Martin was named one of the Top Ten Business School Teachers in the World by Business Week.
Roger Martin is devoted to helping senior management teams improve the architecture of their strategy choices. They often find themselves struggling to determine what choices really need to be tackled to advance the cause of their organizations. And when they tackle whatever choices they think are important, they tend to struggle to make the choices, and even more, to see those choices convert to action. As a result, there is perceived to be a crisis of “implementation” in organizations. Martin sees the problem as one of how strategic choices are made. In this talk, he shares his process of Strategic Choice Structuring, designed to help management teams focus on high-value choices, making inspired choices, and making them in a way that leads to productive action. It is a process used by major companies like Procter & Gamble and Dun & Bradstreet.
Martin also shares five essential strategic choices that will move your company ahead of your competitors: (1) What is our winning aspiration? (2) Where will we play? (3) How will we win? (4) What capabilities must we have in place to win? and (5) What management systems are required to support our choices? The result is a playbook for winning.