Playing To Win: How Strategy Really Works

Playing To Win: How Strategy Really Works


TítuloPlaying to Win: How Strategy Really Works
Autor: A.G. Lafley, Roger L. Martin
Edição: Fevereiro, 2013
Páginas: 272
Editor: Harvard Business Review Press (EUA)

"This is the best book on strategy I have ever read. Lafley and Martin get to the heart of what’s important: how to make choices in order to control events rather than allowing events to control your choices. Everyone wants to win; this book sets down with calm authority the steps you must take to turn aspiration into reality.” - Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO, Tesco

"Lafley and Martin teach us how to develop and then how to deploy strategy. Their recommendations apply at every level—corporation, business units, products, and teams. This is a great book.” - Clayton M. Christensen, Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School; author, The Innovator’s Dilemma

"Playing to Win is a rare combination of depth of thinking and ease of use. It clearly explains what business strategy is and isn’t, and how to develop it. Lafley and Martin distill their hard-won experiences and offer insights, practical hands-on tools, and tips that will inspire and allow you to think strategically in new ways about your own business.” - Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO, Lego Group

"A great CEO and a renowned educator join forces to create a must-read for anyone thinking about strategy.” - Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO, General Electric


Are you just playing—or playing to win? Strategy is not complex. But it is hard. It’s hard because it forces people and organizations to make specific choices about their future—something that doesn’t happen in most companies.

Now two of today’s best-known business thinkers get to the heart of strategy—explaining what it’s for, how to think about it, why you need it, and how to get it done. And they use one of the most successful corporate turnarounds of the past century, which they achieved together, to prove their point.

A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter & Gamble, in close partnership with strategic adviser Roger Martin, doubled P&G’s sales, quadrupled its profits, and increased its market value by more than $100 billion in just ten years. Now, drawn from their years of experience at P&G and the Rotman School of Management, where Martin is dean, this book shows how leaders in organizations of all sizes can guide everyday actions with larger strategic goals built around the clear, essential elements that determine business success—where to play and how to win.

The result is a playbook for winning. Lafley and Martin have created a set of five essential strategic choices that, when addressed in an integrated way, will move you ahead of your competitors. They are:
  • What is our winning aspiration?
  • Where will we play?
  • How will we win?
  • What capabilities must we have in place to win?
  • What management systems are required to support our choices?
The stories of how P&G repeatedly won by applying this method to iconic brands such as Olay, Bounty, Gillette, Swiffer, and Febreze clearly illustrate how deciding on a strategic approach—and then making the right choices to support it—makes the difference between just playing the game and actually winning.

Sobre os autores

AGLafleyA.G. Lafley is the former Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Procter & Gamble. Under Lafley’s leadership, P&G’s sales doubled, its profits quadrupled, its market value increased by more than $100 billion, and its portfolio of billion-dollar brands—like Tide, Pampers, Olay, and Gillette—grew from 10 to 24 as a result of his focus on winning strategic choices, consumer-driven innovation, and reliable, sustainable growth. Today, Lafley consults on business and innovation strategy, advises on CEO succession and executive leadership development, and coaches experienced, new, and potential CEOs. 

Roger MartinRoger Martin is Dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and an adviser to CEOs on strategy, design, innovation, and integrative thinking. In 2011, Roger was named by Thinkers50 as the sixth top management thinker in the world. This is his eighth book; he also contributes regularly to Harvard Business Review, the Financial Times, and the Washington Post, among others. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB in economics from Harvard College.

Excerto da entrevista a Roger Martin pela Forbes

In strategy find it complicated, largely unpleasant and pretty unproductive.  So we decided to write a book to show that strategy can and should be simple, fun and effective. It is written for anybody who needs to decide where to play and how to win.  That really means pretty much anybody running any part of an organization – whether for-profit or not for profit.  It most obviously applies to a CEO. But anybody running a business unit, a brand or a function needs to think about strategy in a similar fashion. We would go so far as to say that every individual who wants to be effective needs to ask themselves: ‘where should I play within the confines of my job, and how should I win – i.e. create maximum value – where I have chosen to focus my energies?’

FB: P&G has received well-deserved credit for pioneering the holistic understanding of the customer. What were the main impacts of this on P&G’s business?

RM: The biggest impact was a better balance between paying attention to the physical/functional attributes of the consumer experience and the emotional/psychological attributes. In an earlier era, P&G brands delivered wonderfully on the former and had more spotty performance on the latter. Moms want their diaper to absorb urine and keep it away from their baby’s skin.  But they also want to feel a sense of pride in the way their baby looks in its diaper.  They won’t give up the former to get the latter.  But if you can give the mom both, you will have a more powerful brand.  That is what P&G gained from systematically gaining a more holistic understanding of the customer.

