In today’s world of interconnected and “always-on” information, companies that succeed are those that compete by leveraging the advantage of strategic control points. A strategic control point is a part of a market where, if controlled by one party, it can be used to leverage power elsewhere. This can occur throughout the supply chain, in a related business, or even in an unrelated market.
The Carrot and the Stick focuses on how points of strategic control can be leveraged in today’s market environment. Using detailed examples and case studies – ranging from historic cases like Vanderbilt’s railroad in New York to current cases like Amazon’s control of the value chain – the book explains how finding and leveraging points of strategic control is the key to success in today’s convergent, fast-paced markets. The emphasis throughout the book is on the tactical: how to spot and own potential points of strategic control, how to extend them to multiple markets, what tools and processes can be implemented in order to utilize the principle in practice, and how to “pry loose” existing points of strategic control owned by others.