Week of September 18, 2017
A Porter Primer
For the past 30 years, Michael Porter of Harvard has been to the study of strategy what W. Edwards Deming was to Total Quality Management. The size and scope of Porter’s remarkable body of work has, unfortunately, discouraged many from pursuing his contributions to this most important subject. A colleague of Porter’s, however, has done us all a great service by penning a wonderful summary of his work that should serve as a handbook on strategy for anyone who wants to play a key role at his or her company.
“Understanding Michael Porter” by Joan Magretta might be described as “Michael Porter for Dummies” but it’s an easy weekend read by one of Porter’s close collaborators that summarizes the tools and concepts of how to truly understand, and respond to, competition.
In addition to his book, here are three videos that summarize Porter’s work that you might want to watch first:
“What is strategy?” (7 min): Great insights into what strategy is (and isn’t)
Porter’s Five Competitive Forces (13 Min): A fine summary of what competition really is ( are you fighting the wrong battle?).
Michael Porter Competitive Strategy Overview (60 min): (A good video summary of the book)
The Once and Future Mall
The movement of so much of the retail sector online is nowhere so evident as in the impact on the American shopping mall. Massive overbuilding has many landlords concerned about what to do with something that retailers and consumers don’t want or need… and at the same time is too costly to just tear down.
This article from Smithsonian provides a quick recap of what is happening to the malls and the innovative uses to which these structures can be put. A good lesson in how creatively redeploy resources.
Pardon the (Business) Interruption
Most people have not carefully read either their business or personal insurance policies. Many in Florida and the Gulf Coast are learning the hard way just what their policies will cover…and what isn’t covered.
An especially important coverage is “business interruption.” This is a coverage that most people have but don’t know about….or whether they have enough. Vistage provides this 20 minute video podcastBusiness Interruption: How to Navigate Covered Cause of Loss in the Wake of a Natural Disaster” featuring a Vistage member who learned more about business interruption coverage than he expected.
Forewarned is forearmed….it’s difficult to buy insurance after the fact.
4 Rejection Responses
Handling success is easy; handling rejection is another matter. Marketing Guru Seth Godin outlines four possible responses to being turned down. Which one is yours?
Those who bemoan slower growth of the overall economy versus earlier decades might feel better if they looked at how per capita income has improved by over the past 50+ years. Dr. Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics shares a summary of the data which suggests that NOW is the “Good Old Days.”
If you find the usual economic indicators a bit dry (or unconvincing), here is some alternative data from the World Economic forum regarding “food, flicks and Disneyworld” that may convince you that theUS Economy really is getting better.