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Doing More with Less: The New Way to Wealth

ISBN: 978-1-118-17215-5
208 pages
March 2012
Doing More with Less: The New Way to Wealth (1118172159) cover image

Praise for Doing More with Less

Bruce Piasecki redefines what winning looks like for all of us.

—GERALD BRESNICK, Vice President of Environment, Health & Safety and Social Responsibility, Hess

Bruce Piasecki has created a book about discovering and maintaining wealth that, in fact, redefines wealth itself to include much more than mere numbers in a bank account.

—JAY PARINI, bestselling author of The Last Station and The Passages of H.M.

Bruce Piasecki is one of the few thinkers really upping the ante for leaders in business and society.

—JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER, bestselling author of The Long Emergency and The Geography of Nowhere

Bruce Piasecki offers new grounds for hope in this century, as he elevates the roles of competition, innovation, and stewardship in our lives.

—BARBARA KASS, author and teacher

Bruce Piasecki's latest work artfully blends the practical with the profound. Piasecki teaches us now that frugality is not only a personal virtue but a dire necessity in a world filled with 7 billion souls.

—DEMETRI CHRISS, Senior Development Officer–North America, Anatolia College

Bruce Piasecki has a unique global perspective. He weaves powerful anecdotes and adroit business analysis to explain how our modern times work at its very core.

—EROL USER, President and CEO, User Corporation, Istanbul, Turkey

Piasecki is a prose master who inspires with information, persuasion, and delight, giving us informed glimpses of a poetry in our near future.

—HADASSAH BROSCOVA, founder and Editor in Chief of Carpe Articulum Journal and Foundation

This new book captures the humility and moral insights of Bruce Piasecki, whose life has been shaped by up-close encounters with an amazing range of governments and corporations. I have posted numerous radio shows on the life and work of Bruce Piasecki. They all are inspirational like this must-read book.

—DAVID WILLIAM GIBBONS, broadcaster of In Discussion, syndicated worldwide at DG Networks

Read this book and grow.

—GORDON LAMBERT, Vice President of Sustainability, Suncor Energy

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Foreword Gene Miller vii

Acknowledgments xvii

Competition and the Tangle of Social Needs: A Preamble 1

Part I Competition and the Tangle of Social Needs 19

Chapter 1 In the Company of Knuckleheads 21

Chapter 2 Scarcity and Creativity 43

Part II Unstoppable Frugality 63

Chapter 3 The Art of Competitive Frugality 65

Chapter 4 Doing More with Less: An Essay on Freedom and Fate 85

Part III Near the Future 115

Chapter 5 An Idler in the City: Capitalism Is Where We Live 117

Chapter 6 Another Day Will Tell 149

About the Author 159

Also by Bruce Piasecki 161

Index 163

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BRUCE PIASECKI is President and founder of AHC Group, Inc., a management consulting firm. For more than thirty years, AHC Group has focused on the critical areas of corporate governance consulting, energy, and environmental strategy, product innovation, and sustainability strategy. Whether working with Toyota, Shaw Industries, Suncor Energy, or FMC, Bruce and his team show companies how to compete on price, quality, and social needs. Piasecki has evolved from a niche expert on environmental issues for Fortune 500 corporations to a mainstream advocate for sustainable strategies for everyone. He has taught at Cornell University, Clarkson University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, becoming a tenured faculty member and then a director of a master of science graduate program. Piasecki holds a PhD and bachelor's degree from Cornell University, where he was a Cornell National Scholar Award winner.

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January 31, 2012
Doing More with Less - A Business Guide for the New Millennium

Revolutionary Way To Think About Business In The 21st Century


The earth will soon be home to seven billion people, all seeking to share the same water, air, food, and products. While this presents major challenges to business – and to society in general – it also offers unique opportunities to the firms that recognize and capitalize on them, says Dr. Bruce Piasecki, president and founder of AHC Group. Based on thirty years of experience working with companies throughout the world, Piasecki’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling book, DOING MORE WITH LESS: The New Way To Wealth (Wiley; March 2012) offers a ground-breaking approach to thinking about and doing business in this new era.

“The businesses that survive this challenging new millennium will be the ones that find new and lasting ways to answer key social questions about poverty, mobility, and energy now,” writes Piasecki. Central to this effort is what he calls “the art of competitive frugality.” This means returning to the core values of industriousness and frugality that the great statesman, inventor, and author Benjamin Franklin wrote about so eloquently two centuries ago. “We must resist the temptation to use technology for technology’s sake, and instead focus on the creative solutions scarcity demands,” says Piasecki. Rediscovering the vital link between frugality and competition will usher in a golden age of higher efficiencies, more direct results, and smarter competition.

Drawing on Piasecki decades of experience, interviews with visionary leaders, and such diverse subjects as the passage of health care reform and the development of mega-cities around the world, DOING MORE WITH LESS offers potent insights into such critical issues as:

  • Why doing more with less will offer abundant recompense with less debt and risk – making companies more adept in the short run and more adaptive in the long run          
  • How scarcity itself can open up new markets for businesses that are creative enough to uncover them
  • How to compete more effectively in terms of innovation while eliminating the kind of cutthroat business battles that thrive on cost-cutting or making enemies
  • How to generate employee loyalty though a commitment to social responsibility
  • How to deal with and eliminate the “knuckleheads” who stand in the way of success and a better future

Fundamentally, Piasecki’s approach demands a return to basic principles – achieving greater balance by realigning frugality and prosperity. In particular, he lays out three keys on which he runs his own firm: never forget the people and the rules in the act of making money; return to the classic ideal of productive restraint – that is, to being agents for good in the world by doing more with less; and know that only you (not your boss, parents, or business school) can find your competitive advantage for creating wealth.

DOING MORE WITH LESS builds on the author’s extensive work in the area of social responsibility, offering an original take on the increasing role that sustainability and energy issues play in competitiveness. As Gene Miller of the Center for Urban Innovation writes in the book’s foreword, Piasecki “takes his three decades of learning and travel and compels us forward through a mix of narrative nonfiction, personal storytelling, and astute reflections on sports and modern times.”

Never before has the world faced such massive challenges in terms of resources, space, and rapid growth. Businesses can either step up to these challenges and play a unique role in solving them, or be crushed along the way. DOING MORE WITH LESS offers the insights and perspective leaders need to take the reins in this new environment, transform their thinking, and find a new road to success.

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