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Transient Advantage

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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Agony and ecstasy for young lawyers

For some time, I’ve suggested that law schools provide a cautionary tale for the rest of us.  With many graduates loaded down with big debt and with few prospects for taking jobs that actually require the degree, some schools are beginning to think the unthinkable – should they consider closing?   They may not have a choice – students aren’t stupid, and to go deeply into debt for a degree... read more »

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Staring down a disengagement decision at Yahoo!

Yahoo and its CEO of three years, Marissa Mayer, have been in the news a lot lately. While Yahoo’s checkered history and frequent changes in leadership have not done the company’s reputation any favors, it still has assets that could be valuable. With investors becoming impatient, Yahoo is apparently in play in a big way. Fortune reports that Starboard Value Fund’s Jeff Smith has launched a proxy fight against Yahoo and is... read more »

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Implications of the Unicorn Economy

In my most recent newsletter, I suggested that businesses would do well to anticipate the consequences of a valuation bubble bursting in Silicon Valley with so many private companies valued at more than a billion dollars, with few signs that the investor spigot is going to turn off anytime soon.  I ran across this great article by Mark Littlewood of Business of Software conference fame that adds additional support to... read more »

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Looking forward to the mach49 Mothership Blitz on Friday

As someone who has spent much of my life watching organizations fall victim to what I call the ‘transient advantage‘ economy, I’ve always been puzzled that despite its obvious importance, large organizations do a lot more talking about innovation than actually doing it.  When you dig a little deeper, what quickly becomes clear is that most of the factors that inhibit innovation success – fear of failure, inadequate funding or structures,... read more »

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Corporate entrepreneurship’s latest incarnation-the virtual startup

In this insightful blog post, Steve Sokol runs through the pluses and minuses of being part of a startup within a large corporation, what he calls a “virtual startup.”  The pluses are many – a salary, funding and office space among them.  There are also some minuses – having to play nicely with corporate systems and staying within the rules of protecting the brand are some. What I found intriguing... read more »

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Links to International Editions of End of Competitive Advantage

It’s gratifying to see that the ideas in The End of Competitive Advantage are starting to get traction in various parts of the world. Clicking on the links below should take you to the site for the appropriate language: Japanese Portugese Turkish (thanks to one of my twitter followers for this! Still working on getting the right links for Russian and Chinese editions. Tell me, how big do you think... read more »

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How do we get our middle managers back into a growth mindset?

It’s been five or more years since the Great recession walloped economies all over the world, with the result that for many companies it has been a time of doing not very much but cost-cutting, downsizing, divesting and otherwise holding on to what business they can by their fingernails.  Now, as things are slowly starting to pick up and companies are beginning to once again see opportunities, they are facing... 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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