Unlocking Opportunities for Growth: How to Profit from Uncertainty While Limiting Your Risk
- By Alexander B. van Putten, Ian C. MacMillan
- Published Jul 9, 2008 by Prentice Hall Professional.
- Copyright 2009
- Dimensions: 6x9
- Pages: 176
- Edition: 1st
- ISBN-10: 0-13-223790-3
- ISBN-13: 978-0-13-223790-1
- eBook (Watermarked)
- ISBN-10: 0-13-714928-X
- ISBN-13: 978-0-13-714928-5
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Product Author Bios
Alexander B. van Putten is an adjunct faculty member at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he has been teaching graduate students since 1993. He is actively involved with Wharton’s executive education programs where he lectures on issues surrounding innovation, corporate entrepreneurship, and strategic growth. He is a partner of Cameron & Associates LLC, which consults on strategy and business planning for clients ranging from Air Products & Chemicals, Shell Global Solutions to Seagate Technology, Novell, and Westcon. Prior to teaching at Wharton, van Putten was a general partner in equity and fixed income arbitrage and commercial mortgage securitization partnerships. He was also an SVP responsible for investments at Chrysler Capital Realty. Early in his career, he worked in the investment departments of Bankers Trust and Safeco Insurance Companies as well. van Putten has a BA in economics from Boston University, a MBA from the Wharton School, and is a DBA candidate at Edinburgh Business School. He has published articles in Harvard Business Review and Research-Technology Management.
Ian C. MacMillan is the academic director of the Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Programs at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is also the Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Management Department. Formerly he was director of the Entrepreneurship center at NYU and taught at Columbia and Northwestern Universities and the University of South Africa. In 1999 he was awarded the Swedish Foundation for Small Business Research prize for his contribution to research in the area of entrepreneurship. Prior to joining the academic world, MacMillan was a chemical engineer and gained experience in gold and uranium mines, chemical and explosives factories, oil refineries, soap and food manufacturers, and the South African Atomic Energy Board. He has been a director of several companies in the travel, import/export, and pharmaceutical industries and has extensive consulting experience, having worked with such companies as DuPont, General Electric, GTE, IBM, Citibank, Metropolitan Life, Chubb & Son, American Re-Insurance, Texas Instruments, KPMG, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Fluor Daniel, Matsushita (Japan), Olympus (Japan), and L.G. Group (Korea). MacMillan’s articles have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, The Sloan Management Review, The Journal of Business Venturing, Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Executive, Management Science and Strategic Management Journal, among others. His most recent book, Discovery-Driven Strategy, is published by Harvard Business School Press, and can be considered the sister book to this one.
“This book is a must for any Business Development Manager, Corporate Strategist, R&D Director, and anyone else who is accountable for growth in a corporation. It is an easy read that is practical and not fraught with useless academic theories.”
Ron Pierantozzi, Ph.D., CEO of PPT Research and Former Director, Business Development, Air Products & Chemicals, Inc.
A Breakthrough Approach to Investing in Business Innovation
Most companies analyze investments using tools that bias them against real innovation and lead them to avoid their best opportunities. This book introduces a breakthrough alternative: Opportunity Engineering.
Drawing upon recent advances in financial analysis, but without requiring a lot of math, the authors show how to engineer the risk out of uncertain opportunities so you can pursue more high-payoff innovations. You’ll learn how to escape from the “go/no-go vise” and implement more flexible decision-making that considers all the business alternatives, models, and opportunities associated with each project. You’ll learn how to systematically structure high-potential projects to limit downside exposure and boost your potential upside.
The authors show how to define the scope of investment opportunities, identify key drivers of potential profits, document assumptions, design out major risks, and tease out key challenges and vulnerabilities.
Using these techniques, you can escape the mindset that limits you to low-impact innovations and begin pursuing serious growth opportunities--and make business uncertainty work for you, not against you.
Why companies avoid their best opportunities for innovation
Getting past risk-averse analysis that snuffs out experimentation and innovation
Systematically engineering your opportunities
Capturing the upside, slicing out the downside
Beyond rigid “go/no-go” decisions
How flexible, staged innovation creates more opportunities for delivering value
Constructing an engineered growth portfolio of innovation investments
Optimizing your mix of core-enhancing investments and high potential “long shots”
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Framework to make CHANGE an Ally to a Business rather than a threat,
This review is from: Unlocking Opportunities for Growth: How to Profit from Uncertainty While Limiting Your Risk (Hardcover)This book is not merely the theoretic work of two well known Wharton professors, Alex Van Putten and Ian Mc Millian; it includes their insights of actually putting this framework into practice. Through a software program the team developed they have implemented this framework into a number of companies..
Currently, the vast majority decision makers view the landscape of opportunities in a very narrow band. This narrow focus is most likely caused by the current models used to value opportunities. The vast majority of them is based on a Net Present Value discipline that yields to a Go or No Go decision which inevitably leads to "Buy/Build and They Will Come" mentality.
Unlocking Opportunities for Growth gave me a whole new framework to think about evaluating my ideas and others that are presented to me. The authors actually lead the reader to start thinking about what is the value creation of each stage of development.
This innovative framework... Read more
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
High growth, low risk - it's all in the management approach,
This review is from: Unlocking Opportunities for Growth: How to Profit from Uncertainty While Limiting Your Risk (Hardcover)It's tragic, but true. All too often in the pursuit of growth opportunities, companies fail to use the right disciplines that make sense in the context of a project that's uncertain. In this book, Alex van Putten and Ian MacMillan take their readers step-by-step through a time-tested and proven approach to capture high upside potential while minimizing the downside risk.
While the book is based on very sophisticated ways of thinking about risk - including considering investments to create flexibility, real puts, real calls and planning without making excessively early commitments - it is approachable, accessible and extremely practical. This is one of those gems of a book that will cause you to think differently about risky, but high potential opportunities. If you are an entrepreneur, corporate new business development director, or even a CEO or Board member looking to give your company some concrete guidance for getting into new areas, this is the book for you... Read more
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Developing a new venture - practical help in these pages,
This review is from: Unlocking Opportunities for Growth: How to Profit from Uncertainty While Limiting Your Risk (Hardcover)I put off reading this book because I was so busy. But, finally, I bit the bullet and guess what. This book is so short and engagingly written that I had it read (cover-to-cover) in two hours. Admittedly, I was already familiar with the concepts of DDP, real options, marketbusting, etc. My job is new business development in a large corporation, and this is my tool-set. But this book is a little gem in how it simplifies, lays out, and gives examples of the soft and hard analyses you can do to enable to you work through an uncertain business proposition in a company that craves certainty. In the current difficult economic environment, innovation has taken a big hit. So for me, this was a shot in the arm, and a timely reminder of how to build a new business without arm-waving. A colleague recently asked me to help her build a case to wake up her business area to missed opportunities and I was planning to use a reverse income statement. But the new terminology in this book is so appealing... Read more
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Online Sample Chapter
Table of Contents
About the Authors xi
Chapter 1 Breaking the Go/No Go Vise Grip on Innovative Growth 1
Chapter 2 The Opportunity Engineering Process 9
Chapter 3 How to Engineer Opportunities: Stage I: DDP 21
Chapter 4 How to Engineer Opportunities: Stage II: CheckPointing 41
Chapter 5 Creating an Engineered Growth Portfolio 71
Chapter 6 Applying Opportunity Engineering Throughout Your Business 95
Chapter 7 Project Valuation Using EVS Software 123
Appendix A The Underpinnings of the EVS Software 143
Appendix B EVS Formulation 147
Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 1 and Index)
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