Leaders focus on the parts rather than the whole.
Summary. Today it’s not unusual for corporations that have dominated their markets for decades to be blindsided by upstarts with radical new business models. A lot of young ventures, on the other hand, raise vast sums of money and attract tens of millions of customers, only to collapse when they can’t figure out how to fend off imitators. In these situations and many others, the underlying cause is often a failure to take a holistic approach to strategy.
Strategy today demands more than classic competitive positioning. It requires making carefully coordinated choices about the opportunities to pursue; the business model with the highest potential to create value; how to capture as much of that value as possible; and the implementation processes that help a firm adapt activities and build capabilities that allow it to realize long-term value. Neglecting any of those imperatives can derail a strategy, but CEOs frequently zero in on just one. Entrepreneurs tend to focus on identifying a golden opportunity and don’t think enough about how to monetize it; leaders of incumbents, on capturing value but not new ways to create it.
By tackling all the elements of strategy and integrating them well, however, firms will greatly increase their odds of success.