Doing Both: Capturing Today's Profit and Driving Tomorrow's Growth

Doing Both: Capturing Today's Profit and Driving Tomorrow's Growth

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by Inder Sidhu

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Innovate for the future or optimize the present? Reach new markets or build existing ones?


Don’t choose. Don’t settle. Do both.


 In Doing Both: Capturing Today’s Profit and Driving Tomorrow’s Growth, Cisco Senior Vice President Inder Sidhu shows you how. Over the past seven years,


Innovate for the future or optimize the present? Reach new markets or build existing ones?


Don’t choose. Don’t settle. Do both.


 In Doing Both: Capturing Today’s Profit and Driving Tomorrow’s Growth, Cisco Senior Vice President Inder Sidhu shows you how. Over the past seven years, Cisco’s Doing Both strategy has doubled revenue, tripled profits, and quadrupled earnings per share. This insider guide reveals how Cisco did it—and how you can, too.


Doing Both means approaching every decision as an opportunity to seize, not a sacrifice to endure. It means avoiding false choices, reduced expectations, and weak compromises. It means finding ways to make each option benefit and mutually reinforce the other.


Sidhu explains why “doing both” is today’s best growth strategy. Drawing on Cisco’s hard-won insights and the experiences of companies like Procter & Gamble, Whirlpool, and Harley-Davidson, he presents a complete blueprint for “doing both” in your company, through:


·    Sustaining and Disruptive Innovation

·    Existing and New Business Models

·    Optimization and Reinvention

·    Satisfied Customers and Gratified Partners

·    Established and Emerging Countries

·    Doing Things Right and Doing What Matters

·    Superstar Performers and Winning Teams


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Pearson Education
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What People are saying about this

Jeff Immelt
“Doing Both shows how Cisco turns business questions into market answers, offering real-life examples that will benefit forward-looking leaders.”--(Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE)
Dominic Barton
Doing Both brings together many powerful lessons behind the story of Cisco, a company with a long record of delivering consistent innovation and strong business results. I encourage senior executives to embrace the challenges presented in this thoughtful book. (Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Company)
Ratan Tata
“Companies are often confronted with false choices, such as disruptive or sustaining innovation and optimization or reinvention. This book draws on Cisco’s impressive track record over the last decade to illustrate that the correct strategy is always to do both.”--(Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Group)
Clayton Christensen
“I have a very short personal list of ‘most-admired companies,’ and Cisco is one of them. Its management team has figured out how to break many ‘either-or’ tradeoffs that limit most companies’ abilities to innovate and grow. This book is a lucid, cogent chronicle of how they do this. Your entire management team should read it.”--(Clayton Christensen, Robert & Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, and author, The Innovator’s Dilemma)
Sir Terry Leahy
“The best business books build around a single idea, often contrarian and counterintuitive. Everyone knows you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. One of the first things you learn at business school is that management is about making difficult choices. Well, not always. This book persuades the reader that in decision making ‘and’ is often better than ‘or.’ Well worth the read.”--(Sir Terry Leahy, CEO, Tesco)
Garth Saloner
Insightful recommendations from a key executive within Cisco, the game-changing leader in networking for the Internet. (Garth Saloner, Philip H. Knight Professor, and Dean, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University)

Meet the Author

Inder Sidhu is Senior Vice President of Strategy and Planning for Worldwide Operations at Cisco, the $40 billion worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. He is also a member of the company’s Operating Committee.


From 2006-2010, Inder co-led Cisco's Emerging Countries Council, which drives business success in fast-growing geographies like China, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, and the Middle East. From 2006-2009, he co-led the Enterprise Business Council, which is responsible for Cisco’s corporate business, representing about half of the company’s total revenue.


In 2010, Sidhu published Doing Both (FT Press). In this New York Times bestseller, he identifies common business dichotomies and explores how successful companies avoid difficult tradeoffs and instead achieve bigger outcomes by “doing both.” Using this framework, he offers a unique view of Cisco’s consistent record of innovation and high performance.


Since joining Cisco in 1995, Sidhu has held executive leadership positions in the Sales, Services, and Business Development groups. He has served as the Vice President and General Manager for Worldwide Professional Services, Vice President and General Manager for Advanced Engineering Services, and Vice President for Strategy and Business Development, Customer Advocacy.


Before joining Cisco, Sidhu was with McKinsey & Company, an international management consulting company. He has also worked at Intel and Novell.


