MGMT 704: Management and Leadership
Lecture Notes: Article 1, Seminar 3
A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin, “Chapter 1: Strategy is Choice,” Playing to Win, Boston, Harvard Business Press, 2013, pp. 7-34
(Page 14) Strategy is a set of choices about winning. It positions a company to earn a sustainable competitive advantage and superior value when compared to rivals.
(Pages 14 to 15) Strategy aims to answer five interrelated questions:
(Page 18) Determining the winning goal sets the frame for all other choices. A company seeks to win by choosing where it will play and how it will win.
(Pages 18 to 19) If a company does not seek to win, it is just wasting time and resources.
Where to Play
(Page 20) Where to play represents the set of choices that narrow the competitive field. A company must decide where it will compete:
No company can be all things to all people and still win.
How to Win
(Page 24) Where to play determines the playing field, how to win defines the choices for winning on that field.
(Page 25) A company must decide what will enable it to create unique value to consumers and deliver that value in a way that is sustainable and distinct from other competitors.
(Page 27) Capabilities refer to the scope of activities that will enable a company to win on the field it chooses to play. Companies must choose which activities it will do and which activities it will not do.
(Page 29) Management systems support the strategy by making sure that:
(Page 32) Determining strategy is not a one-way, linear process. It is a holistic approach with interlinking components.
(Page 34) There is no such thing as the perfect strategy. A company’s strategy – its set of choices – must be as distinct as the company itself.
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