Youngme Moon of the Harvard Business School created this video introducing her new book, DIFFERENT, an intimately drawn meditation on the meaning of business differentiation. She teaches one of the most sought-after courses in the school’s curriculum, and has published some of the best-selling case studies in the world.
Can you state your company's strategy simply? Is it driving sustainable growth?
Strategy is all about the competitive advantage you are able to sustain over time. Patrick Lencioni (author of The Advantage) states that strategy in the simplest form is your plan for success. It is a collection of intentional decisions your company makes to give itself the best chance to thrive and differentiate from competitors.
A lot of people talk about how great it is to start and run a business, but only Ben Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, is brutally honest about how hard it is to run one. His new book “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs and owners as well as those aspiring to their own companies. His advice is grounded in anecdotes from his own hard-earned experience—from co-founding the early cloud service provider Loudcloud to building the successful Andreessen Horowitz venture capital firm, both with fellow tech colleague Marc Andreessen (inventor of Mosaic, the Internet’s first popular Web browser).
With our economy improving, your customers should be buying more of what you sell. What, they’re not? Then this is an indicator that you may need to update your strategy – and quickly. Two key warning signs of a weak strategy are flat or declining sales and poor gross margins. In other words, your customers are not your promoters and they are not willing to pay your prices.
Different cultures can have radically different leadership styles, and international organizations would do well to understand them. Business Insider recently published an update (posted by Gus Lubin) on British linguist Richard D. Lewis who charted these differences in his book “When Cultures Collide,” first published in 1996 and now in its third edition. From structured individualism in the U.S. to ringi-sho consensus in Japan, the charts provide us all great insight into the “how” of leadership across the globe. With permission from Lewis, Business Insider posted the 24 charts of leadership styles from his book, with a brief summary of his comments.
Turbulent economic times tend to expose weak strategies. In today's environment, good execution and good operations aren't enough to fix a business with a flawed strategy. Is it time for your company to re-examine strategic thinking? Many companies think they have a strategy, but usually what they have done is focus on steps, goals, and objectives. To have an effective sustainable strategy, let’s be clear on what strategy is not.