Operations Strategy is key

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Good to see strategy+business magazine on why operations strategy is vital to strategic performance. In Winter-09 edn An Essential Step for Corporate Strategy, Tim Laster points out that many operational decisions have huge implications for firms’ ability to build and sustain critical resources and capabilities, in spite of efforts by Michael Porter and others to dismiss their impotance. We do, though, need to go further, and develop a holistic, continuous view of strategy across all functions of course.

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Strategy error at Shell

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Sad to see Shell cutting 5000 jobs, making staff re-apply for 15,000 jobs, and aggressively driving down suppliers’ prices in an effort to cut its debt. This just 4 years after desperate efforts to hire 1,000 experienced oil engineers due to past failures to develop enough of these key staff. I guess Shell’s Annual Report will not be declaring staff to be ‘our most important asset’, but it’s still shocking to see the massive damage firms and even entire industries can inflict on themselves with this kind ...

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Limits to growth

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I see that icon of ‘not even the sky is the limit’, Ryanair, is finding gravity still exists. In a curious ‘threat’ to curtail growth, lively CEO O’Leary says it’s not as easy to pick up dirt-cheap aircraft as he did in 2002. He’s not quite so open about the company’s experience of opening hundreds of routes between city-pairs. I’ve tried reconciling their statements of routes opened, operated and closed, and it’s not easy – lots of hype about huge ...

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Balanced Scorecard is not Strategy

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Harvard Business Publishing is again pushing its balanced scorecard stuff, but under the misleading strap-line Strategy has never been more important. Don’t get me wrong – BSC is a much better tool for on-going performance management or for strategic initiatives than the crude finance-only metrics that too often dominate, but it’s a very long way short of being a strategic management. A few shortcomings:

  • Whilst the causal logic behind the 4 dimensions of a BSC or strategy map are plausible enough, there’s no ...
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