Michael Porter, the Harvard prof, became the guru of strategy with his seminal books in the early 1980s. During the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s he was considered passe; but he turned out to be right. And the current economic downturn is more fodder for his fertile mind. The following comes from an interview he did with INSEAD. http://knowledge.insead.edu/StrategyCrisisMPorter081011.cfm?vid=97
“The worst mistake in strategy – and it’s a particularly bad mistake in a slowed economic downturn – is to compete with your competitors on the same thing. You want to find a different kind of value that you can deliver to a different set of customers. Strategy is fundamentally about how you’re going to deliver unique value.”
Delivering value is accomplished through a business model that is both efficient and differentiated. During these times you have to consider the totality of answers to the follwing questions:
- Do you have the right target customers?
- Is your value promise meaningful to your target customers?
- Is your value promise differentiated and defensible?
- Can you deliver the total offering effectively and efficiently?
Oh, in case you were wondering the same list of questions applies to both your company and to you. Employers buy your services. Should they continue to do so? What differentiates you from all the other people who could do your job?