Developing Strategy

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Dethroning an Established Platform

Increasing numbers of companies, whether providing hardware devices, traditional software or software in the cloud, are trying to become platform masters by releasing application programming interfaces that allow others to build software and hardware products or complementary services on top of their offerings. But what can you do when a competitor has already established a leading platform? Learn from Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Gmail and Facebook — and how they overtook earlier market leaders.

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Are CEOs Getting the Best From Corporate Functions?

At too many large companies, corporate functions like HR and IT don’t get enough strategic direction from the CEO. The result of this undermanagement is mixed performance. While some corporate functions fulfill their roles highly effectively and win praise from the heads of operating units, most do not. Without sufficient guidance, corporate functions can become — often unintentionally — self-serving.

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A Question Every Manager Should Ask (Hint: It Has to Do With Megatrends)

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The single best question companies should ask themselves is what megatrends are coming around the corner. That’s according to MIT Sloan’s Michael A. Cusumano. Two megatrends that stand out in the industries he studies: “the rising importance of industrywide platforms as opposed to stand-alone products, and the rising importance of services or service-like versions of products,” he says.

Courtesy of Under Armour

Which Strategy When?

Markets are changing, competition is shifting and businesses are suffering or perhaps thriving. Whatever the immediate circumstances, corporate managers ask the same questions: Where do we go from here, and which strategy will get us there? To figure out when it makes sense to pursue strategies of position, leverage or opportunity, managers must understand their company’s immediate circumstances, take stock of their current resources and determine the relationships among the various resources.

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Courtesy of Novartis.

What Every CEO Needs to Know About Nonmarket Strategy

Nonmarket strategy recognizes that businesses are social and political beings, not just economic agents. Smart executives engage with their social and political environment, helping shape the rules of the game and reducing the risk of being hemmed in by external actors. These executives realize that in a global economy, sustained competitive advantage arises from tackling social, political and environmental issues as part of a corporate strategy — not just pursuing business as usual.

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Collaborative Strategy: A Q & A With Nilofer Merchant

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Nilofer Merchant's The New How: Building Business Solutions Through Collaborative Strategy outlines how strategy with input from all employees is better than strategy from a few people at the top. It also outlines how to make it happen. "The bottom line is we don’t have the time in this economy to have a smallish group of people setting strategy or innovating or leading," she says.

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The Management Lessons of Las Vegas

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In uncertain economic times, when even the acknowledged experts don’t know what’s coming next, it’s important to think twice about what everyone else takes for granted. That’s one of the reasons the book Learning from Las Vegas might resonate with managers.

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Strategy As Love, Not War

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  • Read Time: 4 min 

MIT Sloan School professor Arnoldo C. Hax, a well-known strategy expert, thinks companies need a different approach to thinking about strategy.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Sharon Drummond.

Nature’s Rules

"Any one of us — and any one of our organizations — could be forgiven for behaving at the moment like a bear confronting winter," writes Martin Reeves. And he doesn't mean “bearishly,” like investors. "No, I mean behaving literally like a bear — which is to say, shutting down the system. Hibernating. Certainly feels like the wise course just now."

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Showing 21-40 of 79