This one goes back for ever. Management is supposed to spend their time on strategy searching for a better ‘position’ than rivals – some combination of who they serve, with what products and services, and how, that ensures they can protect their sales and profit margins from competitors.
But we have known for many years that differences in ‘position’ explain little about why some firms do better than others. What seems to be more important is what management actually does – i.e. how they constantly build and extent the business. They can be losers in attractive markets, and triumph in difficult ones [ask Walmart or Southwest].
How many top management away-days, I wonder, are wasted searching for that elusive paradise of a market position where competitors can never venture, rather than getting on with sound and continuous strategic management? [see Myth 1] Share