The Malcolm Baldrige Award is given annually to companies that have extremely high quality. In 1990, the Wallace Company, a family-run distributor of pipes and valves in Houston won in the small business category. Unfortunately, glowing reviews about the company didn’t transfer into results. Quality alone wasn’t the recipe for success. The award did nothing to overcome a severe downturn in the oil business, and a loss of focus by the management team. A few years later the company was in bankruptcy. Many companies fail like this. They merely focus on one or two issues, whether it was quality, price wars, cost reduction, etc, that they fail to see the whole picture. They let urgent, but often less important things, grab their full attention. They face the future with the exalted courage of a fireman. But what they really lack is the mind of a general. Strategizing, planning and weighing the options are the tasks a general doe. Strategy is what most failing businesses lack. A strategy is not a document, but a management tool. A strategy should not be placed on a shelf or a drawer, but turned into actions.
Today, leaders lean more on their team members to help them make solid, reliable decisions on how to best execute the objectives that advance the ultimate organizational strategy. That’s why execution is the strategy. You can’t strategize your way to greatness; you execute your way there! Strategy can’t be separate from
Today, that way of thinking about strategy is in tatters. It would be easy to bemoan the loss of so much security and stability, and it is indeed important to be candid about the downsides and the social adjustment costs. But it’s just as important to be excited about the opportunities
Business owners, and their teams, often lose their way in the midst of the day-to-day stress of generating sales and profits. Suddenly, everyone becomes so focused on short-term goals that the entire organization loses sight of the long-term vision. The solution is to start at the end. When you know where
There will be some areas where competitors can beat you and some areas where they can't. They may hurt you in the short run, but they'll ultimately either go out of business or get smart.
The strategic part of this equation is figuring out where you can win so you can concentrate all of your resources there.
Ideally, you shouldn’t go head to head with any competitor. That’s a recipe for failure. If they’re selling on price, perhaps you should sell on quality.
Understanding your capabilities is a key concept in formulating a sound strategy. You should have reliable measurements of your company’s strengths and weaknesses.
It's impossible to plan for the future without assumptions and hypotheses about future events. Strategy is about planning for the future. If the world would stay the same, you could just plan once and then forget about it.
A half century ago, Peter Drucker put management on the map. Leadership has since pushed it off the map. We are now inundated with stories about the grand successes and even grander failures of the great leaders. But we have yet to come to grips with the simple realities of being
The quantity of work to be done, or that the manager chooses to do, during the day is substantial and the pace is unrelenting. Why do managers adopt this pace and workload? One major reason is the inherently open-ended nature of the job. The manager must always keep going, never sure
In this definitive and revealing history, Henry Mintzberg, the iconoclastic former president of the Strategic Management Society, unmasks the press that has mesmerized so many organizations since 1965: strategic planning. One of our most brilliant and original management thinkers, Mintzberg concludes that the term is an oxymoron—that strategy cannot be planned