Six Common Strategic Errors

There is the Do-It-All strategy, shorthand for failing to make real choices about priorities. The Don Quixote strategy unwisely attacks the company’s strongest competitor first. The Waterloo strategy pursues war on too many fronts at once. The Something-For-Everyone tries to capture every sort of customer at once, rather than prioritising. The Programme-Of-The-Month eschews distinctiveness for whatever strategy is currently fashionable in an industry. The Dreams-That-Never-Come-True strategy never translates ambitious mission statements into clear choices about which markets to compete in and how to win in them.

Clearly, A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin is about to publish this book — Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works. I am thinking of pre-ordering, then I never did that, not even for Harry Potter.

I have become quite cynical on business strategies. I read Michael Porter long ago and was greatly inspired. Then I learned that a good execution can turn even a mediocre strategy into gold, let alone a brilliant one. The emphasis for modern day managers, therefore, is about execution. Strategies are easy to come by, good implementation skills are truly hard to find.

This excerpt is from the review that was in a recent Economists. Not bad for a sound bite.

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