Helping Top Performers Sharpen Their Edge
and Springboard Their Success
while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.“
Nearly 2,500 years ago, the writings of the legendary Chinese general Sun Tzu defined the planning process that built a mighty empire and that has guided military conquests ever since. Not only do today’s generals read The Art of War, so do thoughtful business leaders worldwide. After all, without an effective strategy, few businesses will survive, much less grow and prosper.
Strategy formulation is a complex but elemental foundation of business life. Of the scores of modern business theorists who have written about effective strategy, one of the most widespread analytical planning tools is Michael E. Porter’s Five Forces model, helpful as a “high altitude” view of a business’s competitive opportunities and threats [See Figure 1].
Competitive strategy is a powerful enterprise. One of my clients, a leading European Credit Management Services company chose to strategically reposition itself in the marketplace. In its behaviors, systems and public presence, it moved from historically functioning as a debt collection agency to a catalyst for a sound economy and guarantor of fair trade.
In time, the results were remarkable and included a more distinct and robust brand identify, substantial revenue growth and a significantly broadened array of products and services. Such opportunities are open to all business that develop and implement a truly winning strategy.
Here are six observations that I find useful in working with clients to evaluate, devise, and refocus strategic thinking: