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HBR's 10 Must Reads on Strategy (including featured article “What Is Strategy?” by Michael E. Porter) by Renee Mauborgne, W. Chan Kim, Michael Porter, Harvard Business Review

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Turning Great Strategy into Great Performance

by Michael C. Mankins and Richard Steele

THREE YEARS AGO, THE LEADERSHIP team at a major manufacturer spent months developing a new strategy for its European business. Over the prior half-decade, six new competitors had entered the market, each deploying the latest in low-cost manufacturing technology and slashing prices to gain market share. The performance of the European unit—once the crown jewel of the company’s portfolio—had deteriorated to the point that top management was seriously considering divesting it.

To turn around the operation, the unit’s leadership team had recommended a bold new “solutions strategy”—one that would leverage the business’s installed base to fuel growth in after-market ...

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