Introduction to Strategy & Change Management
January 10, 2019
A firm’s strategy provides the architecture or design to which other decisions must fit. The escalation of terms such as “low price strategy”, “acquisition strategy”, “branding strategy”, etc. only serve to confuse the concept, and to encourage the use of multiple, and often incompatible, strategies. Strategy integrates all those dimensions. When the objective is to achieve and maintain superior performance, a good strategy is of paramount importance.
Strategic analysis of the business environment
January 17, 2019
The diagnosis of the business environment is indispensable for strategic decision making to ensure the decisions that a firm takes today prepare it for the future. The relevant aspects include the macro-environement, industry attractiveness, customer segments, and specific competitors. The analysis of the business environment for strategy-making purposes is relevant for all businesses and should be part of the required skill set for business professionals.
Strategic positioning and competitive advantage
January 24, 2019
A key component of strategy formulation is strategic positioning. Strategic positioning, in essence, means performing different activities from rivals’ or performing similar activities in different ways. Effective strategic positioning enables firms to achieve sustainable competitive advantage by carrying out unique activities in unique ways. Yet, this is easier said than done: inadequate (re)positioning is behind many firm’s performance problems and demise.
January 31, 2019
Firms are surrounded by other firms whose choices interact with that of the focal firm. Returns to a given strategic positioning, for example, will depend crucially on the decisions of rival firms. The appropriate question is “how a firm can choose a good strategy when the best choice depends on what strategies the other firms in the market choose.” It is vital to be able to think through the situation from the position of the other firms, and to anticipate their choices.
Technological change and dynamics of strategy
February 7, 2019
Technological change and disruption reshapes firms and their business environment. Successful firms change their strategies along with these changes and disruptions. Former strategies may no longer be effective, and the opportunities a new technology brings may be realized (or lost) depending on how a firms respond. Following technological innovation, firms need to adjust competitive strategy along with changes in firm resources and capabilities.
Strategies for emerging industries
February 14, 2019
Emerging industries are newly formed industries that have been created by technological innovations, emergence of new consumers, or other changes that elevate a new product or service to the level of a potentially viable business opportunity. The essential characteristic of an emerging industry from the viewpoint of strategy is that there are no rules of the game. The absence of rules is both a risk and a source of opportunity; in any case, it must be managed.
Strategies for declining industries
February 21, 2019
Many, if not all, industries pass from periods of rapid growth to more modest growth, what is commonly called industry maturity and eventually experience a decline in sales over a sustained period of time. Firms sometimes have trouble perceiving these changes clearly. Even when these changes are perceived, responding to them can require changes in strategy that firms are hesitant to make. End-game strategies must be developed.
Creating new market place
February 28, 2019
Firms typically engage in mainly “exploitative” strategies, seeking to optimize their competitive position either under the constraints of industry characteristics or by leveraging their internal capabilities. But there is another way to generate excess returns: instead of incrementally changing the value proposition of their products and services within known industry parameters, firms can create radically new value propositions. Simply said, firms can ‘innovate’ value.