FB: How did the approach of drawing on external innovation emerge? How large a contribution has this made to P&G’s performance? What role will it play in the future?

RM: It was motivated by a great integrative thinker – AG Lafley.  He was not satisfied by the pace and level of innovation at P&G as of 2000 and wanted to get more innovation without spending more resources on R&D and commercialization.  The key to the breakthrough thinking was to recognize that the fundamental economics of invention and commercialization are entirely different. And the economics of commercialization dramatically favored P&G while those for invention did not.  So Connect + Develop was a way to dramatically increase the pipeline of inventions to put through P&G’s commercialization machine.

It has been very important to P&G’s performance.  There has been more and better innovation without an increase in the cost of innovation.  As for the future, it is quite likely that the Connect +Develop ecosystem has not nearly matured yet.  Systems like this take a while to grow.  So my suspicion is that it will be more important in the future than the past.

FB: What are the principal lessons from P&G’s experience that you see for other companies?

RM: There are lots of obvious lessons – deep consumer understanding; dedication to intensive brand building; relentless investment in innovation; building of global scale – but I might focus on one that is not so obvious: the promote-from-within culture.  Most observers see it as self-obsessed and self-limiting – you limit yourself from bringing on board anybody senior from the outside.  After hanging around P&G for almost three decades, I have come to believe that there is real strength to promote-from-within. The attention to recruiting at the entry level and the subsequent development of those young professionals is profound – the best I have seen in 32 years in business.  It is not as though non-promote-from-within organizations can’t invest the same resources and energy into recruiting and development – it is just that they don’t seem to do so.  As a consequence, I pay more attention to promote-from-within as a philosophy than I used to.

Poderá ler a entrevista na íntegra aqui

Opinião do Portal da Liderança

Neste livro, Lafley e Martin apresentam-nos uma reflexão sobre a estratégia, a sua importância, o que ter em conta, como a criar, executar e quais os cuidados a ter. Estes dizem-nos que os líderes tendem a ter uma abordagem ineficiente à estratégia, confundindo estratégia com visão, vendo-a como um plano, acreditando que esta só poderá ter uma curta duração, ou que pode remeter apenas para pequenas melhorias no que já se faz e apenas continuar com as boas práticas que existem.

Segundo os autores, a estratégia não é mais que a resposta a cinco questões que se relacionam entre si, nomeadamente:
  1. Qual é a sua aspiração?
  2. Onde vai operar?
  3. Como é que vai atingi-la?
  4. Que recursos (materiais e humanos) necessita?
  5. Que sistemas de gestão são necessários?

Os autores desenvolvem cada uma destas questões e explicam a natureza das decisões que terão de ser tomadas. Estas são ainda acompanhadas por um conjunto de exemplos e conselhos sobre as melhores decisões a tomar em cada uma das realidades apresentadas. Muitos dos exemplos apresentados referem-se à P&G entre 2000 e 2009, altura em que a estratégia da empresa foi completamente reformulada com sucesso. Com esta conseguiu-se duplicar as vendas, quadruplicar os lucros e aumentar o preço de cerca de 80% dos produtos comercializados naquela década. Esta, segundo Lafley, como todas as estratégias, teve também a sua cota de falhanços e espectativas goradas. Como nos diz, “Nenhuma estratégia dura para sempre”. Segundo os autores, “as estratégias necessitam de ser constantemente melhoradas e atualizadas” e isto devido à “concorrência que copia as estratégias”, o que exige uma constante inovação. “Ganhar através de diferentes decisões é o eterno trabalho de todos os estrategas” mas se os líderes investirem continuamente na procura de novos mercados e novos produtos/serviços, terão garantidamente sucesso.

Este livro traz ainda a mais-valia de conter uma secção com o "fazer e a evitar” no final de cada capítulo, onde encontramos um resumo das principais informações veiculadas bem como, em alguns capítulos, as lições estratégicas veiculadas.

Trata-se de um livro com interesse para todos os líderes, sejam-no de pequenas ou grandes empresas, nacionais ou internacionais. Este orienta a definição da estratégia nas suas diferentes componentes, apresentando sempre muitos exemplos, e guia o líder nas tomadas de decisões para trilhar o caminho do sucesso. Como os autores referem no final do livro, “todas as estratégias comportam risco, mas seguindo um percurso de crescimento faseado e acompanhado por rápidas mudanças será sempre melhor do que não ter qualquer estratégia neste mundo de competição global. Os líderes lideram e um bom ponto para começar a fazê-lo é através do desenvolvimento de um a estratégia para a sua empresa”.