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Understanding Michael Porter: The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy by Joan Magretta

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Epilogue:

A Short List of Implications

I INTRODUCED THIS BOOK WITH a joke attributed to Mark Twain. Classics, he quipped, are works that everybody wants to have read but nobody wants to read. Now, as I have come to the end, I finally get the point of Twain’s joke. It’s not that the classics are too hard. It’s that we are too lazy and demand too little of ourselves.

What Porter asks of managers is both very simple and very hard. He asks, simply, that managers keep a clear line of sight between their decisions and their performance. But, he says, no cheating allowed—you must be precise and rigorous about it. And unlike most management writers, Porter refuses to tell you what to do. He says, I’ll give you guiding frameworks, a general theory that ...

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