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Expert to speak on global competitiveness

Manama, January 22, 2009

Most errors in corporate strategy come from within a corporation, not as a result of external forces, according to the world’s leading business strategist Professor Michael E Porter.

When Professor Porter started out studying strategy, he believed most strategic errors were caused by external factors, such as consumer trends or technological change. "But after 25 to 30 years, I now realise that many, if not most, strategic errors come from within. The company does it to itself."

Professor Porter, the world’s undisputed expert on global competitiveness, will make his first-ever public presentation in Bahrain. The theme of his presentation will be ‘Winning Competitive Strategies for Today’s Changing Marketplace’ and will be made on January 26, 2009, at the Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrai.

He is the fifth thought leader to be brought to Bahrain by international event organisers Global Leaders.

Bad strategy is often the result of how managers think about competition, said Professor Porter. He stressed that managers get into trouble when they attempt to compete head-on with other companies, which results in nobody winning. Instead, managers need to develop a clear strategy around their company's own, unique, place in the market.

"The worst error is to compete with your competition on the same things. That only leads to escalation, which leads to lower prices or higher costs unless the competitor is inept,” Professor Porter said.

“Instead, companies should strive to be unique. Managers should be asking: "How can we deliver unique value to meet an important set of needs for an important set of customers?

“That question is at the very foundation of corporate strategy. Strategy has to do with what will make you unique. Companies also make the mistake of confusing strategy with an action, such as a merger or outsourcing. Is that a strategy? No. It doesn't tell what unique position you will occupy."

The Harvard professor believes that a company's definition of strategy predefines choices that will shape decisions and the actions it takes. Vision statements and mission statements should not be confused with strategy.

“Strategy is a word that gets used in so many ways with so many meanings that it can end up being meaningless,” added Professor Porter.

In the last 10 years or so, he added, companies have become increasingly confused about corporate goals. The only goal that makes sense is for companies to earn a superior return on invested capital because that is the only goal that aligns with economic value.
 
Governments and corporations around the world have turned to Professor Porter for his perspective on economic development, competitiveness, corporate strategy, and corporate social responsibility.

He is the leading authority on competitive strategy, the competitiveness and economic development of nations, states, and regions, and the application of competitive principles to social problems such as healthcare, the environment, and corporate responsibility.

Serving as the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, based at Harvard Business School (the highest professional recognition that can be awarded to a Harvard faculty member), Professor Porter was also elected to the Princeton University Board of Trustees earlier this year, for a four-year term.

Confirmed partners for the event to date include: Bahrain Tribune, Al Ayam, Business Intelligence Middle East, BIBF, BSTD, knowledgenetwork, and Gulf Financial Insider. Confirmed partners for the event to date include: Bahrain Tribune, Al Ayam, Business Intelligence Middle East, BIBF, BSTD, knowledgenetwork, and Gulf Financial Insider. – TradeArabia News Service 




Tags: global | Harvard | Princeton |

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