A good start for finding your company’s way back to success

Companies increasingly need an adaptive corporate culture, along with acceptance and appreciation of experimentation, to have a competitive advantage, according to Linda Gorchels in her book Business Model Renewal: How to Grow and Prosper by Defying Best Practices and Reinventing Your Strategy. Competitive advantages are fleeting, and companies must continue to find new ones in order to experience success over an extended period of time.

The book goes on to provide detailed ideas for business environment analysis, finding and selecting appropriate growth strategies, developing scenarios to cater for multiple alternative future eventualities, use and cultivation of innovation, decision-making practices, leadership methods and techniques, dynamic execution of business strategies, and key features of corporate culture and organizational change.

Much of the material contained in the book reads like a compilation of key ideas from works by other business book authors, and in some parts I would have preferred a more detailed exploration of the issues particularly as they relate to business model renewal. Each chapter ends with a “guest lecturer” appearing by way of written interview, and while I can see that guest lecturers are helpful within a classroom context I felt that some of their contributions tended more to interrupt the flow of the book than to add significant value. There are numerous links to YouTube videos. Once again, I am sure that such videos improve the classroom lecturing experience, but they interrupt the flow of reading the book.

The author has chosen a topic which has considerable importance for most business leaders today. Business as usual is not working as well as it used to, and most businesses seem to be in a decline which cannot be blamed solely on the financial crisis. Permanent strategic change is needed, but it is hard to know where to find it. This book could provide a useful starting point for those seeking the elusive answer, given that it covers a wide field and contains extensive references.

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