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Do This or Do That? Try “Doing Both”

July 8, 2010 - 8 Comments

Cisco SVP Inder Sidhu has just published “Doing Both: How Cisco Captures Today’s Profit and Drives Tomorrow’s Growth.” Sidhu is SVP for Strategy and Planning in Worldwide Operations and the premise of the book is that “when companies face key strategic decisions, they often take one path and abandon the other. They focus on innovation and new business models at the expense of core businesses or vice versa. They stress discipline and sacrifice flexibility. They focus on customers and ignore partners.  And they struggle.”  The book argues that there is a better way: Doing both.

Read the first chapter below and, if interested in more, go to

We think the book is great, but don’t just take our word for it…see what some of these business and academic luminaries have to say:

“Doing Both shows how Cisco turns business questions into market answers, offering real-life examples that will benefit forward-looking leaders.”
– GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt

“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

“In clear and graceful prose, Inder Sidhu provides practical lessons by describing the execution and innovation strategies that have made Cisco a worldwide leader. Definitely a book I would recommend.”
– Laura Tyson, S.K. and Angela Chan Professor of Global Management, Haas School of Business, University of California-Berkeley, and Former Dean, London Business School and Haas School of Business

“Cisco is one of the world’s most admired companies—and for good reason. Inder Sidhu reveals how Cisco drives profits and increases innovation, and provides readers with the pivotal insights that are necessary to do both.”
– Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO,

“Doing Both is a fascinating insider’s account of one of Silicon Valley’s most successful tech companies. A must-read for executives who want to grow big companies, learn from Cisco’s mistakes, and understand how creative organizational systems can overcome the innovator’s dilemma.”
– David Yoffie, Max and Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean, Chair, Executive Education, Harvard Business School

More information at

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  1. This is one of the best business strategy I have across recently.I have just completed reading Chapter 1.I will go to doboth and read the rest of the chapters. Thanks very much John.

  2. Hi John,According to Inder Sidhu – Cisco’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Planning for Worldwide Operations:Over the past seven years, in a highly unstable global economy, Cisco doubled revenue, tripled profits, and quadrupled earnings per share.””, I’ve got a simple rhetorical question:How has any of the above helped Cisco’s shareholders?,Brad Reese”

  3. Good for job John,thank you very much..

  4. Impossible not to thank for the first chapter of the book, it’s interesting, easy to read and useful and I will definitely read Doing both!

  5. Doing Both! I definitely will continue reading the book. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Very good post. Thank you John.

  7. If it is difficult for a big company to make the right choices on whether to take one path or the other, let alone for a small-sized e-business company. Keeping reliable systems, focusing on customers, developing logistics,managing stocks effectively and … making a profit It is challenging and we love that!

  8. Excellent first chapter! Business is all about making difficult decisions, and this strategy simplifies the problem of having to choose, simply by: Doing Both! I definitely will continue reading the book. Thanks for sharing.