Archivio tag per: Management Toolbox

Strategy Talk: How to organize strategy meetings that work*

Reading time: 6 Minutes

11 Nov
11/11/2015
Foto del profilo di Markus Venzin

by Markus Venzin

SDA Professor of Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management

On a scale from 1 (not at all) to 10 (very much), how satisfied are you with your strategy meetings?

My feeling is that most managers are reasonably good at running meetings that are concerned with operational, short-term issues. But when they are called to organize a strategy workshop, many of them miserably fail.

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Stop milking this cash cow! The pitfalls of portfolio matrices*

Reading time: 7 minutes

29 Apr
29/04/2015
Foto del profilo di Markus Venzin

by Markus Venzin

SDA Professor of Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management

The BCG matrix and modified portfolio planning tools have for a long period of time occupied a fundamental position in corporate planning departments as well as in business school courses. With this contribution, I attempt to show that the BCG matrix has a number of flaws and its application is rather problematic. The Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) growth share matrix – and its close relatives (most prominently the GE/McKinsey matrix) - is one of the best known and persistent tools in strategic management. At the height of its success between 1972 and 1982, the BCG matrix was used by around 45% of the Fortune 500 companies. In 1975, the prominent strategy scholar Peter Lorange asserted that the growth share matrix has become the common method of corporate planning.

The apparent simplicity of having reduced a complex decision problem to a two dimensional matrix was of intuitive appeal. The central assumption was based on academic research (i.e., the PIMS study) and managers located in corporate headquarters were able to show their value added for their businesses. The proliferation of portfolio planning as a resource allocation tool was accelerated by the BCG consultants and their competitors like McKinsey, and Arthur D. Little which developed similar matrixes together with their clients.

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SWOT Analysis: Such a Waste Of Time?

03 Feb
03/02/2015
Foto del profilo di Markus Venzin

by Markus Venzin

SDA Professor of Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management

In a strategy process, the current situation is often depicted as a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. A SWOT analysis is not much more than a simple listing of the factors falling under the four categories. It highlights the interaction among the company’s strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats in the marketplace. Strengths and weaknesses are judged by comparing the company’s own resources and capabilities with those of (potential) competitors. Opportunities and threats are determined through market analysis.

Surveys have revealed that the SWOT analysis ranks very high in the list of the most often used management tools. Maybe because the methodology is apparently simple to understand and to use. In a brainstorming session, it is relatively easy to come up with a list of internal and external factors that potentially shape the future of the firm.
However, I have seen too many flawed SWOT analysis’ in my professional life. The purpose of the article is therefore to discuss the most common mistakes made while using the tool and to contribute to a more sophisticated application of the SWOT methodology.

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