The Essence of Strategy

  • Analysing industry attractiveness and profitability
  • The sources of competitive advantage
  • Cost and differentiation drivers
  • Core resources and competences.

Ashridge Streatgic Management Centre Director Jo Whitehead will present some fundamental concepts of business unit strategy such as how to analyse industry attractiveness and profitability, sources of competitive advantage, and core resources and competences of the corporation. The seminar is designed for those seeking to refresh and update their knowledge of strategy concepts, as well as for those looking to discuss business strategy issues with their peers. Jo is the author of a book on strategy development entitled "What you need to know about strategy".


  First session: The nature and challenge of strategy
10.00 Definition of strategy
  What is takes to come up with a successful strategy
  Brainstorm and presentation of a simple model of strategy making
10.30 Movie clip of a group coming up with a strategy
  Discussion (reflections on how strategy is formed) and implications
  Roundtable: How is strategy formed at your company?
  Second session: Tools for creating a strategy
11.30 Case study of Iberia - we will do a case study which starts by analysing the current situation, leading through to coming up with a recommendation. We will introduce and use some simple but powerful tools such as the Advantage/Attractiveness matrix, Porter's Five Forces, decision matrix of potions against criteria
15.30 Roundtable: What tools does your company use to create strategy?
  Third session: Where does competitive advantage come from? How do you assess competitive advantage?
16.00 Different theories and approaches
  Exercise: Identifying sources of advantage
  Exercise: Assessing the competitive position of your own company
  Wrap up
16.45 Roundtable: Comments from the day