Massive change is hitting corporate America at a furious and escalating pace, writes Andrew Grove in Only the Paranoid Survive, and businesses that strive hard to keep abreast of the transition will be the only ones that prevail. And Grove should know. As chief executive of Intel, he wrestled with one of the business world's great challenges in 1994 when a flaw in his company's new cornerstone product -- the Pentium processor -- grew into a front-page controversy that seriously threatened its future.
From Publishers Weekly
Keep looking over your shoulder, cautions Grove, president and CEO of Intel Corporation, because the technology that keeps changing the way businesses are run and careers are forged is on the verge of making every person or company in the world either a co-worker or a competitor. And be warned that there's a pattern to the havoc that forces us to regroup whenever we think we have a grip on things. The pattern is based on a series of revolutionary milestones, inevitable and unpredictable, that Grove calls strategic inflection points. They change things. Every significant development from railroads to superstores to computers has been a point of strategic inflection. Businesses and individuals are never the same once these points zero in to alter the status quo. For Intel, a manufacturer of computer works, a strategic inflection point was the transition from memory chips to microprocessors, and a great deal of this book details the way Intel handled this change, including furor that erupted when a minor flaw was discovered in its Pentium processor. Perhaps the quality that lifts this above other business books is its applicability to individuals.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Grove is CEO at Intel, the world's largest producer of microprocessors; the shibboleth that is this book's title has become his trademark. Grove admits that he cannot remember when he first used the phrase, but it has served him well. Different from his High Output Management (1983), an earlier look at the basics of management, which was reissued and slightly revised last year, this new book looks at strategic planning and organizational change. Grove warns that for organizations to survive they must heed "strategic inflection points," which are "full-scale changes in the way business is conducted." He begins with a most personal illustration, his company's controversial handling of the discovery of a flaw in its Pentium processor, but also uses as examples the change in structure of the computer industry from vertical to horizontal and the still uncertain role of the Internet. Grove cautions that not all changes become strategic inflection points and provides guidelines for helping determine whether they will. David Rouse
"This terrific book is a dangerous book. It will make people think."
"This books is about one super-important concept. You must learn about Strategic Inflection Points, because sooner or later you are going to live through one."
About the Author
Andrew S. Grove emigrated to the United States from Hungary in 1956. He participated in the founding of Intel, and became its president in 1979 and chief executive officer in 1987. He was chosen as Time magazine's Man of the Year in 1997. In 1998, he stepped down as CEO of Intel, but continues as chairman of the board. Grove also teaches at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Under Andy Grove's leadership, Intel has become the world's largest chipmaker, the fifth-most-admired company in America, and the seventh-most-profitable company among the Fortune 500. You don't achieve rankings like these unless you have mastered a rare understanding of the art of business and an unusual way with its practice.
Few CEOs can claim this level of consistent record-breaking success. Grove attributes much of this success to the philosophy and strategy he reveals in Only the Paranoid Survive--a book that is unique in leadership annals for offering a bold new business measure, and for taking the reader deep inside the workings of a major corporation. Grove's contribution to business thinking concerns a new way of measuring the nightmare moment every leader dreads--the moment when massive change occurs and all bets are off. The success you had the day before is gone, destroyed by unforeseen changes that hit like a stage-six rapid. Grove calls such moments Strategic Inflection Points, and he has lived through several. When SlPs hit, all rules of business shift fast, furiously, and forever. SlPs can be set off by almost anything--megacompetition, an arcane change in regulations, or a seemingly modest change in technology.
Yet in the watchful leader's hand, SlPs can be an ace. Managed right, a company can turn a SIP into a positive force to win in the marketplace and emerge stronger than ever.
To achieve that level of mastery over change, you must know its properties inside and out. Grove addresses questions such as these: What are the stages of these tidal waves? What sources do you turn to in order to foresee dangers before trouble announces itself? When threats abound, how do you deal with your emotions, your calendar, your career--as well as with your most loyal managers and customers, who may cling to tradition?
No stranger to risk, Grove examines his own record of success and failure, including the drama of how he navigated the events of the Pentium flaw, which threatened Intel in a major way, and how he is dealing with the SIP brought on by the Internet. The work of a lifetime of reflection, Only the Paranoid Survive is a contemporary classic of leadership skills.
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