Published on January 5, 2013
Successful Competitive StrategyCommon Strategy Mistakes Biggest Obstacles to Establishing and Maintaining a Competitive Strategy
The worst mistake, and the most common is not having a strategy AT ALL!
Strategy Mistakes “[Another] mistake is competing to be the best,going down the same path as everybody else and thinking that somehow you can achieve better results." Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter
Moneyball: The Art Of Winning An Unfair GameThe Oakland A’s had a $40 million payroll and were trying to compete with teams with $240 million payrolls. It forced them to say: “We can’t fight how the other guys fight. We have to search for new baseball knowledge. We have to re-examine the sport and where we place value.”
Other Mistakes• Overestimating strengths: theres an inward-looking bias in many organizations…• Getting the definition of the business wrong or getting the geographic scope wrong… Why do so few companies have really great strategies?
Biggest obstacles to good strategy?Previous paradigm = a failure to understand the competition…Really, there are more subtle and pervasive obstacles:1.Biases in systems, structures, and decision-making processes2.Incentive systems that reward the wrong behaviors3.Human nature = really hard to make tradeoffs, or to stick with them4.External strategy killers, e.g., industry experts, regulators, and analysts
Takeaways• Strategies fail from within, often.• Host of strategy killers in the external environment.• Strategy is not about making every customer happy.• Pursuit if short-term, shareholder profit = managers chasing the wrong goals.• Having a strategy in the first place is hard.• Maintaining a strategy is even harder.
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