All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which great victory is evolved.
—Sun-Tzu, Chinese military strategist
Don't manage, lead.
—Jack Welch, GE
Where absolute superiority is not attainable, you must produce a relative one at the decisive point by making skillful use of what you have.
—Karl von Clausewitz, On War, 1832
Our attention now shifts from strategic analysis to the development of a business strategy. What strategic alternatives should be considered? What assets and competencies, target segments, value propositions, and functional strategies? What investment and disinvestment decisions should be raised? These questions will be the focus of the balance of the book. One goal will be to provide a wide scope of available strategic alternatives in order to increase the likelihood that the best choices will be considered. Even a poor decision among superior alternatives is preferable to a good decision among inferior alternatives.
The ten chapters remaining in this book are portrayed in Figure 7.1. This chapter will discuss the concept and creation of a sustainable competitive advantage (SCA), the key to a successful strategy. It then turns to the challenge of creating and leveraging synergy as one basis for an SCA. Finally, three very different strategic philosophies—strategic commitment, strategic opportunism, and strategy adaptability—are ...