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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Thriving under adversity

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Some useful tips in this article from BCG, some simple, some complex [and some over-complicated by trying to force them into a ‘evolution’ analogy]. Especially good to see its focus on exploiting opportunity, and good not  to see some of the bad or dangerous ideas I have mentioned previously.

Do take care, though – few are universally applicable, so you will need to assess how appropriate each is to your specific situation.

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The balanced scorecard

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A large Management Development community I track has been discussing how we could have prepared people better for the current troubles, and some have advocated the Balanced Scorecard [BSC]. I have used BSC in strategy teaching for some years, ...

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‘Gestures’, not strategy

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It’s hard enough dealing with current difficulties in a strategically sound way, but it’s not helped by actions that are pointless or counter-productive – examples below.

Some of these actions just might be unavoidable if the business is in real danger of collapse, but very few are in such a bad state. It seems most are doing these things for purely symbolic reasons – ‘We must be seen to be taking the problem seriously’ – or else to hold up short-term profitability ...

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The crisis – ethics or competence?

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See http://www.strategydynamics.com/strategy-lessons. Background follows … I have been watching a long debate on the Academy of Management’s discussion list re Management Development about the role of ethics and values [or lack of] in bringing about the current crisis. That debate and many similar comments in the media seem to make a big assumption – that unethical behaviour was the main reason for the crisis, so with more ethical standards the crisis would have been avoided or substantially reduced. But apart from ...

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