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Playing to Win

How Strategy Really Works
Narrated by: LJ Ganser
Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (78 ratings)

Non-member price: $26.29

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Publisher's Summary

This is A.G. Lafley’s guidebook. Shouldn’t it be yours as well?Winning CEO A.G. Lafley is now back at the helm of consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble. If you want to know the strategy he’ll use to restore P&G to its former dominance, read this book.

Playing to Win, a noted Wall Street Journal and Washington Post best seller, outlines the strategic approach Lafley, in close partnership with strategic adviser Roger Martin, used to double P&G’s sales, quadruple its profits, and increase its market value by more than $100 billion when Lafley was first CEO (he led the company from 2000 to 2009). The book shows leaders in any type of organization how to guide everyday actions with larger strategic goals built around the clear, essential elements that determine business successwhere to play and how to win.

Lafley and Martin have created a set of five essential strategic choices that, when addressed in an integrated way, will move you ahead of your competitors. They are: (1) What is our winning aspiration? (2) Where will we play? (3) How will we win? (4) What capabilities must we have in place to win? and (5) What management systems are required to support our choices? The result is a playbook for winning.

The stories of how P&G repeatedly won by applying this method to iconic brands such as Olay, Bounty, Gillette, Swiffer, and Febreze clearly illustrate how deciding on a strategic approachand then making the right choices to support itmakes the difference between just playing the game and actually winning.

Playing to Win outlines a proven method that has worked for some of today’s most celebrated brands and products. Let this book serve as your new guide to winning, as well.

©2013 A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Playing to Win

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Must have for anyone who wants to see strategy at work

This is a such a practical guide for anyone who wants to understand strategy. I chose this book because I do not consider myself a strategic thinker and now use many of the strategies and questions asked in the book. A valuable resource.

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Great tool

A really good insight into developing a strategy and a great tool in the arsenal

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must read for any business wanting to win

this book is a must read for businesses of any size or market place. sage, concise advice from some of the best minds in business.

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Good audio book

Great for listening to in the car. Have bought a hard copy, not overly complicated.

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  • G. Roukas
  • 09-05-2016

Excellent and comprehensive book on strategy

I've been reading about strategy over the last 20 years from many authors and from many angles, but this is the first one that I think takes a really comprehensive view of strategy and the process of crafting one.

I noticed that some of the other reviews criticize the authors for focusing on P&G, but I think they're missing the point: P&G is a large and diverse organization, and illustrating how strategy works there covers a massive spectrum of businesses. Many will find that while strategic options don't look the same in their organization, the general lessons from P&G can be applied to just about any kind of business. And the authors do salt the text with examples from other industries where the nature of those industries create meaningful illustrations.

In all, I think this is an an extensive and extremely worthwhile book. I recommend it highly!

15 people found this helpful

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  • lniles
  • 14-04-2015

The P&G Story

This book is all about the author's experience as CEO of Proctor & Gamble. It's a reasonably good exposition of a well-founded approach to strategy in that context, but there is virtually no discussion of how the approach might apply to other environments. In the end the book is a case study of the strategic decision-making process at P&G rather than a tutorial for a business leader.

17 people found this helpful

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  • rbn12
  • 12-07-2018

Okay for strategy

Some of these things are straightforward. Although most of them seem short-termist, as is evident today. This is a good book to understand P&G businesses. There are probably better strategy books.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-05-2017

"This is how awesome we were at P&G"

Any additional comments?

The themes in the book are solid themes but the "key takeaways" were very generic..."so, we applied dedication and resources...". The book glosses over significant components of managing priorities in an organization. Resources constraints, cost benefit trade-offs, prioritization, cross-functional complexities, for example. Would've done well to include more related and detailed examples

5 people found this helpful

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  • M. Murphy
  • 04-02-2020

Great advice if you’re the size of P&G

Maybe I lacked imagination when I went through this one but I just could not find any relevant information to the business I’m currently in. That’s unusual even a story or lessons learned from another industry can spark new ideas for something that could be implemented in the market I play. But this one, nope. In fact there so was much talk of leveraging P&E size and abilities I wonder if it could be useful to small players in similar markets. Dud.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Savina hawkins
  • 05-03-2020

Best book on strategy

This is one of the best books on strategy out there. Along with Clayton christensen’s books (competing against luck), having read this will open your eyes to what a good strategy looks like, what a bad one looks like, and provides a concrete path to finding a good strategy.

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  • Andrew Bird
  • 28-02-2020

Very insightful & practical

Roger Martin is one to the most practical strategy consultants I’ve read in the industry

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 27-01-2020

good

loved it, I will read it more than once to grasp the insights. I would recommend people to read it especially leaders and entrepreneurs in any field

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  • Carlo M.
  • 22-01-2020

Great Strategy Framework

A real world strategy management framework... amazing job by the authors! Thanks so much for putting this together.

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  • Emerson White
  • 21-10-2019

The word “massteige” should have appeared at most once

There is about two hours of really good material in this 8 hour audiobook. I understand that the author has a long history at P&G but many of the stories seemed less like valuable business parables and more like P&G as copy. The book was also highly repetitive.

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  • Temi Mogaji
  • 09-01-2018

Out dated but good

Some outdated frameworks like segmenting but very good knowledge you have to have. Overall good.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ilse
  • 20-01-2020

Weak story, don’t bother unless NO knowledge about business

No new examples, stories are not very interesting and only interesting when you have no knowledge of business to begin with. The examples are not useful for real life as (and the book does state this) every situation is different and there is no set rule on what to apply “to win”. Again, can provide some ideas if you don’t have business knowledge to work from, but otherwise use your time for other works.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ras
  • 27-08-2019

cliches of brand management and strategy

Nothing interesting! It is very basic strategic marketing concepts that are chewed endlessly with examples from P&G. It is so boring that I could not finish.

1 person found this helpful

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  • JedHoll
  • 27-11-2017

P&G focused

Interesting book but PARTICULARLY focused on P&G and rarely strays off the company for long. While some lessons from multinationals can be applicable to different situations - some can’t

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  • multichannelblog
  • 15-12-2015

Very useful and enjoyable to listen to

Excellent book with some particularly interesting stories about P&G. learnt a lot and will probably listen to it again!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-02-2020

Actionable strategic framework

There were so many nuggets of wisdom in this book that I on purpose often wild rehear passages in a slower reading voice. Warm warm recommendations

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  • Jack Dickinson
  • 15-01-2020

Good listen - Bargain find in audible sale

Good FMCG knowledge for anyone in field with many real world examples to review Key takeaways around strategy & knowing your field to compete with a brand centric approach Bargain listen on the audible sale, may have been left a little wanting if paid full price as a little dry in places due to preformance

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  • Ramesh
  • 06-09-2019

A must read for Business leaders and CEOs.

I have greatly benefitted from listening to this book and would strongly recommend all business leaders to read and deploy the suggestions in this book in their own business.

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  • Tejal P.
  • 05-04-2019

Absolutely brilliant book.

Loved it! Highly recommended listen/read. tehre were so many parts that were light bulb moments. Clear and easy language and narration was very enegergetic.

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  • Ed_N
  • 19-03-2018

Biography of P&G

The book is pretty much a biography of P&G. Yes there are good golden nuggets, but more towards the end of the book and could have been done on 1/4 of the time. Even at 2x speed is a bit slow.