Building acquisition capability

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Good discussion of M&A in strategy+business from Booz. Points out that making acquisitions is, like most other activities, something you get better at with practice, so skilled companies build real capability at doing it. Cisco is a well-known case [also with much skill at alliances prior to possilbe acquisition – Google will point to tons of stuff on them] and this article highlights Johnson & Johnson. Especially useful extra, though, is the guidance offered on managing the process. ...

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More items on strategy in the crisis

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Amongst the continuing stream of articles on this, some good ones [I’ve left out some bad or downright dangerous ones] include:

Seven Ways Forward from Booz & Co’s strategy+business on, with specifics for Manufacturing, Consumer Products, Aerospace and Defense, Telecom, Finance, and general guidance on rebuilding capabilities for long-term growth.

Surviving the Downturn: Lessons from Emerging Markets from Sloan Mgmt Review [title self-explanatory]

Three Opportunities to Seize in the Downturn a blog post from Harvard Business ...

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Online environment changing competition

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Digital Darwinism by Christopher Vollmer in strategy+business plays to my view of strategy as making order-of-magnitude impact, not the percentage incrementalism that constrains much management thinking.

Under the hyped language, the article makes a great case for how the latest developments in the online world offer to transform product development and marketing and make possible truly spectacular outcomes – if you know how, and the article offers useful pointers.

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How firms are coping

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Mixed news from a recent S+B survey of execs. 75% say they do not need extra financial support – as I suspected – though that may change of course.  More worrying is that most seem not to be taking the correct actions, given their specific situations.

The article by Shumeet Banerji CEO of Booz & Co and Neil McArthur MD of Booz Europe helpfully groups firms into 4 categories ...

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Anyone using game theory?

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Though I have heard of game theory being used in a few particular and special cases (e.g. the auctioning of 3G cellphone licenses) I have not seen anything of it being used in general strategic management or business planning. The strategy textbooks dismiss it as too uni-dimensional and limited to special cases to be useful, and I can find virtually no articles in e.g. Harvard Business Review or McKinsey Quarterly giving any encouraging cases where it has been helpful. (Though ...

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