Saturday, 1 July 2017

On Strategy - Harvard Business Review

Lots of details, that no one needs.
But the interesting points, are very good indeed. 
First, business strategy is obsessed with developing the right positioning involving the right activities and aligning them. “Strategy is the creation of a unique and valuable position, involving a different set of activities.” (Porter, 2011, p.16). How to get there is seen as trivial. This is where communication strategy is the exact opposite. This is where the two should be able to learn from each other.

The idea of sustainable advantage is key in business strategy. “But a strategic position is not sustainable unless there are tradeoffs with other positions. (…) Simply put, a trade off means that more of one thing necessitates less of another.” (Porter, 2011, p.17) This is the next interesting point: how can any marketing strategy be defendable and inimitable? Well if it takes trade offs to get there: like courage or admitting weaknesses. “Trade offs create the need for choice and protect against repositions and straddlers.” (Porter, 2011, p.17)

And the following quote from Mr. Packard shows a profound insight into companies. And why they are so much more than shareholder value producing machines. They are and should be companies: “I want to discuss why a company exists in the first place. In other words, why are we here? I think many people assume, wrongly, that a company exists simply to make money. While this is an important result of a company’s existence, we have to go deeper and find the real reasons for our being, As we investigate this, we inevitably come to the conclusion that a group of people get together and exist as an institution that we call a company so they are able to accomplish something collectively that they could not accomplish separately – they make a contribution to society, a phrase which sounds trite but is fundamental.” (Colin and Porras quoting Packard, 2011, p.88) “As Peter Drucker has pointed out, the best and the most dedicated people are ultimately volunteers. For they have the opportunity to do something else with their lives.” (Colin and Porras, 2011, p.90)

The one interesting fact in the often quoted blue ocean strategy seldom gets mentioned: the research behind blue ocean strategy indicates, that the most disruptive and impactful innovations do not come from start ups, but from big corporation