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Hardcover Doing Both: How Cisco Captures Today's Profit and Drives Tomorrow's Growth Book

ISBN: 0137083645

ISBN13: 9780137083640

Doing Both: How Cisco Captures Today's Profit and Drives Tomorrow's Growth

Innovate for the future or optimize the present? Reach new markets or build existing ones? Don't choose. Don't settle. Do both. In Doing Both: Capturing Today's Profit and Driving Tomorrow's Growth ,... This description may be from another edition of this product.


Format: Hardcover

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Living Example of why "Both-And" wins over "Either-Or"

There is evidence showing up everywhere that the "both-and" theory is not only real, but far more powerful than the limiting "either-or" postulate. "Doing Both," by Inder Sidhu is not only strong evidence that it works, but a wider, broader scope for its use. We've seen parts of the both-and theory at work in business through co-opetition. However, simple collaboration habits often times do not include the factors that influence business success. Some people might think that today's collaborator would more likely be a new college graduate who works for a start-up technology company who uses a BlackBerry to increase personal productivity. But, there is more to it than that. Both-and is allowing product innovation and the balancing of many seemingly conflicting goals to be maintained within an organization. Profitability is enabled by balancing seemingly conflicting purposes, not by choosing one or the other. Inder Sidhu addresses multi-evolutionary product development agendas with a very elegant way of "Doing Both" things. Cisco has become a role model of sorts, where workers are empowered with personalized services, choice, and work-life balance in a human network to get their work done and make organizations thrive. The opening analogy on doing both form and function with the Golden Gate Bridge Bridge is very powerful as it became the symbol for Cisco. Hopefully their example will inspire you to influence your current environment with the expectation that cultural factors influencing collaboration will include role modeling by senior leaders, a formal collaboration process, tools, training and rewards that will work for you. "Doing Both" provides insight that will help ease the transition from the old management style to this new more profitable one. This book earns 5 stars because it is inspiring, insightful, and most importantly, practical. It is very well written and is fluid as well as engaging. It very proactively makes the both-and theory come across as quite believable and doable. This book represents some fresh thinking to current business challenges. Definitely worthwhile spending some serious focus time on. Let me also tell you about another new business challenge that I believe would be just as important spending some good focus time is proactive managing your online reputation. In addition to "Doing Both" I would highly recommend getting Wild West 2.0: How to Protect and Restore Your Reputation on the Untamed Social Frontier. Even though Cisco is a great company, it still has customer problems ... and you will to. It is inevitable that you will get some bad product reviews, or even worse, revengeful customers who will try to ruin your company's online reputation. Wild West 2.0 tells you exactly where to look for reputation problems and then how to repair them. Internet Reputation Management should not be delegated to your webmaster. From my experience it is now a critical management and marketing issue that co

An insightful read on Cisco's strategy for success despite today's market

A lot of information and interesting strategy is packed into this tiny and exceptionally written book. The author credits Cisco's growth with the strategy of pursuing "opposing options." After a few pages, it becomes clear that companies can achieve by embracing opportunity, not limiting themselves to "either or" (meaning one option over another), and not looking at opposing opportunities as a need to compromise with some sort of trade-off. Inder Sidhu artfully presents example after example of companies (including Cisco) and people who have taken what would be considered impossible situations and made them successful. For instance: 1) The Golden Gate Bridge worked because the engineers and architect focused on both form and function. 2) Google succeeds because it embraces both disruptive innovation (where big or good ideas are retained) and maintains sustaining innovation (where they continue to improve on the status quo). Two of the many reasons Cisco is succeeding is because Cisco embraces disruptive AND sustaining innovation. 1) One way they pursue disruptive innovation is to employ external venturing (also called spin-ins) whereby they acquire an early interest in a company in return for special consideration. The purchase price of the spin-in is tied to performance milestones so the risk associated with this type of acquisition is reduced. 2) Cisco built a service business in conjunction with partners that fostered a transparency with their customers (customers saw partners as Cisco). It made it lucrative for their partners unlike what was customary and this resulted in predictable and sustainable business revenue for Cisco. Although this book is a quick read, the strategies discussed are complex to employ. Despite this, I believe companies, executives, and entrepreneurs interested in succeeding in a volatile and global market would benefit from the knowledge outlined in this text.

Business wisdom not to be missed

This book hones in on the point that optimal business decisions are not necessarily trade-offs between two choices but usually involve doing both. Written in an engaging, easy-to-read, story-telling style, the book offers numerous examples of how Cisco has been "doing both" to enable its success from multiple angles: technology innovation, market segmentation, supply chain management, organizational design, and more. Inder Sidhu's examples from his personal life are moving and help to make the book quite inspirational. A joy to read.

Interesting and inspiring

Inder begins with sharing how Cisco's TelePresence video conferencing technology has enabled him to see, hear and almost feel his mother's presence who is 8,000 miles away back home in India. The intro is touching and a friendly reminder of how technology has changed our lives in many ways and most importantly how we stay in touch and always connected. Inder takes you through the various steps that Cisco has taken to grow to a $40 billion dollar company with over 60,000 employees. Its an interesting read as Inder walks through the history and the strategic decisions made to remain competitive through innovation and bold moves. Inspired by the stories of the background of the leaders chosen, the difficult questions and challenges faced and their paths take to success. Doing Both is an interesting and inspiring read.

Insightful, Incisive and Relevant: A Must-Read

Brilliantly written, filled with lots of fascinating stories detailing the philosophy of "And" that has been at the core of Cisco's successes over the last couple of decades. Inder Sidhu is very concise, articulate and insightful in conveying the profound lessons that can be drawn from these stories. I especially liked the strong focus on, and actionable recommendations for, avoiding false compromises. Would definitely recommend this as an inspiring read for all current and budding business leaders, and really anyone looking to break away from business as usual.
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