Strategic Thinking and Business Strategy

In an attempt to piece together a fuller picture of strategic thinking, I’ve created the following infographic. It’s designed to highlight key research findings and examples related to strategic thinking, or in some cases, a lack thereof. The data sources outside of my research have been listed after the graphic for those interested in greater detail.

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Sources:

-Only 3 out of every 10 managers are strategic (Harris Interactive Survey of 154 companies, 2009).

-The #1 cause of bankruptcy is bad strategy (Paul Carroll and Chunka Mui, “7 Ways to Fail Big,” Harvard Business Review (September 2008).

-70% of a company’s poor performance is due to decisions about strategy (Matthew Olson, “When Growth Stalls,” Harvard Business Review (March 2008).

-85% of executive leadership teams spend less than one hour per month discussing their strategy, with 50% spending no time at all (Robert Kaplan and David Norton, “The Office of Strategy Management,” Harvard Business Review (October 2005).

-80% of top management’s time is devoted to issues that account for less than 20% of a company’s long-term value (Michael Mankins, “Stop Wasting Valuable Time,” Harvard Business Review (September 2004)

-Companies with clearly defined strategies on average beat their competition by 304% in profit margin and 332% in sales over a ten-year period (William Joyce, Nitin Nohria, Bruce Roberson, What Really Works [book] (New York: HarperBusiness:2003).

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