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The first “simple and obvious” strategy that occurred to me reading this is the roll-up. Wayne Huizenga did it with Waste Management, starting with one garbage truck, then did it again with video stores. This one has played out in all kinds of industries... Razorfish did it with web design, Ad agencies do it all the time. There are other proven “simple and obvious” strategies, like say Big box stores (toysRUs, Home Depot, Sam’s club, etc). So as you say simple and obvious can work. My mentor Randy Root once said to me, “getting rich is not as hard as people think. You just have to find something that works and do it a lot of times.” That said, I also agree that most companies don’t have a strategy at all. They have something more like operating plans.

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How you execute is absolutely a strategy. What you allude to here is that often these execution strategies become "plans" only after trying a number of other options which didn't pan out. The beautiful mess is never a straight line and 'things we tried and failed at' that made us 'decide' to go this route going forward are often just as fascinating stories.

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May 21, 2023Liked by John Cutler

This changed my whole perspective on the matter.

https://rogermartin.medium.com/why-execution-is-a-bankrupt-management-concept-211f77c1fc75

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