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The Essential Advantage: How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy by Cesare Mainardi, Paul Leinwand

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CHAPTER TWO

THE COHERENCE PREMIUM

Nearly every senior executive we talk to agrees that coherence is critically important. And yet companies everywhere are drowning in incoherence.

This is most evident when you look at the ways most companies set their priorities. Down from the senior executive team come financial targets intended to improve results. Each directive is well-intentioned and would be reasonable in itself, especially if the business units had a way to play that could guide them or a capabilities system that could deliver. But together, they often add up to an expectation of “surprise and delight” performance that is impossible to fulfill.

Faced with that expectation, business unit leaders do the only thing they can. They pick their ...

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