What Is Strategy? (HBR Bestseller) Save; Share. Format. PDF Hardcopy Black & White. Format. PDF, Hardcopy Black & White. Language. HBR's 10 Must Reads on Strategy (including featured article "What Is Strategy?" by Michael E. Porter). This article has benefited greatly from the assistance of many individuals and companies. The author gives special thanks to Jan Rivkin, the coauthor of a related.
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echecs16.info What Is Strategy? by Michael E. Porter. Included with this full-text Harvard Business Review article: The Idea in Brief—the core idea. The Idea in. company says “no” to sales based on deodor-izing, gives up large volume, and sacrifices management echecs16.info HBR. NOVEMBER-DECEMBER I. Operational Effectiveness Is Not Strategy. For almost two dec des, managers have been learning to play by a new set.
Circus, one of the most well-known American circuses, which had been in existence for years. The universe consists of two oceans: blue and red. Red ocean is represented by existing industries. The industry boundaries in the red ocean are clearly defined and competition dictates the rules of the game. Companies fight for customers and the more companies that enter red oceans, the fewer opportunities for companies to enhance their profitability. Unique products are quickly benchmarked and the waters of the red ocean become even bloodier. Blue oceans are uncontested market spaces which are not touched by the competition.
The two of us were part of a small wave of mainstream media types who would join the company in an effort to reinvigorate its online publishing efforts. The goal was to build a digital publishing division that leveraged the best of HBR great ideas, editorial team, and brand , but adapted the brand to the digital world on a totally different scale.
HBR had always reached hundreds of thousands; with the web, it could reach millions. But how? Preface: We're still learning Eric and I have spoken about the lessons we have learned throughout the last nine years for FIPP, as well as other organizations. We wanted to capture these thoughts in a column so that we could continue the conversation online. We look forward to hearing about your views and experiences. But before we dive in, we need to stress a couple of important caveats.
Let's be clear: We still have a tremendous amount to learn. HBR is lucky to be in a position of growth, but the path forward is far from certain. We still need to test, learn, and adapt constantly. Moreover, we would not have come this far if it weren't for the efforts of our editor-in-chief Adi Ignatius and his team. This isn't just kissing the editorial ring.
The strength of an editor-in-chief who can uphold the values of traditional publishing while simultaneously defining a whole new publishing ethos digitally cannot be understated or underestimated.
If you aren't starting here, proceed at your peril. Where have we come from When we joined the publishing company, the magazine was everything. It came out 12 times a year. End of story. In retrospect, by today's measures there really was no website. No online advertising.
No online discussion about our articles. Today, the brand reaches millions digitally with close to five millions fans and followers through various social media around the globe and nearly , paid subscribers.
Our business is fully integrated across print and digital and stronger than ever. So, how did we get this far?
Scaling a digital operation within an existing business is complicated, tough, and sometimes exhausting. But we've tried to boil it down to the three most important takeaways. Not surprisingly, much of this comes from the pages of our own books, magazines, and website.
Here goes: 1 Be something 3 Be obsessed with the customer Be something One of the toughest parts about starting a digital business inside an established one is that it's almost impossible to predict the future. Everyone in your organization knows the core business extremely well. Defining this new digital entity feels like a daunting task. But this anecdote, which I first heard from Harvard Business School Professor Ranjay Gulati, helps to put the challenge into perspective.
The story is about a group of hikers that gets lost in the Alps. After days of wandering, one of the hikers finds a map deep in his bag. The weary group then finds their way to safety. After celebrating for a few days, someone in the contingent takes a closer look at the map and realizes that it's a map of the Andes, not the Alps.
The moral of the story is simply that people need a map -- even if it's not the right map. They point out that platform businesses or established businesses get pretty darn good at predicting the future.
But new businesses must make assumptions and those assumptions are often wrong. The trick is in having a culture that is okay with making mistakes and learning as you go. All of this is fine as long as you have defined what it is that you think you want to be -- even if it turns out that you were wrong. Sounds a bit confusing, but it works.
For us, we also tried to rally our team around the notion of forget, borrow, learn. The concept is simple: When you start something new, you need to be honest with everyone in the organization about what you need to leave behind from the established organization "forget" , what you need to take from the established organization or "borrow" , and what you need to learn.
For example, we knew that we wanted to "borrow" the brand and that we wanted the site to still have the best management ideas in the world. But the long lead times to create an article every day would need to be "forgotten" if we wanted to publish frequently online and build up a following.
We also needed to learn about the relationship between print and digital -- something we are still learning about. He said that internally they refer to new experiments as "Pioneering Pret" versus the existing efforts, which are called "Best of Pret.
Be patient Building a strong presence on the web doesn't happen overnight. They spend time covering their tracks rather than identifying actions to enhance performance. The organization becomes page 5 Turning Great Strategy into Great Performance less self-critical and less intellectually honest about its shortcomings. Consequently, it loses its capacity to perform.
Rather than focus on improving their planning and execution processes separately to close the gap, these companies work both sides of the equation, raising standards for both planning and execution simultaneously and creating clear links between them.
Our research and experience in working with many of these companies suggests they follow seven rules that apply to planning and execution. Rule 1: Keep it simple, make it concrete. At most companies, strategy is a highly abstract concept—often confused with vision or aspiration—and is not something that can be easily communicated or translated into action. But without a clear sense of where the company is headed and why, lower levels in the organization cannot put in place executable plans.
To start off the planning and execution process on the right track, high-performing companies avoid long, drawn-out descriptions of lofty goals and instead stick to clear language describing their course of action. More important, they safeguard the performance their counterparts lose to ineffective communications; their resource and action planning becomes more effective; and accountabilities are easier to specify. Rule 2: Debate assumptions, not forecasts. Not surprisingly, the forecasts that emerge from these negotiations almost always understate what each business unit can deliver in the near term and overstate what can realistically be expected in the long-term—the hockey-stick charts with which CEOs are all too familiar.
For example, revenue forecasts are typically based on crude estimates about average pricing, market growth, and market share. Each line item may be completely defensible, but the overall plan and projections embed a clear upward bias—rendering them useless for driving strategy execution.
High-performing companies view planning altogether differently. They want their forecasts to drive the work they actually do. To be productive, the dialogue between the corporate center and the business units about market trends and assumptions must be conducted within a rigorous framework.
Rule 4: Discuss resource deployments early. Companies can create more realistic forecasts and more executable plans if they discuss up front the level and timing of critical resource deployments. At Cisco Systems, for example, a cross-functional team reviews the level and timing of resource deployments early in the planning stage.
How fast can we deploy our new sales force? How quickly will competitors respond? These are tough questions. But answering them makes the forecasts and the plans they accompany more feasible. In the course of talking about the resources needed to expand in the rapidly growing cable market, for example, Cisco came to realize that additional growth would require more trained engineers to improve existing products and develop new features.
Rule 5: Clearly identify priorities. To deliver any strategy successfully, managers must make thousands of tactical decisions and put them into action. But not all tactics are equally important.
In most instances, a few key steps must be taken—at the right time and in the right way—to meet planned performance. Leading companies make these priorities explicit so that each executive has a clear sense of where to direct his or her efforts.
Our delivery agenda helps us stay the course with the page 8 Turning Great Strategy into Great Performance strategy decisions we have made so that execution is actually allowed to happen.