- Posted by Intersect International
- On April 15, 2015
- CEOs, Strategy
We do a lot of reading and research, so you don’t have to. And like you, we spend lots of time on planes – a time to catch up on reading and reflect. This post asks the question, “Are you a master of strategy?” Managing Partner Marylee O’Neill discussed with leading strategy expert, Harvard business professor David Yoffie, his new book Strategy Rules – Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs. (D.Yoffie/M.Cusumano: April 14 2015 published by Harpers Collins)
Yoffie and Michael Cusumano (MIT Sloan School of Management) have studied Gates, Groves and Jobs and their companies for nearly thirty years. In it they show how CEOs Gates, Grove, and Jobs became masters of strategy.
Each CEO approached strategy and execution in remarkably similar ways—but markedly differently from their competitors, by keeping their focus on five rules:
1. “Look Forward, Reason Back: They determined where they want their companies to be in the future and could “reason back” to identify the moves that would take them there.
2. Make Big Bets, Without Betting the Company: All three men made enormous strategic bets but rarely took gambles that put the financial viability of their companies at undue risk.
3. Build Platforms and Ecosystems: Technology leaders have to create industry platforms that enable other firms to create complementary products and services that make the platforms increasingly valuable.
4. Exploit Leverage and Power: Gates, Grove, and Jobs often turned opponents’ strengths into weaknesses and used enormous resources, once they had them, to dominate competitors.
5. Shape the Company around Your Personal Anchor: From Gates’ understanding of software to Grove’s devotion to process discipline and Jobs’ obsession with design, all three CEOs built their companies around their personal strengths while compensating for their weaknesses.”
As CEO how self-aware are you? Can you define your personal anchor? And have you designed your team to fill in the gaps?