porters big ideas

porters big ideas - Michael Porter's Big Ideas The world's...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Michael Porter's Big Ideas The world's most famous business-school professor is fed up with CEOs who claim that the world changes too fast for their companies to have a long-term strategy. If you want to make a difference as a leader, you've got to make time for strategy. From: Issue 44 | February 2001 | Page 150 | By: Keith H. Hammonds Here is how Michael E. Porter regards the business landscape: Beginning in the mid-1980s, he more or less left the strategy world to its own devices, focusing his attention instead on the question of international competitiveness. He advised foreign governments on their economic policies and headed a U.S. presidential commission. He wrote books and papers on industry dynamics -- from ceramics manufacturing in Italy to the robotics sector in Japan. He spoke everywhere. He was consumed by understanding the competitive advantage of nations. Then, in the mid-1990s, he resurfaced. "I was reading articles about corporate strategy, too many of which began with 'Porter said . . . and that's wrong.' " Strategy had lost its intellectual currency. It was losing adherents. "People were being tricked and misled by other ideas," he says. Like a domineering parent, Porter seems both miffed by the betrayal and pleased by his apparent indispensability. I can't turn my back for five minutes. Well, kids, the man is back. Porter seeks to return strategy to its place atop the executive pyramid. Business strategy probably predates Michael Porter. Probably. But today, it is hard to imagine confronting the discipline without reckoning with the Harvard Business School professor, perhaps the world's best-known business academic. His first book, Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors (Free Press, 1980), is in its 53rd printing and has been translated into 17 languages. For years, excerpts from that and other Porter works have been required reading in "Competition and Strategy," the first-year course that every Harvard MBA student must take. Porter's strategy frameworks have suffered some ambivalence over the years in academic circles -- yet they have proved wildly compelling among business leaders around the world. This is the paradox that Porter faces. His notions on strategy are more widely disseminated than ever and are preached at business schools and in seminars around the globe. Yet the idea of strategy itself has, in fact, taken a backseat to newfangled notions about competition hatched during the Internet frenzy: Who needs a long-term strategy when everyone's goal is simply to "get big fast"? With his research group, Porter operates from a suite of offices tucked into a corner of Harvard Business School's main classroom building. At 53, his blond hair graying, he is no longer the wunderkind who, in his early thirties, changed the way CEOs thought about their companies and industries. Yet he's no less passionate about his pursuit -- and no less certain of his ability. In a series of interviews, Porter told Fast Company why strategy still matters. Business keeps moving faster -- but you better make time for strategy.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 5

porters big ideas - Michael Porter's Big Ideas The world's...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online