Hustle As Strategy

I was scanning through a stockpile of saved research/articles that I have accumulated on my drive over the past 25 years, and came across Amar Bhide's HBR article from September-October 1986 entitled, "Hustle as Strategy."

While I don't think this is Amar's best work (to be expected as he was a doctoral candidate at the time), it contains a nugget that I love:

"The competitive scriptures almost systematically ignore the importance of hustle and energy. While they preach strategic planning, competitive strategy, and competitive advantage, they overlook the record of a surprisingly large number of very successful companies that vigorously practice a different kind of religion. These companies don't have long-term strategic plans with an obsessive preoccupation on rivalry. They concentrate on operating details and doing things well. Hustle is their style and their strategy. They move fast, and they get it right."

It's a nice idea that you could spend your time as an executive creating and managing strategy. I've even seen fancy titles that suggest someone is the "Chief Strategy Officer." Sounds incredibly cool and rarefied.

In my experience though, it doesn't seem to matter if you've chosen to use a Competitive (Porter), Resource-based (Hamel & Prahalad), Blue Ocean (Kim & Mauborgne), Disruptive (Christensen & Raynor) or Emergent (Hamel, Mintzberg)...it does all come back to execution.

Reminds me of that old saw, "Great ideas are a dime a dozen; only execution counts."

 

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