Media Releases

What Can Companies Do to Stay Alive Asks New Book from Strategic Management Faculty at UofT’s Rotman School Management

October 30, 2017

Toron­to, ON – From Volk­swag­on to BP, from Black­ber­ry to Bom­bardier, from Unit­ed Air­lines to Equifax, busi­ness­es — large and small — face threats to their sur­vival. These wor­ries keep cor­po­rate lead­ers awake and night. Is there any­thing busi­ness­es can do about it?

This ques­tion and more is answered in new book, Sur­vive and Thrive: Win­ning Against Strate­gic Threats to Your Busi­ness, fea­tur­ing a col­lec­tion of insights by strat­e­gy pro­fes­sors at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s Rot­man School of Man­age­ment. The book takes read­ers through some of the most vex­ing threats to busi­ness today, threats that put the very exis­tence of orga­ni­za­tions into ques­tion. From dis­rup­tive inno­va­tion, to social media dis­as­ters, to mis­tak­en tech­ni­cal invest­ments, to gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion, to mis­un­der­stood com­pe­ti­tion, com­pa­nies need to be able to antic­i­pate crises and pre­pare to deal with them head on. Read­ing this book, read­ers will get warn­ings about four mis­takes that com­pa­nies com­mon­ly make – blind­ness to inter­ac­tions between sys­tems, get­ting locked in to exist­ing ways of doing busi­ness, falling vic­tim to cog­ni­tive bias­es, and derail­ment by short-ter­mism.

The good news is that mis­takes can be man­aged. Using struc­tured antic­i­pa­tion, com­pa­nies can pre­pare, reor­gan­ise and chal­lenge them­selves to embrace rather than shirk from risk.

Exec­u­tives will find prin­ci­ples and prac­tices for antic­i­pat­ing poten­tial threats and cre­at­ing respons­es that per­mit their busi­ness­es to not only sur­vive but thrive.

Edi­tor Joshua S. Gans is a pro­fes­sor of strate­gic man­age­ment and holds the Jef­frey S. Skoll Chair of Tech­ni­cal Inno­va­tion and Entre­pre­neur­ship at the Rot­man School. He is also chief econ­o­mist of the School’s Cre­ative Destruc­tion Lab. He wrote The Dis­rup­tion Dilem­ma, Infor­ma­tion Wants to be Shared, and sev­er­al oth­er books.

Edi­tor Sarah Kaplan, Direc­tor of the Insti­tute for Gen­der and the Econ­o­my at the Rot­man School, is also Dis­tin­guished Pro­fes­sor of Gen­der and the Econ­o­my and a pro­fes­sor of strate­gic man­age­ment. She co-wrote the busi­ness best­seller Cre­ative Destruc­tion.

“The mantra for the book is that lead­ers need to be alert and not pan­icked. While there are always threats that can take out a busi­ness, along­side those threats are man­age­able actions that can be deployed to either pre-empt or con­front them,” say Profs. Gans and Kaplan.

In addi­tion to Profs. Gans and Kaplan, con­trib­u­tors to the book include Rot­man Pro­fes­sors Ajay Agraw­al, Anne Bow­ers, Kevin Bryan, Alber­to Galas­so, Ani­ta McGa­han, Will Mitchell, A. Rebec­ca Reu­ber, Michael Ryall, and András Tilc­sik.

On Novem­ber 7, the book will be offi­cial­ly launched in Toron­to with four of the con­trib­u­tors tak­ing the stage. Reg­is­tra­tion is avail­able online.

The book is pub­lished by Dog Ear Pub­lish­ing.  Fur­ther infor­ma­tion is avail­able online at

The Rot­man School of Man­age­ment is locat­ed in the heart of Canada’s com­mer­cial and cul­tur­al cap­i­tal and is part of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, one of the world’s top 20 research uni­ver­si­ties. The Rot­man School fos­ters a new way to think that enables our grad­u­ates to tack­le today’s glob­al busi­ness and soci­etal chal­lenges.  For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it


Ken McGuf­fin
Man­ag­er, Media Rela­tions
Rot­man School of Man­age­ment
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
Tel: 416–946-3818