Six industry reviews

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Bain & Co offer good reviews of strategic imperatives in chemicals, retail banking, consumer packaged goods, engineered products and services, oil and gas, and technology – with supporting reports on each. Well worth a a look if you are in any of these, but also some useful insights applicable to other sectors. Chemicals, for example, offers the deadly combination of over-capacity and competitors with both innate advantages and naive strategies – just as was the case when I started my strategy ...

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Strategy in cyclical industries

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The world’s biggest basic materials firms are suffering along with others as the world economy collapses, and the Economist points out that taking on loads of debt to grow and acquire others did not help. But these industries have always suffered cyclicality, even when not buffeted by extreme market conditions. Pity is that we have known how to steer away from these dangers for many years. Seems to me the same principles would have been useful to a great ...

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Industry ‘power curves’ for real competitive strategy

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Now here’s a really useful tool from McKinsey. Using ‘power curves’ to assess industry dynamics shows the value of seeing the size-distribution of competitors in an industry. It shows the tool for banking, chemicals, software and biotech. You can do much, much more with this though.

Merely seeing the pattern is interesting but so what? This is a fundamental tool for something virtually no companies do well – truly competitive strategy.

The basic principles are simple:

  • Trying to do a ...
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