Wide-Angle Vision: Beat Your Competition by Focusing on Fringe Competitors, Lost Customers, and Rogue Employees
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More About This Title Wide-Angle Vision: Beat Your Competition by Focusing on Fringe Competitors, Lost Customers, and Rogue Employees


Praise for Wide Angle Vision

"In this book, Wayne Burkan shows us that the vantage points from which we view and act can earn us critical advantages if we are willing to stretch our thoughts and practices beyond the edge of conventional thinking." - Robert W. Galvin Chairman of the Executive Committee and former CEO of Motorola

"Wayne Burkan's Wide-Angle Vision is a very pragmatic and useful guide to dealing with and implementing change. His concept of 'edge' as it relates to customers, employees, and competitors should help many organizations struggling with the rapidly changing marketplace and the endless panaceas being promoted." - David R. Stamper Vice President and General Manager, Hitachi Data Systems, Latin American Division

"At Southwest Airlines, we redefined air transportation by utilizing 'edge thinking.' Wayne Burkan is offering a 'flight plan' that if studied, understood, and followed, will improve your bottom line for the long term. If you really want to be on the 'leading edge' for your product or service, this is the place to begin." - Howard Putnam Speaker, author, and former CEO of Southwest Airlines

"Wayne Burkan has brought our attention to a great source of potential opportunities for profitable growth if we take his advice and really listen to those challenging customers, potential customers, small competitors, and unhappy employees whom we often want to dismiss as difficult." - D. H. Davis President and Chief Operating Officer, Rockwell International Corporation

"Strategically thought-provoking! It's just what busy leaders need to ensure they are focused on gaining a competitive edge. An easy-to-read wake up call for organizations and managers. Wayne Burkan challenges us to confront the perils of tunnel vision and the promise of a wider perspective. So simple, so clear, so right!" - Donald Himelfarb

President, Thrifty Rent-A-Car System, Inc.

Conventional business wisdom says to get close to your best customers, watch your biggest competitors, and reward your model employees. This controversial book offers a contrarian viewpoint and introduces a dynamic new way to compete-by broadening your focus beyond mainstream thinking to spot the critical opportunities at the edge of your core business. Wide-Angle Vision opens your eyes to the "edge," from "little guy" competitors preparing to take over the market to disgruntled customers and maverick employees whose complaints can lead to great ideas for change.

Listening to complaining employees pays off. That's where the idea for Java(r) , Sun Microsystems' successful Internet programming system, came from. With Wide-Angle Vision, now you can learn how to use "edge" groups to sharpen your competitiveness by reducing surprise, increasing innovation, and satisfying customers.

Filled with compelling examples from a range of industries and drawing on Wayne Burkan's extensive consulting experience with IBM, Ford, and others, Wide-Angle Vision equips you with specific action techniques that can enable you to:
* Anticipate crises before they occur by using "splatter vision," scenarios, and benchmarking
* Find breakthrough solutions to difficult problems by looking outside your field
* Create powerful, flexible teams that work-from "edge" teams to ideal teams
* Reduce resistance to organizational change through skillful timing, finding perfect change agents, and more
* Reengineer with lower risk and greater efficiency, using an effective seven-step plan for change
* Avoid tunnel vision by broadening your perspective-to the edges of what's happening in the mainstream

In today's rapidly changing marketplace, opportunities are all around you. Wide-Angle Vision gives you the power to look them in the eye and develop the daring skills you need to be a leading-and lasting-"edge" competitor.


Wayne Burkan is a professional trainer and speaker whose clients include Motorola, Ford, 3M, Tropicana, IBM, and the Brookings Institute. He gives seminars, workshops, and keynote speeches to 10,000 people each year, on topics such as change management, innovation, and leadership.


