Finance-led Strategy: strangled business AND higher risk!

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It seems Finance has taken over Strategy’s role in recent years (our fault, not theirs), and we know this can strangle a business. The CFO tells the CEO to keep operating margins up, so pushes down on R&D, marketing, training, and just about anything needed to develop. So we keep slogging along with little growth, just about keeping investors calm with decent ‘returns’.

At least this might keep business risk under control – right? Maybe not. If the business is squeezed ...

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Aims – growth, survival …

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I made a strong case in a previous post that strategy research should have been asking how strong firms grow cash flows, not deliver profit ratios. I had two main push-backs – 1. is growth relevant in present conditions? – 2. survival is really all that matters. 

The first is easily dealt with – stronger cash flow ‘growth’ than rivals can of course imply less decline when everyone is going backwards .. would you rather cash-flows fell by ...

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