Knowledge Base | Business Strategy, Analysis and Planning

Management Application Note:

The Strategy House

With so many different tools, models and frameworks available in books, journals and taught in the classroom, Managers often ask - with reason- how do all these different elements pull and fit together?  What comes first?  Vision or Values?  What comes last?  Where do the functions and different internal resources and capabilities fit in, and how do we build something of value and sustainability which will compete effectively in the external, competitive world? Well, the Strategy House is an attempt to pull together all the key elements and answer these questions and conundrums.

Building a strategy for an organisation is like building a house, but we want the house to be strong and robust and capable to survive whatever is thrown at it over time. So we must start by building strong foundations.  After that, we need the main elements - the bricks and materials which will make the floors and walls - and which must be robust enough to support the roof, which of course we put on last!   The Strategy House model shown here gives a clear blueprint for leaders - it shows the materials (elements) you need to build a strong, sustainable house or strategy, and the sequence in which you pull together all the materials and component parts.  Click here to expand the text and see the graphic   

The Chinese are coming!

Chinese companies are changing their business models, approach, strategies andbrands to enter mainstream and often highly challenging markets; they areovercoming resistance and finding ways to enter markets where just a few yearsprobably no one would have dreamt they would or could enter. ThisApplication Note evaluates some of the strategies and tactics they have usedand identifies implications for Western companies threatened by such new entrants

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Marketing Generics Application Note:

Free Cash Flow.  What it is and what it means

Analysts and shareholders try to understand the financial health of a company, a bit like a doctor trying to understand the health of the patient he sees before him.  Looking at the P&L reveals a lot, like a doctor taking the blood pressure.  High blood pressure immediately signals to the doctor a potential issue, as does low profit or a loss on the P&L.  Taking blood pressure of a patient is a good place to start but it doesn't tell the whole picture – the blood pressure could be ok but the patient has some other undiscovered and life threatening disease, so a doctor would have to do multiple tests before really determining the patient’s proper health, and so it is with analysing financial statement.  The P&L is a great place to start, particularly to understand revenues and profit, but you also need other indicators.  Hence the awakening interest in Free Cash Flow.  This Application Note explains what it is and what it means.

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