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More companies failed in 2001 than in any year on record. According to Carter Pate, the U.S. head of PricewaterhouseCoopers' turnaround team, more will fail in 2002. But Pate and Northeastern University business professor Harlan Platt argue failure need not be final in The Phoenix Effect (John Wiley & Sons, $27.95). By applying proven techniques for resuscitating cash flow and energizing performance, many companies recover from hard times and reemerge stronger and better, they say.
Pate and Platt's account is both practical and inspiring. Pate has headed the rejuvenations of a marquee roster of corporations. Platt contributes a professor's quality of objectivity and thoroughness to examples such as the analysis of how changing a product's characteristics can help or hurt a troubled company's chances for a rebound. One interesting conclusion on that point: Managers of companies in trouble should not cut prices in hopes of generating additional cash, the authors say. It often makes more sense to raise prices.
While The Phoenix Effect is aimed at companies in trouble, it's hard to think of any entrepreneur who couldn't benefit from looking over its nine powerful strategies.
On the Move
Marketing's definition has grown over the years to encompass everything from customer service to supplier relations. That's not enough, say the authors of Marketing Moves (Harvard Business School Press, $29.95). Marketing experts Philip Kotler, Dipak C. Jain and Suvit Maesincee call their approach "holistic marketing." It aims to integrate management of customer demand, company resources and the entire network for creating and delivering goods to market. Some parts of the system are straightforward. Rather than pursuing market share and new markets, for instance, they advise building customer share and loyalty to maximize customer lifetime value. But even when it's not easy, holistic marketing is a sensible addition to the marketing lexicon.
Austin, Texas, writer Mark Henricks has covered business and technology for leading publications since 1981.