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Unstoppable: Finding Hidden Assets to Renew the Core and Fuel Profitable Growth

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Over the next decade, two out of every three companies will face the challenge of their corporate redefining their core business. Buffeted by global competition and facing an uncertain future, more and more executives will realize that they must make fundamental changes in their core even as they continue delivering the goods and services that keep them in business today.

Unstoppable shows these managers how to look deep within their organizations to find undervalued, unrecognized, or underutilized assets that can serve as new platforms for sustainable growth. Drawing on more than thirty interviews with CEOs from companies such as De Beers, American Express, and Samsung, it shows readers how to recognize when the core needs reinvention and how to deploy the "hidden assets" that can be the basis for tomorrow's growth.

Building on the author's previous books, Profit from the Core and Beyond the Core , this book shows how any company in crisis can transform itself to become truly unstoppable.

190 pages, Hardcover

First published April 2, 2007

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About the author

Chris Zook

30 books27 followers
Chris Zook is a business writer and partner at Bain & Company, leading its Global Strategy Practice.

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5 stars
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30 (47%)
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13 (20%)
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
178 reviews
May 30, 2017
I read 'Unstoppable' for work. I know that I'll apply some of Zook's frameworks as I look to assess capabilities and identify hidden assets within my own company. More importantly, however, Zook provides examples from many different companies who have identified hidden assets to redefine their core businesses and fuel profitable growth... which gives me hope!
Profile Image for Denis Vasilev.
632 reviews93 followers
December 1, 2017
Good book about corporate strategy change. From one of the Bain Company partners and head of Strategy.
Profile Image for Robert.
187 reviews67 followers
August 25, 2008
The title is explained by the fact that Zook and his associates chose to study most closely those companies “that beat the odds. We also analyzed patterns of failure and estimated the odds of success offered by various paths in various situations.” He goes on to observe that all of the success stories built their renewal on their “hidden assets” that had been previously been undervalued, unrecognized, and/or underutilized. “These assets were not central to the strategy of the past, but they held the key to the future. Furthermore, the older and more complex the company, the greater was the likelihood of finding promising hidden assets.” In other words, many companies already “hold most of the cards for “a winning hand” but do not realize it.

No company is forever “unstoppable” but most (if not all) companies can take full advantage of the information and counsel Zook provides in this book to find correct answers to all three of these questions achieve core renewal without “leaps to distant and hot new markets, …being the first adopter of a pioneering new strategy,…[or making:] as ‘big bang’ acquisition.” In fact, unless a given organization has “beaten the odds” by sustaining profitable growth, it should first define or redefine its core assets and then grow or renew them, before committing any resources to organizational and/or territorial expansion.

Zook asserts that “the real focus of business should be external – on competitors, shifts in technology, and customer dynamics.” However, ironically, for many companies now searching for profitable growth, some “of their most challenging demons are internal” and their “most difficult foes” are often themselves. Unless they identify and then leverage the hidden assets they already have or to which they have easy access, they will either be out-of-business or acquired by another company within the next ten years.
Profile Image for Paulo Peres.
134 reviews16 followers
March 7, 2014
O livro em si é muito bom para gerar diversas discussões. Como em "O Poder dos Modelos Replicáveis", Zook tem uma linguagem as vezes muito "guru" outras muito claras e diretas. Essa variação é boa e ruim para o entendimento geral do livro. No entanto, acho que ele levanta discussões muito boas sobre modelos de negócios, lucratividade e sobre olhar o negócio por outra ótica. Recomendo como complemento a outros livros sobre estratégia. Ele é um bom embasamento de reflexão e análise do negócio para discussões em reuniões.
Profile Image for Stephen.
665 reviews56 followers
July 24, 2011

Third book in a series dealing with the core business and how to focus an leverage for profitable growth.

Best quote, "If you do not know yourself, it is difficult to judge what you should become. If you do not know where you are, it is difficult to decide where to go and how. If you do not know what you are really good at, it is tough to know what to do" (pp. 165-165).
Profile Image for James.
205 reviews
August 10, 2014
Biz books in general do not intrigue me, so it is not surprising that this took some effort to get through. The idea of constantly evaluating the "core" and assessing your position is valuable, and that is the biggest lesson learned from this. The case studies were not altogether remarkable, but they did add to his point.
4 reviews1 follower
July 9, 2009
This is the third book by the auther, completing his analysis of what it takes a business to keep achieving above-average growth and above-WACC profitability year after year after year. Excellent framework, a lot of good hints for business portfolio management.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews

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