When a new business model is essential

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The music industry is a great example of where ‘changing the business model’ – aka ‘strategic innovation’  or transformation – has been essential. So although I have poured cold water on this idea for almost all firms at almost all times, it’s worth looking at this case.

Apple’s development of iTunes of course features strongly in demonstrations of the concept, as in Christensen et al in HBR. Music was going digital, so what a great idea to give ...

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Previous strategic incompetence in banking

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Watched a great TV series recently The Ascent of Money presented by Professor Niall Ferguson. If you cannot view it, the book is probably good too. It makes the dry and obscure world of banking and its origins brilliantly accessible. One little nugget in the latest episode reminded me, though, that it’s not long since the last time those clever folk in banking messed up so badly that governments had to bail out the ...

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Simple strategy dynamics case example

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Most of the corporate work I do on strategy can’t be made public, so here’s a small case from the non-profit sector that nevertheless demonstrates the principles of strategy dynamics. [It’s not just businesses that need strategy!]. Download the report at the end of the full post, but please read and appreciate the background before doing so.  I am grateful to Andrew Daw and Doug Cowper, past and current UK presidents, for permission to make this report public. 
The ...

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Strategy – a troubled discipline

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Managers may not know or care, but this really matters. I’ve argued for professional strategic management before [search the archive], but if there’s a crisis in the discipline itself, there’s little chance of ever achieving that aim. Be clear – the academic topic of strategy is in real crisis. Students don’t like the courses, recruiters don’t value what they learn, executives don’t use its tools, and academics don’t want to be part of the field. A recent academic ...

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Strategy in asset-heavy firms + model

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the Economist says Mr Obama plans big spend to fix US infrastructure. Origins of problems that led to bridges collapsing, water mains bursting, and massive sewage leaks are easy to see – politicians can always put off long-term investment in favour of short-term give-aways. But CEOs face similar temptations. Read on for a detailed explanation of this topic and an exercise to try for yourself …

This has become particularly prevalent since the fashion for privatising utilities – ...

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