Strategy in cyclical industries

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The world’s biggest basic materials firms are suffering along with others as the world economy collapses, and the Economist points out that taking on loads of debt to grow and acquire others did not help. But these industries have always suffered cyclicality, even when not buffeted by extreme market conditions. Pity is that we have known how to steer away from these dangers for many years. Seems to me the same principles would have been useful to a great ...

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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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Where was the strategic thinking?

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I’ve been posting on strategy in the downturn for a while now, but what makes me really angry is the strategic incompetence that led to this mess [search ‘incompetence’ for previous posts on this]. But now I’m puzzled – Harvard Business Review, McKinsey Quarterly, Strategy+Business, Economist, etc, etc, are full of advice from strategy experts on how to survive the problem, so I wondered how much they warned folk before that this was likely to happen? .. and how much ...

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HBR on managing the downturn

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I see Harvard Business Review has got out a section on ‘Unconventional Wisdom in a Downturn‘ from their team of bloggers. It offers some good pointers, but not all, so be careful!  

‘Protect Strategic Expenditures’ say Robert Kaplan and David Norton

Yes of course it’s foolish to kill efforts and investments that are important to medium- to long-term performance, assuming you can survive in the meantime! But during good times, many organisations raced after all kinds of exciting opportunities like children grabbing more ...

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