Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mark Gottfredson

Mark Gottfredson, Senior Bain Partner, and author of 'Breakthrough Imperative'
February 17, 2009, 2.30 pm

1 comment:

Murali said...


Mark Gottfredson is a director of Bain & Company's office in Dallas, which he founded in 1990. Over the past 24 years, he has advised chief executives and top-level managers in a wide range of industries. Currently he is serving as the global head of Bain's Performance Improvement Practice. He is also a leader in the firm's business strategy, airline, manufacturing, and retailing practices.

In 2005, Mr. Gottfredson was named to Consulting Magazine's list of top 25 consultants globally. He has been published extensively in publications such as the Harvard Business Review, European Strategy and World Business Review. In addition, he is frequently quoted in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Business Week.

Mr. Gottfredson is fluent in Japanese and has extensive experience in Japan working with numerous companies.

He obtained his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1983, where he graduated with high distinction and was named a Baker Scholar. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University in Japanese (magna cum laude, honors). Prior to joining Bain, he worked in the financial services and real estate industries.
Book summary

Every general manager today?all the way up to the CEO?is expected by his or her stakeholders to achieve new breakthroughs in performance?and fast. Those who don't make visible progress toward that goal within the first year or two will likely find themselves looking for another job. It is precisely because of this growing breakthrough imperative that managers today, whether in corporations or nonprofits, need to get off to a fast start. They don't have time for mistakes or for going back and redoing what they should have done right in the first place. But, despite the intensity of these pressures, despite the high expectations and short time frames, a number of CEOs and general managers turn in truly exceptional results. How do they meet and exceed the breakthrough imperative? To answer this question, consultants and former managers Mark Gottfredson and Steve Schaubert interviewed more than forty CEOs from both industry and the nonprofit sector, conducted an intensive study of what successful managers do right?and what some do wrong?and drew on their own combined fifty-plus years of experience at Bain & Company, where their insights have consistently been found in the pages of the Harvard Business Review. Together they came up with the four straightforward principles?deceptively simple yet remarkably powerful?that everyone must follow to succeed at achieving breakthrough results:

1. Costs and prices always decline
2. Competitive position determines options
3. Customers and profit pools don't stand still
4. Simplicity gets results

Although seemingly simplistic, mastering these four laws means mastering the basics of great management?a foundation on which to build the rest of one's management strategy. Whether you're managing a small work group or a multinational corporation, a single division or an entire nonprofit, The Breakthrough Imperative presents these core laws of business to help you determine where you are, just how far you can go, and how to get there with stellar results.

Consider Morgan Crucible. When Warren Knowlton became CEO of the British company in January 2003, Morgan was in serious trouble. Sales had declined in each of the previous three years. Profits had vanished. And the stock price had dropped 90 per cent between 1997 and 2002. But Knowlton led a remarkably quick transformation of this venerable industrial enterprise. By mid-2006, Morgan’s continuing businesses had registered 5 to 6 per cent annual revenue growth for three years running. The share price, in the meantime had risen tenfold.

Leaders of fast turnarounds start by systematically determining the business’s current condition. That diagnosis, typically guided by the above four fundamental laws of business, enables them to gain a deep understanding of the point of departure. They next map out a realistic point of arrival, using the same four laws. Finally, they craft a few vital initiatives that will get them where they need to go

The approach outlined in Breakthrough Imperative is powerful because by performing the focused diagnostic, one can understand the gap between current performance and full potential and launch few critical initiatives to achieve the target performance profile. A company that has applied this approach might aim for objectives such as these:

* Improve relative cost position from 110% of best competitor to 90%

* Increase relative market share from 0.9 to 1.2: move share of high-profit segment A from 40% to 60%, with a retention increase of six percentage points

* Increase share of profit pool from 40% of $2billlion to 70% of $2.8 billion by expanding into a downstream service business in the most profitable profit segments

* Cut SKUs from 100,000 to 2,000: reduce organization layers in SG&A from five to three: outsource 20%of all G&A costs
Sheetal Talreja
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