Profiting from the downturn – e.g. airlines

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Nice example of what looks like a strategically sound business [Lufthansa] pouncing on valuable resources shaken loose when a feeble competitor [Alitalia] stumbles. The Economist reports they will be offering new services to eight other European cities from under-served Milan.  

With the downturn accelerating, there will be many more examples of weak firms forced to surrender potentially valuable resources – especially capacity and people – to those whose sound strategic management avoided getting into trouble. In the extreme, this will involve ...

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Strategic recovery guide

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I’ve fumed about the strategic errors that have got so many firms into the mess in which they now find themselves, but I guess you might like some idea how to get out of a hole? I just gave a short session on one approach to this with a class of 50 senior execs, and was reminded about a project I did to help a company dig itself out of trouble last time round, after the 2001/02 debacle. No guarantees, but ...

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Big mistake at Starbucks?

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I’ve blogged on Starbucks before, but just seen their results for y/e Sep08, with sales up $9.4>10.4bn but profits down $1.1>0.5bn. A pity, but what are they doing about it?

To see the 6-year path that brought them to this point , see their 07 Annual Report. Store numbers and revenues multiplied by ~2.5 – operating profits and earnings more than tripled ! How do you do that? – by squeezing more margin out, so operating margins up ...

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Strategy in tough times

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I have just been asked to include a specific extra section on this in the LBS ADP executive course on which I teach, which reminds me it may be useful to many others, so here’s a very short summary

First, it’s unlikely that making big throws on changing your strategic positioning will help much – it may even be damaging. Sure, you might get a bit of revenue support from adding or moving to a slightly lower-priced proposition as ...

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Winners from the down-turn?

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Good to know that, as in earlier tough times, applications at business schools are running at record rates [+20% on last year in one case I heard of] . Let’s hope – really hope! – they get taught some solid, professional strategic management skills while doing their MBAs, so they don’t repeat the awful errors of some who went before !

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