1 Diamonds Beneath Your Feet 1

A Force within Reach 3

Introducing the Edge 5

Forklifts Fall Flat 5

The Curse of Success 7

Protecting the Crown Jewels 8

Finding Your Achilles’ Heel 9

Help Comes Knocking 10

2 Why Those on Top don’t Stay There 14

Invisibility 16

Impossibility 17

Transferability 21

3 Disgruntled Customers 25

The Five Percent Winner’s Circles 25

The Nature of the Edge 27

Meet Your Customers on the Edge 28

Invisible Customers 29

Complaining Customers 32

Lost Customers 35

Listening to Your Edge Customers 37

Case Study: Customers on the Edge 40

Expanding Market Share through Disgruntled Customers 44

4 Fringe Competitors 48

Looking at the Wrong Competitors 49

Creating Your Competition 51

Competitors at the Gates 52

5 Rogue Employees 59

Case Study: Miles Apart from the Rest 60

Java – The One That Almost Got Away 62

Case Study: Dissidents within Professional Organizations 64

Case Study: The Wiz That Woz 66

Suppliers on the Edge 67

Knowing Who to Listen To 67

6 Avoiding Crisis, Reducing Surprise 71

The See, or Not to See . . . 72

The End of Forecasting 74

Selecting Your Target 76

Breaking the Pattern 76

Learning from the Future 77

Four Powerful Anticipation Skills 78

Searching the Future 80

Why Don’t You Hear about Anticipation? 87

7 What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You 90

Signals from the Future 90

Identifying People working on Your Hardest Problems 91

Evaluating the Rule Breakers 94

Recognizing Your Diminishing Return 101

Looking for the Bandwagon 103

Learning from the Language We Use 104

Tracking Historical Patterns 105

8 Creating Sizzling Teams 110

The Benefits of Brain Damage 110

Teams That Blast through Problems 111

How Do Edge Teams Differ? 116

The Disbelief of Teams 118

Your Working Team 119

9 The World at Your Fingertips 121

Virtual Reality at Work 122

Creating an Ideal Team 123

Investing in Change 128

Designing Your Own Ideal Team 130

Creative Solutions with Your Ideal Team 132

Uses for Your Ideal Team 135

10 working with Those on the Edge 138

Plugging Your Innovation Leak: Employees on the Edge 138

How to Attract the Edge 142

My Most Painful Lesson 143

Altering Patterns 145

Benign Neglect 147

Predicting Resistance to Change 148

Take Me to Your Leader 150

11 Truly Delighting Your Customer 152

Why Focus Groups and Survey Fail 154

Be Careful Where You Walk 155

Your Customers’ Customers 157

The Bleeding Edge 158

12 Breakthroughs for Your Toughest Problems 161

The Art of the Impossible 161

Knowl-edge for the Asking 162

Finding Your Savior on the Edge 164

The Consolation Prize 171

Simulating Saviors 173

13 Why Organizational Change Is So Hard 176

Beyond Leadership 177

Ford Follies 178

The Secret to Organizational Inertia 181

Training’s Fatal Flaw 182

The Limitation of Leadership 183

14 Change – Fast and Efficient 186

The Ford Solution 187

Top-Down or Bottom-Up Change 189

Government in Revolt 190

15 Beyond Reengineering 192

The Illusion of Reengineering 193

What Is Right with Reengineering? 194

What Is Wrong with Reengineering? 195

Blistering Fast Reengineering 200

A Powerful Alternative to Traditional Reengineering 200

The Seven Steps to Streamline Reengineering 201

16 Dealing with Your Ever-Present Detractors 207

“There Are a Lot of Crazy Ideas Out There” 207

“We Don’t Have Enough Resources or Time” 212

“Salespeople Should Not Take Their Eyes Off the Ball” 213

17 Leading on the Edge 215

Falling through the Cracks 215

Your Organization’s Business Theory 216

Disaster Plucked from the Jaws of Success 217

Planning: Back to the Future 218

How I Destroyed Two Companies 219

Planning on the Edge 225

Core Competency or Core Deficiency 227

Examining Business Theory 233

Executive Information Delivery 233

18 Surefire Ways to Reduce Resistance 236

Predicting Resistance 236

Time: The Double-Edged Sword 237

Becoming Superman 239

Proaction and Reaction 245

The Change Agent’s Fatal Flaw 247

The Perfect Change Agent 252

Breaking Down the Walls 253

The Insult of Change 258

Notes 262

Index 268