Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works


By A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin (Harvard Business Press, February 2013).

Our selection:
A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter & Gamble, and Roger Martin, professor in strategy at the Rotman School of Management, ask: “Do you play simply for the sake of playing – or do you play to win?” The distinction is subtle but significant, because only strategists who play to win answer the right questions. Do we really want to win? What will be our playing field? How can we win? What skills will make the difference? What management system will support our decisions? This is an approach with proven worth: A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin were the men behind the revival of Procter & Gamble at the beginning of the 2000s. Using the method developed in Playing to Win, they succeeded in doubling P&G’s turnover, quadrupling its profits and increasing its financial value by more than $100 billion… all in the space of just ten years!

Why did we select this book?
We couldn’t overlook a strategy book co-written by the man who in 10 years made P&G the number one company in its sector of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), with sales over $83 billion. Given his wealth of operational experience, AG Lafley is not the kind of strategist who sits in his ivory tower refusing to get his hands dirty. He’s a role model for all managers!

Watch the video
NASSCOM ILF 2013 : Day 2 – Playing to Win : How Strategy Really Works

Roger Martin discusses his latest book co-written with A.G. Lafley, Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works, at the 2013 NASSCOM India leadership forum.