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Strategy Dynamics

This month’s newsletter-All about what’s going on in the #grocery store

It’s ironic – Whole Foods did a great job of teaching all of us that natural and organic are desirable. And for about 30 years, that created a strong, high-margin position for them in the competition to put dinner on your table. Now, though, as I discuss in my recent newsletter, competitors have matched them on the variety of organic material on offer, and beaten them on price.  Transient advantage... read more »

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Pressuring customers for profits can be a loser in the long term

I was recently asked by a reporter whether there are times when a company is too generous to its customers. The company in question was JetBlue, and the issue was whether perhaps it was being too kind to customers in the legroom department, with the result that it doesn’t squeeze every last drop of profits out of every flight. The real question to me in cases like this is whether... read more »

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Sustainable advantage, Transient Advantage and Organizational Change

In an insightful blog that is part of a series HBR is running on the intersection between Strategy and Innovation, editor Sarah Cliffe interviews colleague Don Sull, who argues that you can think of the “sustainability” school as the thesis, the “transient advantage” camp as the antithesis and the organizational change folks as the synthesis of the two, requiring a degree of ambidexterity on the part of managers. In support... read more »

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Organizational agility: The CEO’s top concern?

Last week at the Managing Partners’ Forum held on March 12 in London, Caspar de Bono of the Financial Times opened this high-level conference for leaders of professional services firms with an observation about the biggest single concern besetting CEO’s.  He argues that despite all the other things that could provoke a CEO’s angst – natural events, war, price shifts, competition, whatever – that all these things are wrapped up... read more »

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The importance of critical conversations

Yesterday, I was delighted to be a guest at a World 50 event for very senior executives.  The organizations creates a forum in which people can have honest, open dialogues and share best practices.  The day looked at how difficult it is to anticipate massive changes that can affect entire industry segments.  Among the conclusions was that having honest, candid conversations with people who have insight into the future is... read more »

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Groupon: Didn’t like it before, don’t like it much better now

I have gone on the record as being dubious about Groupon’s business model for some time now.  Indeed, in an article published in the European Financial Review, I suggested that a simple diagnostic quiz could reveal some of the weaknesses in its business proposition, including the fact that the stickiness which great business models create for companies with their customers doesn’t seem to be there with Groupon.  There is also... read more »

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What are we to use to replace industry analysis in strategy?

In my blog over at the Harvard business review web site, I noted that industry boundaries are blurring and that this can lead to serious strategy miscalculations.  Several people wrote in to say that they thought the 'jobs to be done' perspective offered a better vantage point.  Couldn't agree more! read more »

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Rita Gunther McGrath one of the world’s top 20 business thinkers

The global management list of leading thinkers has just been released, and I'm happy to share that I am one of the top 20 on the list.   You can see the list, images of the swanky awards dinner and other images at this link. read more »

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Still not liking Groupon’s business model a whole lot…

In a post over at the HBR site, I note that Groupon's business model continues to be problematic.  In response, I received some updated news from Sander Daniels, who runs a site called Thumbtack that acts as kind of a clearinghouse for daily deals.  Here's what they found:   We reviewed 10 daily deals offered by Groupon and Livingsocial, and the "regular" prices quoted by Groupon and Livingsocial were higher in... read more »

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