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Is your company an “incumbent” firm, stuck in the mud and going nowhere? Or is it a bold, visionary enterprise, able to see and exploit new business opportunities that incumbent firms miss or are too frightened to pursue? In his new book, business guru Jim Champy, co-author of Reengineering the Corporation, discusses how visionary “smart firms” seize the future while incumbent firms let it pass them by. Even while cautioning that surely some middle ground exists, getAbstract warmly recommends this book, and its fascinating case histories. You’ll want to read it if you are responsible for strategy and growth at your firm.


Carpe Diem! New business opportunities abound. Global markets are rapidly expanding. The Internet puts companies in touch with the whole world. For business leaders, the crucial step is being able to see the special opportunities that now exist and being able to exploit them quickly. Many companies are too insular to see anything fresh. Others are too hidebound to strike out in new directions. These are the “incumbents.” What about your firm? Is it an incumbent firm or a “smart firm” that jumps at opportunities? The following case studies demonstrate the types of fascinating business opportunities that await smart companies whose leaders are visionary and bold enough to seize the day.

“Seeing What Other’s Don’t”

In the past, music agents would do anything to avoid working with unproven musicians. The small fees they could earn representing the typical garage band or unknown singer were not worth it. The Internet firm Sonicbids changed all that. Its entrepreneurs saw something no one else did: Small club dates, weddings, proms, bar mitzvahs and similar engagements represent a $15 billion market in the aggregate. So Sonicbids found ...

About the Author

Jim Champy also wrote Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution. He helped create and popularize business process re-engineering and develops strategy for Perot Systems consulting practice.

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