This post is a strategy salute to Michael Porter with whom I was deeply privileged to learn directly from at Harvard Business School in 2006/7. The new CEO program was a brilliant, intensive emersion into global strategy & competition, working with the very best in the world!
Best known for his theories on economics, business strategy, and social causes and now modern government… Porter is credited with creating the five forces analysis, which is instrumental as a driving force in business strategy development today.
Below are his top pieces of advice that have been totally invaluable in my career:
1. If your goal is anything but profitability – if it’s to be big, or to grow fast, or to become a technology leader – you’ll hit problems.
2. Companies have to be very schizophrenic. On one hand, maintaining continuity of strategy. But also one must be good at continuously improving.
3. The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do
4. The company without a strategy is willing to try anything.
5. Strategy 101 is about choices: You can’t be all things to all people.
6. The chief strategist of an organization has to be the leader – the CEO.
7. If all you’re trying to do is essentially the same thing as your rivals, then it’s unlikely that you’ll be successful.