Profit Patterns by Adrian Slywotzky and David Morrison

by Paul Simister on October 21, 2011

Profit Patterns : 30 Ways to Anticipate and Profit from Strategic Forces Reshaping Your Business by Adrian Slywotzky and David Morrison, Ted Moser, Kevin Mundt, James Quella is a very interesting book which explains dynamics in strategy.

Review of Profit Patterns

Profit Patterns by Adrian Slywotzky and David Morrison Profit Patterns book cover

Profit Patterns begins with the interesting metaphor of business strategy is like Picasso’s paintings.

In the beginning, things were pretty straightforward. It was very clear what was happening in the picture but over time, it became more difficult to understand the painting, the message, the pattern until in the end you were left guessing what Picasso was painting.

The idea of Profit Patterns is that with work, order can be found within the chaos provided you understand pattern thinking.

This makes sense to me and the book represents a shift in perspective from Slywotzky’s earlier books Value Migration and The Profit Zone.

Profit Patterns Is Very Well Structured

The book is very well structured explaining the context of strategic profit pattern thinking, presenting the profit patterns and then putting the patterns to work first by working through case studies and then how you can apply the ideas of the book to your business.

The 30 Profit Patterns

The book I have lists 30 profit patterns but I noticed that the book cover on Amazon.com now lists 35 profit patterns. This suggests that the book has been updated but Amazon doesn’t make it clear.

The 30 in my book are split into six categories

Mega Profit Patterns

  • No Profit,
  • Back to Profit,
  • Convergence,
  • Collapse of the Middle,
  • De Factor Standard,
  • Technology Shifts the Board

Value Chain Profit Patterns

  • Deintegration,
  • Value Chain Squeeze,
  • Strengthening the Weak Link,
  • Reintegration

Customer Profit Patterns

  • Profit Shift,
  • Microsegmentation,
  • Power Shift,
  • Redefinition

Channel Profit Patterns

  • Multiplication,
  • Channel Concentration,
  • Compression/ Disintermediation,
  • Reintermediation

Product Profit Patterns

  • Product to Brand,
  • Product to Blockbuster,
  • Product to Profit Multiplier,
  • Product to Pyramid,
  • Product to Solution

Knowledge Profit Patterns

  • Product to Customer Knowledge,
  • Operations to Knowledge,
  • Knowledge to Product

Organizational Profit Patterns

  • Skill Shift,
  • Pyramid to Network,
  • Cornerstoning,
  • Conventional to Digital Business Design

What I Like About Profit Patterns

The idea of profit pattern thinking is an important addition to strategy as it helps to make sense of a lot of the traditional work you do in strategy like PEST Analysis, Five Forces and the Value Chain.

All those strategy models are useful but there can be an element of doing the work and then thinking “So what? How has that moved the business forward?”

Profit Patterns provides a way to make sense of the information uncovered, just like the Picasso painting metaphor.

It helps you to make sense of the changes that are happening providing the signals that you pick up match one or more of the patterns presented. This of course isn’t obvious as its happening although hindsight – just like a detective novel – shows that the clues were scattered around.

The book includes plenty to read but also makes use of diagrams to put over the message of the patterns. Another reviewer called them crude (as in simple) but I like the simplicity.

It includes plenty of well known case studies but the approach is very innovative and although it’s a challenging read which makes you think as you turn the pages, it is well put together and very different from other books on business strategy.

Have You Read Profit Patterns?

If you’ve read this book, then I’d like to know what you think so please, leave me a comment.

Paul Simister is a business strategy coach who helps business owners to differentiate their businesses and develop winning strategies. Get your free copy of the ebook The Six Steps Profit Formula.

Other Books By Adrian Slywotzky

The Profit Zone by Adrian Slywotzky & David Morrison

The Art of Profitability by Adrian Slywotzky

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Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

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