Lafley and Martin: Playing to Win

In Play to Win, Lafley and Martin develop the Strategy Choice Cascade, a tool that helps develop a strategy in a systematic and organized way that achieves organizational goals.

The cascade was developed at Procter & Gamble (P&G) by former P&G CEO A.G. Lafley in close collaboration with strategy consultant R. Martin and is associated by the authors with impressive P&G successes.

The cascade is composed of five key elements:

  • The goal and a strong commitment to that goal (winning aspiration). This involves determining what the company should achieve and what would make it successful. It is not only important to formulate a goal, but also to commit to it (commit).
  • The playing field (where you play). The playing field on which you will compete. Focus and concentration of forces are essential for success. This builds on a commitment, because tough decisions often have to be made here (e.g., what not to do)
  • How to win. In doing so, the concept builds on a decision for one of Porter’s generic positioning.
  • Capabilities (Capabilities). The activities available to implement the strategies to gain a competitive advantage.
  • Management systems. Metrics and systems that guide capabilities and decisions to implement strategy.