Tag Archives: Michael Porter

Why is competitive advantage temporary?

competitive advantage is temporary

An often asked question. Yet, there are those who think that competitive advantages are everlasting.

Competitive advantage, it seems to me, has become an instrument of finance. As in, how can our company accumulate hoards of cash to become sustainable?

The defining metric for said advantage is profits. That is a mindset, I believe, of playing not to lose.

Accumulating a war chest of money doesn’t mean you will outlast the next wave of change, you have things upside down, for an investment in innovation is an investment in your future.

HBR’s 10 Must Reads: The Essentials

HBR essentials

Last week I shared with you HBR’s 10 must reads on innovation. Today I’ll share HBR’s 10 Essential must reads.

Again, just click on the link and voila!

Why it’s very hard to say no…yet very important


I firmly believe that strategy is about making choices. I didn’t have to read it in a book or sit down with Michael Porter to come to this conclusion. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been saying “no” to a bunch of things. I’m known to fire clients, or simply reject prospects without thinking about it. Sometimes, I don’t even take on clients because I perceive they will become a problem, and as a result it will become a pain in the butt work experience.

For me and my organization, it is very clear what types of organizations we want to work with. And, it isn’t because they can pay us more. It is because we admire, respect and feel that our values are aligned with their. It is a great filter to have. But for others who have worked  with me, it is hard to accept; because they focused on closing deals.

I didn’t draw this up in a strategic plan or just deliberately do it. It is instinctive. It is my personality to focus on what matters and eliminate that which doesn’t. And, what matters to me is completely different to what matters to you. This is what strategy is about…

What are you doing to escape old ideas?

change is inevitable. Change is constant

“The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones.” – Keynes

Coming up with new ideas is a piece of cake. But escaping the pull of the tried and true is the difference between staying releant or not. Old ideas are like oxygen, we don’t even know they are there.

For example, a days ago Nilofer Merchant argued that Michael Porter’s model of Competitive Strategy needs an update. She posted her thoughts on HBR of all places. But see, it’s true.