Blog, Book Reviews, Books, Leadership, Organization


Jim Champy’s new book titled “Outsmart!: How to Do What Your Competitors Can’t” is an interesting book.  It’s short and easy to read…and full of some very interesting stories about building competitive advantage.

For those that don’t know, Jim Champy is the author of classics like “Reengineering the Corporation” and “Reengineering Management” and is the Chairman of Consulting at Perot Systems.

The book does do a good job of describing how eight ‘high velocity’ companies have used what Champy described as ‘surprising counterintuitive lessons’ to grow into industry leaders in a short amount of time.    The ‘surprising counterintuitive lessons’ are:

  • Compete by seeing what others don’t
  • Compete by thinking outside the bubble
  • Compete by using all you know
  • Compete by doing everything yourself
  • Compete by tapping the success of others
  • Compete by creating order out of chaos
  • Compete by simplifying complexity.

The book is split into chapters with each chapter covering a different lesson.  Each lesson is presented to the reader by describing an organization that used that lesson to become successful and why that lesson should be considered by other companies.  Each chapter closes with questions that you can ask yourself and/or your organization to see if you can tap into these lessons to grow and become more competitive.

For anyone looking for another “Good to Great” type of book with statistics and detail about why companies were chosen and how these companies were built, this isn’t the book.  This book doesn’t go into detail about why/how companies were chosen or what ‘high velocity’ really means, but it does a good job of describing how the organizations listed were able to find their ‘niche’ by utilizing one of the above lessons to build themselves into industry leaders.

If you’re looking for an easy to read book that provides a brief overview a select number of companies who’ve applied the above lessons and been successful, this book is a good buy for you.

For further reading check out Jim Champy’s guest post titled “Where are all the great companies?” on Lisa Haneberg’s Management Craft blog.

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About Eric D. Brown, D.Sc.

Eric D. Brown, D.Sc. is a data scientist, technology consultant and entrepreneur with an interest in using data and technology to solve problems. When not building cool things, Eric can be found outside with his camera(s) taking photographs of landscapes, nature and wildlife.
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15 years ago

You are right. Its really not about successful practices as much as it is about taking advantage of niches. I don’t know if you know but I just heard through his publisher that he is doing a webinar on the 25th. Should be interesting.