Shift Ahead

How the Best Companies Stay Relevant in a Fast-Changing World

 Shift Ahead

Authors: Allen Adamson, Joel Steckel
Pub Date: November 2017
Print Edition: $27.95
Print ISBN: 9780814438336
Page Count: 272
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814438343

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When National Geographic was slammed with online competition and declining subscriptions, the magazine resisted adapting. In the end, it was taken over by Fox. Forbes Media, in contrast, swiftly reinvented its business model to focus on online platforms and new content creation strategies.

As the world began going paperless, Xerox made a last-minute effort to rebrand as a “solutions company.” It stumbled and was soon split into two enterprises. IBM, on the other hand, built on its legacy of change to successfully move from computer vendor into enterprise consulting.

In example after example, shifting markets, customers, competitors, and technology have left organizations struggling to stay relevant. While some become paralyzed, others make bold steps forward. Some bungle their change efforts, but others emerge stronger. What puts them on such different paths?

The authors of Shift Ahead interviewed more than 100 executives and experts who lived through change or analyzed the phenomenon, such as MTV and Nickelodeon creator Bob Pittman, Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, former Ogilvy & Mather chairman Shelly Lazarus, and Conservation International founder Peter Seligmann. They distill those experiences into a set of lessons applicable to any organization, from small startups to nonprofits to multinational corporations, including how to:

• Read the signs that it’s time to shift business strategy

• Overcome financial, cultural, and psychological barriers to change

• Get ready for change by financing the effort, adopting the right attitude, and communicating effectively

• Discover what customers really want

• Turn threats into new ways to extend a brand’s promise

• Lead an organization through a period of rapid change

• Stay aligned to your “True North”

• And more

Change is difficult. But when new technology can quickly dismantle traditional operations . . . when competitors can appear out of nowhere . . . when trends and tastes constantly fluctuate, organizations need to continually monitor developments and prepare to act. Packed with fascinating first-person accounts and detailed case studies, Shift Ahead explains how to recognize when it’s time to change direction and pull it off while bolstering the brand.

Allen Adamson is a branding expert, a Forbes.com columnist, and the author of three books, including BrandSimple and BrandDigital.

Joel Steckel is professor of marketing and vice dean of doctoral education at NYU Stern School of Business. Joel is an accomplished Little League coach as well as an author of three books and approximately 50 peer-reviewed articles.

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