Generic Strategies

Using the concept of the industry value chain analysis is an important part of gaining an appreciation for the wider competitive factors that can impact on your business. Background To The Industry Value Chain Or Value System The idea of the value chain was introduced in the classic strategy book Competitive Advantage by Michael Porter […]

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Value Disciplines & Differentiation

by Paul Simister on September 23, 2011

The value disciplines are an interesting extension to Michael Porter’s generic strategies for competitive advantage. The Origin Of The Value Disciplines The value disciplines have been developed and promoted by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema in a famous Harvard Business Review article “Customer Intimacy and Other Value Disciplines” and in their book “The Discipline Of […]

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The Six Step Profit Formula

by Paul Simister on September 22, 2011

  The Six Step Profit Formula is my high level reminder of what you are trying to achieve with your strategic planning and analysis and provides the connection between strategy and tactics. It can also be used as: A guide when you are starting your business to make sure that you’ve covered the basics. . […]

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Core Competence & Its Role In Differentiation

by Paul Simister on September 18, 2011

In this article I will look at the idea of core competence as developed by CK Prahalad and Gary Hamel in their classic Harvard Business Review article The Core Competence of the Corporation and their book, Competing For The Future. Core Competence & Resource Based Strategy Very important work was done in the early nineties […]

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PEST Analysis – The Way To Understand The Wider Environment

by Paul Simister on September 14, 2011

I’ve mentioned PEST analysis several times in passing in this blog so it’s probably about time I explained more about the importance of understanding changes in the wider economic environment. What is PEST Analysis? PEST stands for: Political changes Economic changes Social & Demographic changes Technological changes It is a very easy acronym to remember […]

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Ansoff Growth Matrix – Four Ways To Grow A Business

by Paul Simister on September 5, 2011

The Ansoff Growth Matrix is also known as the Ansoff Product-Market Growth matrix or the Four Ways To Grow A Business model. This is not to be confused with the Three Ways To Grow A Business model from marketing consultant Jay Abraham which is another, more tactical way to think through business growth issues. It […]

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McKinsey 7 S Framework For Strategic Fit

by Paul Simister on September 2, 2011

The McKinsey 7 S framework or model for strategic fit was developed over thirty years ago by strategy consultants McKinsey and in particular Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, co-authors of the classic book “In Search of Excellence” to help implement strategies. What Is The McKinsey 7 S Framework?

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Value Chain Video

by Paul Simister on September 2, 2011

I thought about putting together my own introduction to the value chain video and then I found these value chain videos from Professor Andrew Fearne which I thought were very well done. These focus on the industry value chain rather than the business value chain. Who Is Andrew Fearne? Andrew Fearne is Professor of Food […]

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The Strategic Position and Action Evaluation Matrix or SPACE analysis matrix is a super technique for evaluating the sense and wisdom in a particular strategic plan. It was developed by strategy academics Alan Rowe, Richard Mason, Karl Dickel, Richard Mann and Robert Mockler and I don’t understand why it isn’t hugely popular. Introduction To The […]

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One of the most popular tools in business planning and strategic planning is SWOT Analysis. What is SWOT Analysis? SWOT stands for: Strengths – factors that are good in the business now . Weaknesses – factors that are bad in the business now . Opportunities – factors that could be good in the future . […]

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Advantages & Disadvantages Of Value Chain Analysis

by Paul Simister on August 18, 2011

Value Chain Analysis is the big idea in Michael Porter’s classic strategy book Competitive Advantage. Image Rights for diagram The Advantages Of Value Chain Analysis A big advantage is that the value chain is a very flexible strategy tool for looking at your business, your competitors and the respective places in the industry’s value system. […]

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Opportunity Gap Exploitation

by Paul Simister on August 8, 2011

The phrase opportunity gap exploitation is one I’ve borrowed from Dan Kennedy and it refers to one of the ways to find your unique selling proposition or, if you want to get fancier, your differentiated value proposition. A great example is Dominos USP – fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes – guaranteed.

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My thinking on strategy is heavily influenced by Michael Porter and his classic book Competitive Advantage introduced the concept of the value chain analysis. The value chain is an original Porter concept although he built on the idea of the business system from strategy consultants McKinsey and its main purpose is to help you to […]

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Competitive Advantage By Michael Porter

by Paul Simister on June 9, 2011

The follow up to the classic book Competitive Strategy by Michael Porter is the equally influential Competitive Advantage: Creating And Sustaining Superior Performance. I first read it in 1990 when I realised strategy was the subject that combined (and reconciled) my interest in finance and marketing. I’d be so impressed with Competitive Strategy and wanted […]

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The Competitive Advantage Matrix (also known as the Advantage Matrix or even the Strategic Environments Matrix) is one of the more interesting generic strategy models and was created by the famous strategy consulting firm, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The Two Dimensions Of the Competitive Advantage Matrix This is a two by two matrix which […]

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Three Ways To Grow A Business

by Paul Simister on May 11, 2011

I want to tell you about Jay Abraham’s Three Ways To Grow A Business. This is very different from the famous Ansoff Business Growth Model which can be thought of as the four ways to grow a business. The Power Of Business Models One of the big advantages of uses a “business model” is that […]

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SKEPTIC Environmental Scanning

by Paul Simister on April 13, 2011

I thought this SKEPTIC acronym for environmental planning from Stephen Haines was pretty neat when he mentioned it in an email. I use PESTER and Michael Porter’s Five Forces but SKEPTIC environmental scanning combines them both if you’re not going to venture into detailed scenario planning.

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The USP (Unique Selling Proposition) And Rosser Reeves

by Paul Simister on March 15, 2011

I’m sure you’ve heard that your business needs a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) because the idea is banded around by most marketing consultants and coaches. Unfortunately the meaning of USP tends to change depending on who you listen to although the point about differentiating your business and your offer from competitors is consistent. The Origins […]

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Managing Down To A Low Price

by Paul Simister on February 16, 2011

In the Basics of Supply & Demand, I explained why value, price and costs are so important. Because demand is normally a downward sloping line, as price decreases then demand increases. That happens at the market level and it happens at the individual product level.

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Stuck In The Middle Of Porter’s Generic Strategies

by Paul Simister on February 14, 2011

Harvard professor and world famous business strategist Michael Porter has a simple view to business and how you can generate superior returns from your business – the generic strategies –  but you can get stuck in the middle, not one thing or the other. These ideas were introduced in the book Competitive Strategy by Michael […]

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