Why Most CEOs Are Bad at Strategy

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A blog post by Roger Martin* makes a good case that CEOs find it hard to simultaneously make a good choice of where to play and how to win. He concludes they need to go beyond these basics and ‘creatively integrate’ these two views. True enough if performance were all about formulating strategy, but it forgets that order-of-magnitude differences in performance more often arise from relentless expert management of strategy, than from unique choices of where+how to play. 

He also claims that ...

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Short online strategy course

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Just launched a short course at open learning materials provider, Coggno.  Its free intro on ‘what is strategy’ may be useful in any case – it makes the case, with  examples, that steering strategy and performance is a larger issue that the infrequent choice of strategic ‘position’ that dominates strategy books and courses. The short course is based on the full 10-week video slide-show course used in MBA programs.

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What’s the use of strategy tools?

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On behalf of executives and consultants who really would like some useful approaches to strategy, I last week issued the following challenge to the Business School profs’ discussion lists – so far, just a handful of the thousands of recipients have responded, and no explanation offered as yet for the irrelevance of strategy research and teaching.

TO…

  • Business Policy and Strategy List [mailto:BPS-NET@AOMLISTS.PACE.EDU]
  • Management Education and Development Discussion [MG-ED-DV@AOMLISTS.PACE.EDU]

We had a great post in December from Richard Whittington [below], drawing attention to ...

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What is strategy? … and the strategy life-cycle

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Just working on the first chapter of the textbook 2nd edition, and thought it needed a bit more on this question – found the only way to explain to newbies was to go through an organization’s life and track what ‘strategic management’ actually does over that time-horizon. Main messages are:

  • The choice of strategic ‘position’ [what to provide, to whom and how, relative to rivals] is a very rare activity.
  • Substantial strategic initiatives [acquisition, new market entry etc] occur occasionally.
  • By far the ...
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