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Seven basic strategic missteps and how to avoid them

Simon Mezger (A.T. Kearney partner, Melbourne, Australia (
Maurice Violani (A.T. Kearney principal, Melbourne, Australia (

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 8 November 2011




The purpose of this paper is to warn managers of the common missteps that can trip up strategy making and suggest how such pitfalls can be avoided.


Based on their experience and research, the authors identify seven key mistakes and describe the best practices that companies can follow.


The article offers a sophisticated how‐to process managers can use to seek a basis for advantage, say “no” to trying to do everything, focus on long‐term‐value creation, factor in competitor reactions, balance ambitious bets with caution, understand the organization's capabilities, and link vision to execution.

Practical implications

By avoiding these seven basic missteps managers can stay on the path to strategic success.


The authors highlight the best practices for making more effective strategic choices in an easy‐to‐remember and easy‐to‐teach format.



Mezger, S. and Violani, M. (2011), "Seven basic strategic missteps and how to avoid them", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 39 No. 6, pp. 19-26.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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