“Most companies owe their initial success to a unique strategic position involving clear tradeoffs….the passage of time and the pressures of growth, however, led to compromises that were at first almost imperceptible. Through a succession of incremental changes that each seemed sensible at the time, many established companies have compromised their way to me-too activities just like their rivals…Through incremental additions of product varieties; incremental efforts to service new customer groups; and emulation of rival’s activities; the existing company loses its clear competitive position.”

– Michael Porter

 

“Strategy is stuck. If you dropped into a boardroom discussion or an executive team meeting, chances are you’d hear a lot of strategic thinking based on ideas and frameworks designed in, and for, a different era. The biggies—such as Michael Porter’s five forces analysis, BCG’s growth-share matrix for analyzing corporate portfolios, and Hamel and Prahalad’s core competence of the firm—are all tremendously important ideas. Many strategies today are still informed by them. But virtually all strategy frameworks and tools in use today are based on a single dominant idea: that the purpose of strategy is to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. This idea is strategy’s most fundamental concept. It’s every company’s holy grail. And it’s no longer relevant for more and more companies.”

– Rita Gunther McGrath

Introduction to the Grounded Strategy Approach: Part One – Strategy Without Strategy

“Nobody wants a strategy!” I have repeatedly heard some version of this concise statement from many clear-minded, pragmatic and front-line thinkers over the years. Why would anyone actually want to go through the strategy process – given its unpopular but well-earned poor reputation? Strategy is often seen at best as being just another bureaucratic burden…

Why Do You Need Strategy?

In my previous posts I gave a definition of what strategy is and why your strategy should be grounded. What I have not discussed yet very explicitly though, is why you would need a strategy in the first place. On the one hand this may be obvious: every organization needs to think about the long…

“As a result of using traditional financial tools, firms consistently succumb to disruptive innovation. The most frightening thing about disruptive innovation is that death doesn’t come as a result of “bad” management. Instead, the disasters have occurred in industry after industry because managers were following the dictates of good traditional management: with a focus on pursuing profit, ratios like ROI and the like.”

– Steve Denning

Seven Signs That a Revolution in Strategy Is on Its Way

We are on the verge of a revolution in strategy. While the signs are not widely acknowledged yet, they are clear. And while these signs still mostly reveal the cracking of the old system, they also give reasons for optimism that something new is on its way. Based on our strategy research, teaching, coaching and consulting,…

“Strategy is stuck. If you dropped into a boardroom discussion or an executive team meeting, chances are you’d hear a lot of strategic thinking based on ideas and frameworks designed in, and for, a different era – when industries were stable, when trends were more or less predictable, and when the pace of technological evolution seemed to be slower.”

– Rita Gunther McGrath

“Battered by new sources of competition and new demands from customers, bombarded by investors, bemused and undermined by technology, buffeted by ideologies like empowerment that challenge the assumptions of hierarchy and control and beleaguered by recent academic attacks on head offices and other central overheads, the structure and behaviour of large corporations appear to be anachronistic and overdue for change.”

– Richard Koch and Ian Godden