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The SAIC Solution: How We Built an $8 Billion Employee-Owned Technology Company

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For more than three decades, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)—the largest employee-owned research and technology company in the United States—has achieved unparalleled success in the areas of science, engineering, and technology, all while flying well below the radar of most casual business observers.

As the founder of SAIC, Dr. J. Robert Beyster has played an important role in the emergence of this company. And now, in The SAIC Solution, Beyster—with the help of bestselling business author Peter Economy—reveals how his vision of an employee-owned organization, run according to key principles that encourage entrepreneurship and accountability, allowed SAIC to become one of the most successful research and technology companies in the world.

Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, this book describes how SAIC evolved as an ongoing experiment and how it continues to grow exponentially—with $8 billion in annual revenues—by applying counterintuitive operating principles that cut against the grain of contemporary business practice.

With this book as your guide, you'll quickly realize the uniqueness of SAIC's approach to business and discover how the groundbreaking principles and practices used by the company can readily be transferred to almost any industry. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The Culture: People First—hire smart people, encourage their entrepreneurial spirit, let them focus on customers, and reward them for their hard work

  • The Glue: Employee Ownership—those who contribute to a company should own it, and ownership should be commensurate with a person's contribution and performance

  • The Wild Card: Experiment Constantly—the willingness to constantly experiment with new business entities, corporate structures, and staffing is an essential element of any successful organization

  • The Bottom Line: Expect Reasonable Profit with Stock Price Growth—placing greater emphasis on steady growth and customer satisfaction ultimately leads to long-term value and is reflected in the rising price of a company's stock

Written in an engaging and thought-provoking style, The SAIC Solution skillfully outlines the philosophy behind SAIC's extraordinary success, and distills important lessons that can help you—whether you're an executive or an entrepreneur—create your own success story in today's fast-changing and technology- driven business environment.

About the Author

Dr. J. Robert Beyster is the founder of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). He served as CEO and chairman of the company for thirty-five years. SAIC grew from a start-up with a handful of employees to a firm with 43,000 employees and more than $8 billion in annual revenue. Beyster promotes innovation and employee ownership through the Foundation for Enterprise Development and the Beyster Institute at the University of California, San Diego. He has received a range of honors, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from Ernst & Young, Spirit of San Diego award, and Next Millennium Award for Excellence in Education.

Peter Economy is Associate Editor of Leader to Leader, the award-winning publication for the Leader to Leader Institute and a bestselling author or coauthor of numerous books, including The Management Bible (Wiley) and Lessons from the Edge.

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