Mark W. Johnson

Every thriving enterprise is propelled by a strong customer value proposition (CVP)—a product, service, or combination thereof that helps customers more effectively, conveniently, or affordably do a job they’ve been trying to do.

Tanguy Catlin

If you manage your household today, you need to figure out your mortgage, your insurance, utilities, and other factors associated with living in that house. In an ecosystem-based economy, you would have one node aggregating all those services for you. That leads to a very different dynamic in how companies compete, depending on whether you are the orchestrator of the ecosystem or a provider to … [ Read more ]

Laura LaBerge

Many organizations have spent decades understanding how to make trade-offs in their businesses, where the profit pools are, and the structure of their value chains. Digital changes all that. First, on an overarching level, digital currently destroys more economic value for incumbents than it creates. There are two main drivers. The first one is that digital creates transparency that allows a much higher percentage of … [ Read more ]

Bob Moore

Resilient founders don’t ask “Which competitor are we scared of?” Instead, it’s “What fully-formed company would be an existential threat to us, whether it exists or not? And if it doesn’t exist, why aren’t we building it?”

Bob Moore

I don’t worry about competition, I worry about my own vision being wrong, which creates an opportunity for competition to succeed. If anything, I think we spent too much energy thinking about the noise everyone else was making and not enough thinking about our own place in the real market.

Buckminister Fuller

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

Chris Bradley

Dan Lovallo is a professor who works in applying psychology on biases to management topics. A simple test he did at an investment bank showed that if you applied the CEO’s risk tolerance to all the investment decisions made at lower levels rather than the more junior decision makers’ risk tolerance, the decisions would have had a 32 percent better outcome. So, there is this … [ Read more ]

Chris Bradley

If you want to really drive strategic change in your company, you should be its chief liquidity officer. You can’t move resources that aren’t liquid. In other words, you cannot reallocate if you don’t also de-allocate.

Chris Bradley

Often, we think the hard part of strategy is that we have to guess the future. I think the hard part of strategy is busting your own myths. The most important question a strategist can ask is, why do we make the money?

Chris Bradley

The harsh reality of the way we do strategic planning now is, there is a pot of money and we all compete for it. But when we did our research on companies that rose up the power curve, we found that it usually was not the whole company improving but one or two out of ten business units that disproportionately went up. It’s just a … [ Read more ]

Chris Bradley

It’s extraordinarily important to know what is going to happen next month, what resources need to move, and what initiatives you have to launch. The problem is, that’s a different mode of thinking from strategy. As soon as you put strategy and planning together, planning will always win.

Chris Bradley

The first big test of strategy is: Does your strategy beat the market? And by that, what we really mean is, did you generate economic profit, which is the evidence that you overcame perfect markets? Because—and perhaps this is a scary flashback to your economics textbooks—in perfect markets there is no economic profit. The residual of market imperfections, or what we call competitive advantages, is … [ Read more ]

Julian Birkinshaw

Two worldviews — market positioning and the resource-based view — have dominated how we think about competitive advantage for 40 years.

But the rapid growth of business ecosystems in recent years challenges this thinking. Most of these ecosystem orchestrators, like Google, Alibaba, and Uber, don’t make the things they sell; they exist to link others together, and this makes the old positioning-based logic less relevant. And, … [ Read more ]

William E. Schneider

Every kind of for-profit and/or not-for-profit enterprise falls into one of four categories determined by (and named after) their customer promise: the predictable and dependable enterprise delivering consistent, reliable, and dependable products or services; the best-in-class enterprise delivering one-of-a-kind and distinctive products or services; the customized enterprise delivering a unique solution to each customer; or the enrichment enterprise promising fulfillment and the realization of higher-level … [ Read more ]

Ken Favaro

“What time frame should we have for our strategy” is the wrong question. The better question is, “What changes does our strategy need, and how much time do we need to implement them?” In other words, leaders have a five-year strategy if the changes they want to make to their strategy will take five years to implement.

Ichak Adizes

I suggest that the goal of every system–and that includes corporations and not-for-profit organizations, micro-, mezzo-, and macro–is to be and to remain healthy. Confronted with major strategic decisions, or even some tactical decisions that have strategic repercussions, a leader should ask him- or herself: Is my decision going to promote or impair the health of the system I lead?

Elad Gil, Vinod Khosla

As Vinod Khosla has observed, your market entry strategy is often different from your market disruption strategy. And too many people focus on how small the market entry side is, but the entry point almost definitionally has to be small, because you have to find a space that isn’t covered or saturated by incumbents. If you find a gap and push your way through, often … [ Read more ]

Elad Gil

Markets with potential usually have a changing dynamic that allows new players to climb in and make room for themselves. It could be falling costs, new tech or a new distribution channel. Whatever it is, if you’ve heard something was difficult, you can’t just stop there because things have probably changed.

Aaron Gilcreast and Larry Jones

You can sometimes develop discrete measurements of what a company’s intrinsic value might be under different operators by conducting due diligence for a merger or acquisition. But even in the absence of a potential transaction, you should still assess the hypothetical intrinsic value of your businesses if they were operated by someone else. This can help you establish strategies that maximize value. If one of … [ Read more ]

Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, and Sven Smit

The best way to create [a rolling strategic plan] is to hold regular strategy conversations with your top team, perhaps as a fixed part of your monthly management meeting. To make those check-ins productive, you should maintain a “live” list of the most important strategic issues, a roster of planned big moves, and a pipeline of initiatives for executing them. At each meeting, executives can … [ Read more ]