Beat the Odds

Retail Price: $17.95

Direct Price: $17.95

Avoid Corporate Death and Build a Resilient Enterprise
By Robert A. Rudzki
Softcover, 6×9, 240 pages
ISBN: 978-1-932159-68-4
February 2007

LEARN & EARN: Get 4.8 PDUs in the PMI skill area of Leadership Skills

This book is also available as an ebook

ISBN: 978-1-932159-68-4 Categories: , ,


Beat the Odds fills a crucial void in the current business literature. It clearly illustrates why great organizations slip from leader to follower to road-kill, and how organizations can Beat the Odds and avoid this fate. This is a concise must-read for senior executives, and for any manager interested in seeing his or her organization avoid corporate death and build for the future.

Over the past 10 years, there have been more than 600,000 business bankruptcies in the United States. Research findings confirm that the odds are very slim for any organization to survive more than a few decades. Many books that purport to offer secrets of business success only study companies that are currently successful. Other books provide pieces that don’t fit together to solve the puzzle in real-world practice.

Beat the Odds evolved from a study of a broad pool of companies across a wide spectrum of performance over an extended period of time. The book presents a tested and comprehensive nine-part framework for understanding, building and ensuring long-term organizational success through the ups and downs of business cycles, competitive cycles and management cycles. Supported by real case studies, each of the nine framework elements includes a clear description of the underlying principles pertaining to both successful and dysfunctional behaviors.

The assessment and diagnostic tools provided in this book are designed to give managers deep insights into their firm’s underlying challenges and for performing their own gap analysis of where they are now, versus where they should be. It also features the factual basis for corrective action and prescriptive steps for immediate deployment of this framework.

Key Features

  • Presents a tested and refined nine-part integrated and practical framework for understanding, building, and ensuring organizational success, regardless of changing economic, financial, regulatory and technology factors
  • Illustrates the validity, power, and value of the nine principles using numerous real examples, and shows the toxic effects of ignoring the principles
  • Features three “inside stories” (case studies) that illustrate how energized and aligned leadership teams can harness the framework to secure their organizations’ long-term success
  • Provides prescriptive steps for immediate deployment of this framework and its underlying principles
  • Includes mini-case studies for readers to gain practice using the diagnostic tools and to test their understanding of the framework before applying it to their own organization

About the author(s)

Robert A. Rudzki is a former senior corporate executive, who is now President of Greybeard Advisors LLC, a firm that assists enterprises improve their near-term financial performance and long-term business viability. He is also a director of a privacy and security software company, and is an Advisory Board member of several companies. Previously, Bob was Senior Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer at Bayer Corp., where he led a nationally recognized transformation effort. Prior to that, he was an executive of Bethlehem Steel Corp. In the course of his career, he has held various executive management positions, which included finance, accounting, procurement and logistics, business development and P&L responsibility. As a result of his career assignments, he has had the unique opportunity to interact with hundreds of executives and companies, and to study first-hand their efforts at achieving success or creating failure. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and management meetings, and is the co-author of the supply management best-seller Straight to the Bottom Line™.

Table of Contents

Part I: Understanding the Reasons Underlying Success or Failure 

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Why 9 Principles? (Aren’t There Enough Business Books Already?)

Part II: The Building Blocks of Success: Nine Principles for Organizational Fitness and Success

Chapter 3: Establish a Purpose
Chapter 4: Live and Defend Your Core Values
Chapter 5: Create the Future
Chapter 6: Articulate an Inspiring Vision – and Lead!
Chapter 7: Develop the Right Strategy, Business Model and Competencies
Chapter 8: Align and Energize the Organization 
Chapter 9: Measure Only What You Want to Achieve
Chapter 10: Decide! Act! Get on With It!
Chapter 11: When in Doubt, Apply Common Sense
Chapter 12: Implications for the Corporation and Individuals

Part III: Profiles of Success: Three That Are Beating the Odds

Chapter 13: Six Generations and Still Strumming: Martin Guitar 
Chapter 14: Starting Off on the Right Foot: LANXESS Corporation 
Chapter 15: Re-Tooling the Management Tool Kit: ITT Corporation

Part IV: Next Steps 

Chapter 16: The Path Forward to Ensuring Long-Term Organizational Health & Resilience
Chapter 17: Reader Exercises Illustrating the Nine Principles

Epilogue: Making a Difference Starts Here
Appendix A: Assessment and Diagnosis Templates
Appendix B: Quotable Quotes


Beat the Odds is the playbook every manager should read to be sure of winning beyond the next few quarters.”

Lee Iacocca

“Hurray ! A business book which will appeal not only to founders/entrepreneurs but anyone involved in building and managing a growing business. One of the most important points you should take away from Beat the Odds is the critical importance of creating fluid mechanisms and ideas that will shape the future of your organization. Unlike so many other management authors, Rudzki’s ideas are authentic.”

Anita Roddick, Founder, The Body Shop

Ground-breaking New White Paper!

A new study shows corporate leadership is failing to focus on the key factors necessary to remain sustainable over time. This report from Robert Rudzki, the author of Beat the Odds, is a wake-up call for today’s leaders.