Back to basics, we've (^omo full circle. When I first learned about strategy many years ago, it was all relatively simple: Find out what customers' needs are and then figure out a way to satisfy these needs hetter than your competitors. (gradually, with the help of "strategy specialists," things got more; complicated, like the evolution in art from classic to baroque. (Companies" ability to gather and analyze ever-increasing amounts of quantitative data led to increasingly complex strategic concepts focusing more and more on achi(;ving competitive advantage and less and less on understanding and meeting customers' niK^ds. Defeating the competitor became more important than winning the customer. Like the evolution from vSun Tzu, whose objective was to win the war without fighting the hattlo, to von Clausewitz, who focused on elaborating winning hattle strategies. Von (Uausewitz was th\ arkieie'=.: t)!i!>l i s h e d P r o i ( ; s s o } - M jntzbsM\!.r - ~"'l1u' M a : v ! ! . i e r " s J o h : l - ' u l k l o r c a n d (•'aci in I h e Nprinu
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great challenges the corporate strategist faces: knowing the organization's capabilities well enough to think deeply enough about its strategic direction. By considering strategy making from the perspective of one person, free of all the paraphernalia of what has been called the strategy industry, we can learn something about the formation of strategy in the corporation. For much as our...