Sidhu is a frequent guest lecturer at Harvard Business School, Stanford University, and the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Goodwill of Silicon Valley.


Sidhu holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi; a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and a master’s degree in business administration from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. He also is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

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Doing Both: How Cisco Captures Today's Profit and Drives Tomorrow's Growth 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
RTNguyen More than 1 year ago
This book demonstrates that optimal business decisions are not necessarily trade-offs between two choices but usually involve doing both. Written in an engaging, easy-to-read, story-telling style, the book offers numerous examples of how Cisco has been "doing both" to enable its success from multiple angles: technology innovation, market segmentation, supply chain management, organizational design, and more. Inder Sidhu's examples from his personal life are moving and help to make the book quite inspirational. A joy to read.
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DKINI More than 1 year ago
An excellent, intelligent, pragamatic read on how a company's innovative culture and optimal decision making process has helped Cisco cross the chasm and made it a leader in the ever changing dynamic IT industry. Thought provoking and a must read for the next generation business leaders who want to make a "real" difference in this world.
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crhartma More than 1 year ago
Business books are a "dime a dozen". Fortunately this book is one of those that stands apart from the pack. Insightful, thoughtful, compelling and thought provoking, "Doing Both: How Cisco Captures Today's Profits and Drives Tomorrow's Growth" takes the reader on a dynamic journey into the inner workings of Cisco and it's remarkable transformation. Inder Sidhu's storytelling is highly entertaining and provides unique insights that today's business leaders must not miss. This book will be one that I highly recommend to my friends and colleagues.
KFleming More than 1 year ago
Inder begins with sharing how Cisco's TelePresence video conferencing technology has enabled him to see, hear and almost feel his mother's presence who is 8,000 miles away back home in India. The intro is touching and a friendly reminder of how technology has changed our lives in many ways and most importantly how we stay in touch and always connected. Inder takes you through the various steps that Cisco has taken to grow to a $40 billion dollar company with over 60,000 employees. Its an interesting read as Inder walks through the history and the strategic decisions made to remain competitive through innovation and bold moves. Inspired by the stories of the background of the leaders chosen, the difficult questions and challenges faced and their paths take to success. Doing Both is an interesting and inspiring read
nguyenq More than 1 year ago
In Doing Both, Inder Sidhu provides insightful stories and accounts into how Cisco confronts challenging business issues. The company simply does not succumb to the temptation to make trade-offs. This timely and well-written book offers innovative and practical solutions for business leaders who want to capture profitability and drive growth at the same time.
ivangg More than 1 year ago
One of the best business books I have ever read. As a former McKinsey consultant and Stanford MBA, I truly value both a pragmatic AND insightful business advice. Definitely a must read!
Avid_Reader81 More than 1 year ago
Brilliantly written, filled with lots of fascinating stories detailing the philosophy of "And" that has been at the core of Cisco's successes over the last couple of decades. Inder Sidhu is very concise, articulate and insightful in conveying the profound lessons that can be drawn from these stories. I especially liked the strong focus on, and actionable recommendations for, avoiding false compromises. Would definitely recommend this as an inspiring read for all current and budding business leaders, and really anyone looking to break away from business as usual.
Johnny_Walker More than 1 year ago
Finally a book on business and management practices that is actually fun to read. Too often business books are filled with concepts and frameworks that are too abstract to be useful in real life, however this book is a notable exception. The narrative is engaging and insightful, based on real life examples and situations that any business professional can immediately identify with. Cisco is one of Fortune's most admired companies, and has long been considered a technology bellwether. However, this book is not about technology. Instead, it addresses the fundamental dilemma that every business struggles with at some point - making a choice between two equally attractive strategic alternatives. This book simply suggests that there is a better way - instead of making a compromise, choose both! At first it's natural to be skeptical and dismissive of this apparently idealistic claim, however this book makes an honest attempt to walk its talk and is largely successful and convincing. Divided into eight main "dilemmas" - such as the choice between focusing on the safe option of making incremental improvements to your "bread and butter" business vs. doing something truly disruptive - the book explores how Cisco adopted this out-of-the-box thinking that eventually made it one of the most successful and admired companies in the world. Not everything in the book will apply to everyone, but for the most part I found the situations and dilemmas presented here to be highly relevant and insightful. The best business books are the ones that challenge the status-quo, and on that count "Doing Both" is certainly a winner!