McKinsey Tests of Strategy

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I’m not a big fan of checklists, but Have you tested your strategy lately? offers useful tests for checking the quality of a strategy. The list also makes some assumptions, and leaves out some vital tests. For example, “Will your strategy beat the market?”  assumes there is a defined market for which rivals struggle for share, but many leading firms create market that they themselves exploit. And test 10 “Have you translated your strategy into an action plan?” assumes that management ...

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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 47: Resources remaining useful after leaving

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Resources can continue to be relevant even after they are lost. Former customers recommend or dissuade others to buy a product, and former staff may recommend or dissuade friends about joining an employer. A clear case concerns university alumni. Most universities now have substantial programs in place to keep in touch with former students, predominantly with the aim of raising money from them, but also to attract future students and commercial partners. Whilst this alumni-recommendation process is widely understood in ...

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How to clarify adaptive capacity

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There is a ton of academic stuff on this, but our dynamics terminology can be quite exact about it.

To “adapt” implies building specific resources and capabilities that previously did not exist. For example, a current client is trying to move from a hardware-sales focus to a “solution-provider”. They need to design solutions for distinct markets they serve (a solution = the hardware + control systems + ongoing support). Creating these solutions is a capability they currently do not have. Nor ...

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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 36: Developing resources

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So far, we have simply assumed that resources can be switched on and off, but in many cases, resources may develop through a series of states. Sometimes this happens entirely within an organization, such as products being moved through stages in the R&D process. For some items, though, development may extend outside the organization, such as the growing awareness and interest of potential customers, and the continued influence of former customers.
How does this influence strategic thinking?

Staff developmentThe promotion of ...

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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 30: When resources bring access to others

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One specially useful case where resource attributes arise is when one resource brings access to other potential resources, most often customers…

One specially useful case where resource attributes arise is when one resource brings access to other potential resources, most often customers – a new product makes it possible to sell to a certain number of previously unavailable customers, and adding a new distributor makes it possible gives access for our products to their end-customers, for example. We describe the first ...

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