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Value Creation Thinking

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"A free society is an engine of wealth creation because individuals are free to pursue low-cost means of satisfying customer wants, and to innovate new methods and new products. Bart Madden's Value Creation Thinking is driven by the philosophy that an understanding of that process defines a path to the long-term increase in investor returns. Principles abound-life cycle modeling of firm dynamics, system thinking, and the management priorities of CEO's from Charles Koch to John Allison and John Mackey. We learn why firms like Eastman Kodak failed and why major product innovations like Michelin's run-flat tires failed. A firm's culture is shown to play an exceedingly important role in delivering value to customers and achieving long-run profitability. Beware the crony capitalist firm seeking profits from favors; the money is in creating value for customers." - Vernon L. Smith, Professor of Economics, Finance and Law, Chapman University, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2002 This book is simply outstanding and a must-read for any CEO or business leader who wants to manage their business in a way that creates and grows true, sustainable value. It clearly shows how to view and manage a company as a value creation system, how to use the three fundamental measures of value creation, and how to incorporate this "worldview" into the company's decision-making process. Madden presents a rich and insightful framework concerning the way mission, values, and purpose must be crafted to engage the company's workforce in the drive to create value. The book delves into how engendering a knowledge-building culture within a company drives value. Finally, it drives home the critical importance of culture-how it forms, and how it directly improves performance. This is the first book I have come across that ties all of these fundamental concepts together-value creation, value measures, company purpose, worldview, and culture in such an understandable and useful way. I will have my management team not only read Value Creation Thinking, but live by it. Again, a must-read! - J. Thomas Gruenwald, Chief Executive Officer, Westell Technologies Bart Madden has written a provocative book that seeks to gain legitimacy for capitalism as the best way to mobilize society's scarce resources in order to advance human progress. He understands that the opposite of innovation is stagnation, not stability. The book provides clear guidance to embattled CEOs and directors seeking to pilot their firms through the chaotic market conditions of today's globally-connected business world. Madden's proposed Life-Cycle Reviews offer a means for CEOs and directors to improve their capital expenditure decisions and counteract Wall Street's excessive focus on quarterly earnings. The book should be used in business schools to enable students to better understand the purpose of the firm and management's related responsibilities. Business students and many others will appreciate the insights from life-cycle thinking that connect long-term corporate performance to stock prices. Madden notes that we should all want free-market capitalism to triumph over crony capitalism, which uses the coercive power of government to stifle competition. His approach is to deeply examine how firms can nurture a knowledge-building culture, innovate, and create long-term value. In my work, I focus on how managements can communicate their firms' and capitalism's dynamic contributions to the broader society. My work challenges CEOs and directors to engage with the political world in defense of capitalism. These two approaches are very different, and yet complementary. - Fred L. Smith, founder of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Director of CEI's Center for Advancing Capitalism

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