A guided tour of this issue

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 1 December 2002



Randall, R.M. (2002), "A guided tour of this issue", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 30 No. 6. https://doi.org/10.1108/sl.2002.26130faa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

A guided tour of this issue

A guided tour of this issue

As a start, I heartily recommend that you read Strategy & Leadership's lead article, "Invented competitors: a new competitor analysis methodology" by Liam Fahey. I predict that it will be expanded and become a well-read book one day, a follow on to Fahey's (1999) Competitors.

Fahey provides a first look at the methodology that a few cutting-edge companies are using to defend themselves against the possibility that emergent competitors – for example, a start up or a venture with roots in another industry – could offer a radically better business proposition. The process provides an early warning of how current corporate strategy would be stressed by an encounter with a truly innovative challenger. As a standard practice, Strategy & Leadership asks all authors who introduce such new strategic management tools and techniques to provide a documented case example. The article offers a disguised case instead, because actual team exercises with invented competitors are so highly confidential.

The three cases of strategic marketing in this issue offer rewarding lessons:

  1. 1.

    Coors Light in Puerto Rico: battling for local dominance in a global market. The father-son team of Robert and David Allio gives readers the secret ingredients of a beer-marketing recipe for success that they have been brewing in Puerto Rico for more than a decade. You would think a light beer should be sold on its special attributes, right? Forget "tastes great, less filling!" Coors Light is numero uno in Puerto Rico because it's marketed as a life style choice. As this case teaches, by assiduously courting local customers the distributing company trumps the megabuck ad budgets of global brewers like Budweiser.

  2. 2.

    Rubicon Technology: a high tech start-up successfully practices strategic focus. John Sterling, a frequent contributor to S&L, has written a strategic marketing case that provides any start-up with a step-by-step guide to concentrating resources on high priority targets. Rubicon makes synthetic crystals for a wide range of rapidly evolving high tech markets. Without strategic focus, the temptation to chase after innumerable opportunities could have been the company's downfall.

  3. 3.

    Dan Bane, CEO of Trader Joe's. Fortunately Contributing Editor Stan Abraham had his tape recorder on when this publicity-shy chief executive outlined the components of this unique grocery chain's competitive advantage. CEO Bane's candid, off the cuff remarks show how core values and consistent daily practices add up to a winning marketing strategy. The surprising insight of this "case": though Trader Joe's merchandise is 70 percent private label, the store is the brand. By the way, TJ's snacks and bargain wine selection is an addicting combo too.

As a counterpoint to the issue's focus on competitive strategy we offer a thought provoking examination of leadership in "Results-based leadership: an interview with Dave Ulrich". S&L Contributing Editors William Finnie and Stewart Early asked prolific author Dave Ulrich (Results-Based Leadership (Ulrich et al., 1999), The GE Work-out (Ulrich et al., 2002), The Boundaryless Organization (Ashkenas et al., 1999) and Delivering Results: A New Mandate for Human Resource Professionals (Ulrich, 1998)) what he learned from leading two major change initiatives at General Electric and how results-based leadership can be linked with initiatives to build employees' capabilities and commitment to achieve bottom line results.

There are other highlights you can discover for yourself. Read on!

Robert M. RandallEditor

NB: Eight S&L contributing editors have by-lined material in this issue and every one of the other contributing editors has added value behind the scenes. My thanks to all of them, and to our other contributors as well. Good job!

ReferencesAshkenas, R., Ulrich, D., Jick, T. and Kerr, S. (1999), The Boundaryless Organization, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA.Fahey, L. (1999), Competitors: Outwitting, Outmaneuvering, and Outperforming, Wiley, New York, NY.Ulrich, D. (1998), Delivering Results: A New Mandate for Human Resource Professionals, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.Ulrich, D., Kerr, S., Ashkenas, R., Burke, D. and Murphy, P. (2002), The GE Work-out. How to Implement GE's Revolutionary Method for Busting Bureaucracy and Attacking Organizational Problems – Fast!, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.Ulrich, D., Zenger, J. and Smallwood, N. (1999), Results-based Leadership, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.

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