Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Discipline of Market Leaders

I recently gave a colleague this classic book on business strategy by Treacy & Wiersema. Although I will not go into detail about the book's content, I do recommend it to anyone involved in defining business strategy. In brief summary, the authors provide compelling evidence that market-leading companies have single-minded focus on one of three value propositions:

1. Product Leadership
2. Operational Excellence
3. Customer Intimacy

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fair and Equal are Not the Same

Fair and Equal are not the same thing. When individuals are given equal opportunities, their accomplishments are rarely equivalent. Individuals perform differently due to a number of factors including effort, initiative, aptitude, and training. It is not unfair that everyone does not receives the same rewards. It is a fact of life. Not everyone deserves the same rewards. It is more fair to reward people differently for different levels or effort, skill or accomplishment. This is especially true in business.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Made in America

We hear much talk about the decline of manufacturing in America. Some argue that America has lost its manufacturing capacity. The data from the most recent year available (2010) paints a somewhat different picture. Not only is the U.S. by far the largest economy with 23.1% of the world's GDP (China is second with 9.3% of the world's GDP), the U.S. is the second largest manufacturer. In 2010, America's manufacturing output was $1.952 trillion, just behind China's $1.995 trillion. Yes, in 2010 the U.S. lost the title as the world's largest manufacturer that it held for more than a century, but America is far from having lost its manufacturing capacity. America still manufacturers19.4% of the world's goods.