Strategy essentials you Ignore at your peril

By Joan Magretta   Article

“…

  1. Competitive advantage is not about beating rivals; it’s about creating unique value for customers. If you have a competitive advantage, it will show up on your P&L.
  2. No strategy is meaningful unless it makes clear what the organization will not do. Making trade-offs is the linchpin that makes competitive advantage possible and sustainable.
  3. There is no honor in size or growth if those are profit-less. Competition is about profits, not market share.
  4. Don’t overestimate or underestimate the importance of good execution. It’s unlikely to be a source of a sustainable advantage, but without it even the most brilliant strategy will fail to produce superior performance.
  5. Good strategies depend on many choices, not one, and on the connections among them. A core competence alone will rarely produce a sustainable competitive advantage.
  6. Flexibility in the face of uncertainty may sound like a good idea, but it means that your organization will never stand for anything or become good at anything. Too much change can be just as disastrous for strategy as too little.
  7. Committing to a strategy does not require heroic predictions about the future. Making that commitment actually improves your ability to innovate and to adapt to turbulence.
  8. Vying to be the best is an intuitive but self-destructive approach to competition.
  9. A distinctive value proposition is essential for strategy. But strategy is more than marketing. If your value proposition doesn’t require a specifically tailored value chain to deliver it, it will have no strategic relevance.
  10. Don’t feel you have to “delight” every possible customer out there. The sign of a good strategy is that it deliberately makes some customers unhappy.”
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