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A conversation with George Stalk about “disposable strategies”

Robert M. Randall (Editor of Strategy & Leadership and the co‐editor of The Portable MBA in Strategy, Second Edition (Wiley, 2001).)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 4 July 2008




This interview aims to discuss how the disposable model can also be applied to many other aspects of business. In fast‐changing environments, any number of a business's elements may prove disposable, including organizational structures, management teams, distribution channels, and even strategies.


The paper takes the form of an interview with George Stalk, a Boston Consulting Group senior partner, about “disposable strategies”


The paper finds that when strategies are at risk of being quickly made obsolete by changing market conditions, businesses must find ways to replace them with ones that are disposable.

Practical implications

The main implication for innovators is that disposable factories and disposable strategies relax constraints on trying new products and new strategies. If higher costs of temporary solutions buy time and flexibility, then business outcomes can be more manageable.


The author explains how companies can get the most strategic advantage from disposable factories and other disposable strategies. The model should be considered when, for example, a firm faces extreme uncertainty owing to a highly dynamic, competitive market or the potential for disruptive innovation.



Randall, R.M. (2008), "A conversation with George Stalk about “disposable strategies”", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 21-23.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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