Hot strategic yoga

Let’s not let our brains get like our hamstrings

20 Years of ACS

Advanced Competitive Strategies was officially incorporated in February 1992. Please join me with a smile: it’s time to celebrate and reflect upon twenty years of ACS. We will do that here with accumulated facts, acquired wisdom, sincere thanks, and hopes for what’s yet to come.

Who Did Best?

I’m not talking about the Democrats and Republicans. Not the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Not even the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. I mean something BIG. I mean Safeway and Supervalu, the huge supermarket chains. How do we know whose strategy worked?

Why Do War Games Work?

Business war games, in my experience, provide outstanding insights that greatly impact bottom lines. But why? What is it about business war games that produces insights that evidently elude other approaches?

True-Due Diligence

Due diligence may not protect you from frenzies of advocacy. At its worst, it’s like signing an ill-advised legal document because the spell-check said it was okay. Think it doesn’t happen? Remember that no one invests in a strategy or business expecting it to fail, yet somehow smart people invest in strategies and businesses that fail.

In Strategy We Trust

An interview with ACS’ Mark Chussil from the Trust Across America blog, where Barbara Brooks Kimmel writes on building great business through trustworthy behavior. The wide-ranging interview ranges from trustworthy business behavior, to the shift from stakeholders to shareholders, to making strategy decisions.

The War (Game) Metaphor

This is something I’ve learned from all those war games: Watch out for the war metaphor in your strategic thinking, and challenge it if you see it. The challenge doesn’t cost you anything. You can always go back to the war metaphor if you really think it works.

The First-Tagger Advantage

Same-store sales rose 14.3% when using RFID tags on clothes. Is there a first-tagger advantage, and is it worth having? Let’s think it through.

Are We Clear?

“Where is the evidence that a clear strategy makes a company more likely to succeed?” That brave question is stunningly difficult to answer. We’ll try anyway, and end up with a bumper sticker for professional strategists.

The Burden of Anecdote

In lieu of evidence and a causal theory, I say that if you like to tweet, go ahead and tweet. You don’t need to justify it — and you cannot justify it —any more than you need to justify a preference for cabernet sauvignon over pinot noir.

Honey, We Shrunk The Industry Again

We’ve run it again: a business war game on the automobile industry. It was to demonstrate war-gaming, not to solve the industry’s problems. That said, it revealed a lot about what goes right and what goes wrong when people develop competitive strategies.