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Porter in an interview

"Most common management strategy mistakes?

The granddaddy of all mistakes is competing to be the best, going down the same path as everybody else and thinking that somehow you can achieve better results. So many managers confuse operational effectiveness with strategy.

Another common mistake is confusing marketing with strategy. It's natural for strategy to arise from a focus on customers and their needs. So in many companies, strategy is built around the value proposition, which is the demand side of the equation. But a robust strategy requires a tailored value chain – it's about the supply side as well, the unique configuration of activities that delivers value. Strategy links choices on the demand side with the unique choices about the value chain (the supply side). You can't have competitive advantage without both.

I'd have to say that the worst mistake – and the most common one – is not having a strategy at all. Most executives think they have a strategy when they really don't, at least not a strategy that meets any kind of rigorous, economically grounded definition."

Article citation: Joan Magretta, (2012) "Michael Porter answers managers' FAQs", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 40 Iss: 2, pp.11 - 15

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