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Myth: Being above average is good enough.

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 04-05-2011 Print

Distinguishing an organization is intensely competitive and fast-paced, turning up the pressure on CIOs and other top managers to constantly innovate. In the book, Jumping the S-Curve: How to Beat the Growth Cycle, Get On Top, And Stay There (Available now/Harvard Business Review Press), authors Paul Nunes and Tim Breene present strategies to guide business and technology leaders toward a steady string of peak performances. The highlights presented here include lessons learned from Apple, Nike and Procter & Gamble. The term S-curve gained ground in the early 1960s at Stanford University, then took hold during the Dot.com era to describe the rollout of new Web-based technologies. For the purposes of their book, Nunes and Breene define the S-curve as the modern cycle of innovation in today's rapidly shifting market: Performance starts slowly as a business is launched and a company experiments to find the right formula. It then accelerates as word of appeal spreads, until it peaks and then fades with saturation. By then, companies already should be fully involved with introducing new innovation. Many of the book's product-based lessons learned are highly transferable to any CIO seeking to maximize high performance for internal or external customers. Nunes is executive director of research at Accenture's Institute for High Performance. Breene is CEO of Accenture Interactive.


Reality: Being above average in today's climate will fail to provide needed differentiation.


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