Escape Velocity

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Tip Sheet – Book Review – Clarity Company

Escape Velocity, Moore

Freeing up the best people and adequate capital to support new ventures

In this book, author Moore shows how very successful companies can be so mired with past success that they struggle to get anything new on board, which, according to Moore, they have to.

If your company can’t reallocate new resources to capture new power, you may eventually face extinction.

Hierarchy of powers

Difficult and challenging periods are not a time to stand still. Moore suggests an all-embracing framework of a “hierarchy of powers”, through which your company can foster and build strength:

Category power
Company power
Market power
Offer power
Execution power

From the book, it is clear that we must focus our efforts intensively on power, more so than on performance. The key priority, according to Moore, should be to escape the status quo and build a next-generation foundation.

Some time-tested notions

We see a number of parallels to growth models and growth frameworks such as BCG’s growth-share matrix (though originally intended in connection with resource allocation between strategic business units). Particularly familiar is the notion of building towards future growth and transitioning from existing products and services to the products and services that will replace them.

Balancing the core and diversification

Moore’s point of growth and diversification is a good one, though we think that a note of caution should be made. Yes, it makes sense to “reimagine your enterprise from the outside in” and “to temporarily let go of your inside-out perspective and ask the question what does the world really want from [you]”.

Remember, however, that a careful balance should be struck between a focus on your core business and venturing out into new domains. A strong core will often be the crucial precursor for successful expansion, as your company seeks to re-fortify its competitive advantage.

A toolkit

Finally, he presents a plan and tools for putting it all into action. He does so for both volume-operation vs service-oriented businesses with different tactics for each. This brings the toolset together and demonstrates that they should work in practice rather than in theory.

The book is written primarily from the perspective of industrial markets and business-to-business, and particularly the technology companies. Most examples are from these sectors, though we think the points Moore makes will be useful for most businesses. If you can live with this, and not be turned off by the predominant focus on B2B and hi-tech companies, you’ll most likely find this book relevant and useful.

Further inspiration?

At Clarity, we help businesses apply practical, sustainable improvements in strategy, business processes and strategic marketing.

If you’d like to know how we do this, and how we may be able to help you, let’s arrange a meeting without obligation.

  • Get an impartial view on your business matters.
  • Realise untapped potential, using Clarity as catalysts.
  • Professionalise the process: prevent it becoming a series of expanded staff meetings.
  • Decrease the learning curve, using Clarity’s dedicated strategic planning process.
  • Resolve conflict, bring out the best in your team, think outside the box.
  • Ensure cost efficiency: move the project along in a timely, effective manner.

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