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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Making Sense of the Competition

Two interesting articles from McKinsey on competition (premium membership required for full articles, but the trailers are still worth reading)

Kim Warren comments: "I’m still puzzled so little is written in this or any other strategy sources about what to actually do against competitors" (via A Jangbrand).

Although the word "strategy" sounds grand and majestic, the true strategists are tricksters (Odysseus). The end supposedly justifies the means, but the means can be pretty mean. Like diplomacy, you may want to look away now.

Strategy can be ethically problematic, so a lot of books on strategic action are set in a safe historical period - like the Japanese samurai, or Sun Tzu's Art of War. Perhaps the best way to learn about modern strategy is to study biographies (not autobiographies) of business leaders. And read between the lines.

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