20 Questions for Business Leaders
Whether we’re conscious of it or not, every management decision is motivated by a desire to find universal answers to very specific questions. People who succeed in organizations tend to be pragmatic problem solvers. They have to be, because of the myriad challenges they face. How to grow the enterprise. How to get work done. How to find customers. How to be themselves in the workplace. And so on. Because there are no easy answers to these complex problems, they test the answers by starting a company, launching a project, or making a move. As they succeed and fail, the most attentive of them learn from the results. The history of business is thus the story of entrepreneurs, executives, leaders, and employees, lurching from one experimental answer to another. They gain expertise and acumen, and profits and revenues, and, along the way, add to the theory of management.
How do we win?
Build your knowledge, appear weak while growing strong, and when you’re ready, strike decisively.
“He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.”
Plan for your plans to fail.
The “fog of war” means that strategists must continually contend with chance and emotion.
Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz, On War . 1832
Become a monopoly.
American Telephone and Telegraph avoided competition for 75 years by guaranteeing the U.S. government universal telephone service in exchange for the sole right to a nationwide phone system.
Theodore Vail. first president of AT refer to the global team of practical strategists that is integrated within the PwC network of firms. For more about Strategy , see www.strategyand.pwc.com. No reproduction is permitted in whole or part without written permission of PwC. “strategy+business” is a trademark of PwC.