Sustained growth: a challenge

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We’ve noted before that strategy is about delivering earnings growth, not hitting ROIC ratios, but it seems that’s not easy. In Profit from the Core: A Return to Growth in Turbulent Times, Chris Zook and James Allen, coleaders of Bain’s global strategy practice, find that just 12% of companies grew revenues and profits more than 5.5% during 1998-2008. A few questions and issues arise:

  • This is further evidence that strategic management is not typically done well.
  • It would be interesting to know ...
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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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Other consultants’ warnings on the downturn

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I realise I’ve focused on what McKinsey has had to say on the downturn, and especially on the failure to warn of the subprime nonsense, so thought I should check out the other big consulting firms. Not so easy, as they mostly don’t publish their own views quite so firmly or accessibly as happens with the McK Quarterly.

Why am I banging on about this?  If those advisors had been urging caution when it was obvious trouble could be building, and ...

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