The Essential Advantage: How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy
By Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi | 2010
Discover your company's essential advantage.
The conventional wisdom about strategy may be leading your company astray. In The Essential Advantage: How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy, Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi maintain that success in any market accrues to firms with a coherence premium — a tight match between their strategic direction and the capabilities that make them unique.
"The Essential Advantage should be 'essential' reading. Leinwand's and Mainardi's unique approach of assessing internal strengths first — then one's product or services portfolio — is a fresh way forward that should be part of every CEO's and business leader's playbook." Eric Spiegel - President and CEO, Siemens Corporation
Achieving coherence requires a sharpness of focus that few companies have mastered. This book helps you identify your firm's distinctive blend of strategic direction and differentiated capabilities that give you the "right to win" in your chosen markets.
Based on extensive research and providing a wealth of exercises, tools, and company examples from many industries — including Amazon.com, Walmart, Pfizer, Inditex (Zara), Itaú Unibanco, and Procter & Gamble — The Essential Advantage helps you construct a strategically coherent company in which the pieces reinforce each other instead of working at cross-purposes.
"Companies have many strategic options, especially in fast-growing markets and industries. The Essential Advantage is a powerful reminder that capabilities should play the central role in sorting through them. Strategy should start with understanding what your company does really well — and using that knowledge to generate a corporate direction where you can be confident of winning." Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar - Group Chief Operating Officer, Etisalat Group
Among other insights, the authors reveal
Why you should focus on a system of only a few differentiated capabilities
How to identify the way to play in your market by finding the nexus of your customers and your own capabilities
Why you should manage your portfolio to fit your capabilities system
How to raise your top line by deploying your capabilities for growth
How to uncover surprising opportunities in M&A that conventional deal makers don't see
How changing the way you think about costs can help you grow stronger
How to rework your organizational structures and practices to become more coherent than your competitors
Few companies achieve a capabilities-driven right to win in their market. This book helps you position your firm among them.