Developing Strategy

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Is Strategy a Bad Word?

Corporate strategy is supposed to be the means by which an organization achieves and sustains success. Yet, it rarely rises to that level, despite an abundance of corporate strategy theory and significant research from countless organizations over the past few decades.

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Competitive Cognition

The term “competitive cognition” refers to the framework with which a manager organizes and retains knowledge about competitors and directs information acquisition and usage. It is the process by which managers make sense of the market environments in which they compete.

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Corporate Spheres of Influence

The design of a corporate portfolio should be based primarily on its strategic intent and desired competitive impact, that is, on how a select set of market positions builds a platform for growth while influencing the behavior of rivals and the structure of the industry.

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The Vision Thing

Today’s almost mythical notion of the hero-leader demands that vision be a pre-eminent executive trait. Time and time again, if a corporate leader is successful, his or her vision is cited as the cause and lauded as the foundation of the leader’s greatness.

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The Balance of Power

A corporate sphere of influence is not just a platform for a company’s offensive or defensive initiatives. It is the basis upon which the company builds market power over rivals so it can maneuver freely without fear of retaliation.

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The Myth of Unbounded Growth

Growth is not perpetual, and its continued pursuit can be costly, especially for large, mature companies. Instead, say the authors, smart managers should acknowledge the natural limits of their company‘s path to growth and consider viable alternatives.

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Creating Growth With Services

In a world of commoditized products, companies are turning to service offerings for growth. The key to success involves redefining markets in terms of customer activities and outcomes, not products and services.

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Risk Management in Practice

Risk has been a top-of-mind consideration since September 11, but corporations are also concerned with less catastrophic forms of risk: customer credit problems, labor strikes, changes in market acceptance or energy prices — any type of uncertainty that could cause their businesses to stray from plan.

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Survival Under Stress

Venture capital has dried up. Business pages report on getting back to basics. It has even become fashionable to snicker about the foolish mass hallucination of the New Economy. Anyone with a new idea in a corporation is being told “cost cutting is our focus right now.&

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Competitive Pressure Systems: Mapping and Managing Multimarket Contact

Managers typically think that the competitive pressure their companies experience is solely the result of the behavior of their rivals. But, by mapping the system of pressures in which they operate, they can make the optimal choice of competitors, allies and markets to gain superior strategic influence over the evolution of their industry and their organization”s role in it.

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