Chapter 1

The Three Laws of Business Combinations

BUSINESS IS BEING TURNED OUTSIDE-IN. ACQUISITIONS, mergers, joint ventures, alliances, partnerships, and other business combinations are bringing in resources from outside the firm. And they are no longer exceptions in most businesses—they have become central to gaining competitive advantage.

This is not surprising. At the most basic level, new value often comes from combining ideas and effort from disparate sources. Labor and capital. Technology and brand. Hardware and software. Global and local. In today’s world of fleeting advantage, combining assets, capabilities, markets, and talent pools is even more important than ever. This combining of resources to create new value is what I call the ...

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