Some industries are dominated by one market leader for many years. Carol Velthuis identifies these companies as ‘Summer Champions’, a reference to the natural seasonal cycle of businesses, and in Surfing the long summer she shows how businesses can stay in the summer of this cycle for as long as possible.
By analysing forty global industries and determining the growth rates and market shares of 500 companies over a period of six years, Velthuis shows how fifteen companies have emerged not just as global market leaders but also as having outgrown the market over the entire period. Amazon, Apple, Disney, eBay, Google, Starbucks and others are enjoying a ‘long summer’. Summer Champions defy the wisdom of conventional strategic theories.
They concentrate on the long term, they have deep understanding of their customers and their operation, they excel in both quality and cost, and they have strong, shared values. These are attributes that many companies, for example in the financial sector, have conspicuously lacked in recent years.
In the course of providing 25 lessons for becoming a long-term summer champion, Velthuis teases out the business lessons to be learned from sports superstars such as Roger Federer, Steve Redgrave and Lance Armstrong. Surfing the long summer provides a unique framework for analysing competitive success and a new methodology for focusing on the key strategic issues that highlights long-term customer focus and strong passionate leadership and offers valuable lessons for all businesses.
Carol Velthuis started her career at Unilever managing brands such as Boursin and Lipton. After working as a strategy and marketing consultant at Arthur D. Little she founded Quintel Strategy Consulting which now employs 40 consultants. She has supported clients in managing large and complex change processes. She teaches on the MBA programme at Rotterdam School of Management and regularly publishes in various media.
‘Carol Velthuis is a highly original thinker. Because too many companies, especially in the financial sector, forgot the lessons in this book we ended up in a financial crisis.’
Aad Jacobs, former CEO ING Bank