A debut book addresses specific fundamentals of achieving business relevancy.
“You must be relevant to make some money,” writes Copeland, who repeatedly makes the point by starting the Introduction, as well as every chapter, with this very same sentence. It’s a technique that is, well, relevant to the tenor of the book, which identifies fundamentals that business leaders must concentrate on to succeed. Dividing the book into such stimulating topics as mega trends, competitive advantage, ethical considerations, risk management, and interdependent leadership, the author describes each area thoroughly yet succinctly. The text is augmented by several pertinent case studies that illustrate the topics, though some of the subject companies, such as Apple, FedEx, Ikea, and Salesforce, have been frequently written about before. Every section is thought-provoking, but one of the more compelling areas (covered in two chapters) is innovation. Here, Copeland delves into the process, distinguishing between “incremental” and “radical” innovation. He discusses rapid execution innovation, clusters of innovation, and open innovation; he describes innovative organizations; he identifies both “innovator attributes” and “organizational attributes.” All of this is fascinating stuff. Another key subject area included in the well-crafted book is mobile technology, which Copeland calls “one of the most pervasive information technology trends in the past 20 years.” While some of this portion of the text borders on the too technical, the material, in particular the “mobile commerce landscape,” is generally of vital importance to any modern-day business. The detailed case analysis of how former cellular phone leader Nokia lost its prominence in the mobile market makes for intriguing, if sobering, reading. At times, Copeland’s writing style is a bit academic and dry, but this minor deficiency does not diminish the essential nature of the content. Conspicuously absent, however, are notes, reference sources, suggested reading, and an author’s biography.
Extremely well organized and written with a keen observational eye; makes a strong case for business leaders to increase their awareness of key strategic areas and hone skills that can make their companies significant and profitable.