The purpose of this paper is to present an interview with Professor Michael Porter of Harvard, the noted academic and consultant whose concepts are central to the practice of strategic management, and the answers to questions he is often asked by practitioners who solicit his advice.
For her new book, Understanding Michael Porter: The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy (2011), award‐winning author Joan Magretta edited this dialog with him which has been adapted for Strategy & Leadership.
Professor Porter delivers warnings on the most common strategy mistakes. When it comes to dealing with disruptive technology, he cautions managers to be sure they have rigorously identified the underlying source of the disruption. On the relentless pressure to find growth, he offers ways to approach it without damaging strategy and profitability. Futhermore he offers advice on managing the planning process itself.
Porter's advice on successful strategic planning: leaders need to bring together the whole team responsible for a particular business, and they need to do the plan together to think about the industry, the competitors, the opportunities, the value chain, and then ultimately make some choices about positioning and direction, and finally, develop the implications for action.
Porter revisits many of his core strategic ideas and gives managers advice on how to apply them to manage effectively in the current dynamic environment.
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