You've read the headlines: industry after industry (airlines, automakers, drug companies, high tech) battered by globalization, deregulation, and commoditization. The Darwinian struggle to deliver profitable products and services keeps getting more brutal as competitive advantage gaps get narrower and narrower. Anything you invent today will soon be copied by someone else - probably better or cheaper. Many companies thrive during the early stages of their life cycle, reveling in bursts of energy and advancement, only to fall slack during periods of inertia and die out while others surge ahead. But some notable companies have figured out how to deal with Darwin at every phase of their evolution - making changes on the fly while fending off challenges from every quarter. Dealing with Darwin will help you understand your company's role in its market ecosystem; where your competitive advantage came from in the past and how it will change in the future; what kinds of differentiation will be most rewarded in your current marketplace; and how to transform your internal dynamics to overcome the inertia that threatens every bold innovation.
Bestselling author Geoffrey Moore has consulted for dozens of major companies on this challenge of innovation versus inertia. But in the fall of 2002, he got an unprecedented offer from John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco Systems: unlimited access to Cisco's management processes, with permission to reveal exactly how Cisco continues to innovate relentlessly as a mature enterprise. This collaboration led to the case study that form