Ruth De Backer

Companies need to ground portfolio-management decisions, including divestitures, in the attributes that make them a better owner of their businesses. Such attributes can include, for example, unique skills, governance, insight, or even connections to other businesses. They can also include access to talent, capital, or relationships.

Tying divestitures to the better-owner principle means companies need to define explicit criteria for what good ownership looks like in … [ Read more ]

Why Strategy Execution Unravels—and What to Do About It

75% of organizations struggle to implement strategy. Improve your odds of success with this 7-minute video slide deck.

Robin Speculand

Our generation of leaders have been taught how to plan not how to implement. Every university offering a business degree has on their faculty a professor teaching strategy but almost none have a professor teaching its execution. This has left a skills gap among today’s leaders that heavily contributes to the downfall attempts to implement their strategy, resulting in loss of market and shareholder value. … [ Read more ]

Jeff Bezos

You can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time […]. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long-term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.

An Incumbent’s Guide to Digital Disruption

No matter how strong their ingoing balance sheets and market share—and sometimes because of those very factors—incumbents can’t seem to hold back the digital disruption tide. The champions of disruption are far more often the attackers than the established incumbent. The good news for incumbents is that many industries are still in the early days of digital disruption. Print media, travel, and lodging provide valuable … [ Read more ]

Julia Mitelman

To put it simply, both product and strategy aim to fulfill a company’s why.
Product begins with the what.
Strategy begins with the how.

The Economic Essentials of Digital Strategy

A supply-and-demand guide to digital disruption.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.

All about Network Effects

Network effects. It’s one of the most important concepts for business in general and especially for tech businesses, as it’s the key dynamic behind many successful software-based companies. Understanding network effects not only helps build better products, but it helps build moats and protect software companies against competitors’ eating away at their margins.

Yet what IS a network effect? How do we untangle the nuances of … [ Read more ]

Ron Carucci

Without a sound fact and insight base on which to prioritize resources, squeaky wheels get all the grease. Great strategic executives know how to use data to generate new insights about how they and their industries make money. Examining patterns of performance over time — financial, operational, customer, and competitive data — will reveal critical foresight about future opportunities and risks.

Mark Chussil

We narrow our decision-making frame when we believe we know what the future will look like. We implicitly assert that everything is locked in except for what we will do, and so we ask this simple, efficient question: “What should we do?”

Should asks people to spot and advocate the one right decision. It treats decision making as a debate. It drives toward closure. We need … [ Read more ]

The Product Manager vs. The Strategist

How the people behind the roles that shape your world think.

Editor’s Note: I fail to see the need for this distinction or the need (or even the desire) to separate how and what, but I still found the article to be an interesting read.

Greg Satell

While nimble startups chasing the next trend are exciting, the truth is that companies rarely succeed by adapting to market events. Rather, successful firms prevail by shaping the future. That can’t be done through agility alone, but takes years of preparation to achieve. The truth is that once you find yourself in a position where you need to adapt, it’s usually too late. […] Truly … [ Read more ]

The How-to Guide for Corporate Venturing

Businesses are breaking out of the old too-big-to-fail mindset to face disruptive technologies head on. Disruption’s survivors are learning how to benefit from new modes of engagement with potential competitors and tomorrow’s startups. Call it corporate venturing. In this paper, the co-authors outline a menu of options for established businesses looking to embrace startups in their drive to achieve profitable growth.

Forming Corporate Alliances That Get Results

Four principles that describe how well-chosen and well-managed alliances boost financial performance.

Picking Up the Pace: The Intersection of Strategy and Agility

Organizations are concerned with their ability to sift through and respond to new opportunities and threats in a timely manner. This is where the concept of organizational agility comes into play. This post, the first in a series, was adapted from APQC’s “Strategic Planning and Implementation Best Practices for Achieving Organizational Agility” best practices report.

Finding Your Space on the Entrepreneurial Map

The two fundamental dimensions on which entrepreneurial projects differ are the level of uncertainty – how much is known and how dangerous are the unknowns – and the cost of experimentation. In a recent study, Jackson Nickerson and Robert Wuebker and Nathan Furr used these dimensions of cost and uncertainty to create a 2×2 matrix to identify four zones of development, into which entrepreneurial projects … [ Read more ]

Art Kleiner

Any decision made in business is a bet about the way the world works. And until you understand the theory you’re betting on, you can’t really test the decision or improve it.