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Author: Jim Champy

Publisher: FT Press

ISBN: Mandy Leonard

Summary:These "high velocity" businesses were able to take advantage of their circumstances and discover new opportunities for growth that their competitors missed.

Leader Values


ISBN 0-13-235777-1

Currently the Chairman of Perot Systems’ consulting practices, Jim Champy is an author who has previously challenged our way of thinking in his earlier books Reengineering the Corporation and Reengineering Management.

In this book Outsmart! : How to do what your Competitors Can’t he focuses on the strategies that have allowed eight successful companies to achieve record growth for at least 3 consecutive years.

Champy presents eight seemingly simple bullet points to help corporations reignite their growth:

  • Seeing what others don’t
  • Breaking free of mental legacies   
  • Using all you now
  • Changing your frame of reference
  •  Tapping others successes
  • Creating order out of chaos
  • Simplifying complexity
  • Doing everything yourself

Dedicating a chapter to each of these points, the reader is presented with “high velocity” corporations that were able to “outsmart” the competition. Each of these businesses was able to take advantage of the circumstances they found themselves in and discover new opportunities for growth that their competitors didn’t. And each was able to effectively utilize what made them unique - never forgetting the power of their brand. 

The chapters show how the vision of one person could provide unique opportunities that can allow a company to not only be successful but to impact the way that the market works. These inspirational leaders knew exactly what their business was and where they wanted it to be. Still, the focus of the book is not about changing the management style within your company but instead is about being able to identify opportunities that your competitors miss.

It seems to the reviewer that the concept of “high velocity” is not fully explained, nor why certain companies fall into this category outside of their 15% growth.

Nevertheless, whilst the basic message may be similar to what we’ve read in other business books over the years, Jim Champy clearly reminds us that the key to any successful business is its customers and its ability to adapt to a constantly evolving market - and he gives us an organized thought process to tackle this issue.