Inspirational Bloggers — Ken Favaro

Ken Favaro may not be the most prolific of bloggers, but he’s surefire proof of the old adage that quantity is better than quality.

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The depth and range of experience of Ken Favaro means you really can’t afford to ignore what he writes.

Ken is a Senior Partner at Strategy& (formerly Booz & Co) and is based in New York. His career in management and strategy consulting has spanned over 25 years, and has involved collaboration with some of the world’s leading companies. As his profile at Strategy& says:

The depth and breadth of Ken’s expertise stem from serving global clients across many industries, spanning financial services, consumer products, healthcare, heavy manufacturing, retailing, media and telecommunications.

But that’s not all. He has a first degree and MBA from Stanford and co-authored the book The Three Tensions: Winning the Struggle to Perform Without Compromise. He writes for the Harvard Business Review as well as being a regular contributor to the Strategy& blog. 

Ken is an engaging and always challenging writer and blogger and you always get the impression that every post is the distilled experience of a man at the top of his business. He only writes about once a month, but we’d strongly recommend that you add him to your blogrolls because he never wastes a word. See why we rate him so highly.

 

Here are a selection of his more recent posts:

1. Don’t Let the Short-Term–Long-Term Tension Drag Your Strategy Down

“The manager’s job is to keep his nose to the grindstone while lifting his eyes to the hills”. In this post Ken attempts to reconcile short term priorities with long term goals. As anyone who has worked in management or strategy will testify, this is no mean feat!

He suggests that the way to acheive this is to root your strategies in the “strategic five”:

  •  What businesses should we be in?
  • How do we add value to our businesses?
  • Who are our target customers?
  • What is our value proposition to those customers?
  • What capabilities make us best at how we add value to our individual’

 

 

2. Strategy or Culture: Which Is More Important?

In this post, Ken Favaro claims that there is often a false dichotomy at the heart of arguments about strategy versus culture. He suggests that at the heart of good strategy there is an attempt to anser these two crucial questions:

  •  For the company, what businesses should you be in?
  • And for each of those businesses, what value proposition should you go to market with

 

However, he argues that there should be a symbiotic relationship between these strategic questions and company culture which should seek to enrich the way the company formulates its answers to these questions.

“Don’t let culture eat strategy for breakfast. Have them feed each other.”

 

3. Strategy Is Not about the Competition

”Today, we see military metaphors used everywhere in business: price “wars,” market share “battles,” marketing “campaigns,” promotional “blitzes,” and even “bullet” points.

In this post Ken criticises the way of thinking popularized Michael Porter in his best-selling “Competitive Advantage”. He claims that war is largely a zero sum game whereas business for the most part is not. He suggests that it can be detrimental when business leaders start worrying more about “beating” their competition than increasing value for their consumers, and this attitude can lead to poor decision-making.

 

We hope you’ll have a look at Ken’s posts, if you havent already been following him avidly. You can also see him talking engagingly about common leadership mistakes in the video below : The Capable Strategist: How Leaders Mistake Execution for Strategy

 

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