Thomas C. Lawton is a strategy advisor, author and educator. Based in London, he spends time each year in China, France, Ireland and the USA. A well known academic researcher and media commentator, he works with blue chip corporations, entrepreneurial enterprises and emerging economy companies. Professor Lawton's insights help to forge stronger strategic management systems, enabling companies to reach new heights in innovation and internationalization. His expertise in building leadership capabilities and redefining visions and values enables clients to achieve market breakout and business growth.
Aligniing for Advantage
In today’s multipolar world economy, strategic alignment is a key determinant of competitive advantage. Coca-Cola, Danone, Diageo, DuPont, Lufthansa and Tata are some of the companies that strive for a pragmatic approach to balancing competitive strategies with political and social obligations. Aligning for Advantage argues that to build and sustain corporate success, companies must synchronize business objectives and market positions with political and regulatory activism and social and environmental engagement. Moreover, to be credible and realizable, these external market and nonmarket strategies need to be equally attuned with corporate vision, values, and culture. The book advances a managerial process and conceptual framework for aligning corporate strategy. In some cases alignment may mean deep, strategically embedded partnerships with governments, NGOs, or other stakeholders. In others, alignment may take the form of looser, temporary collaborations with outside organizations. No matter the approach, the relationship between nonmarket and market strategies should be deliberate and genuine, not accidental or artificial. Truly aligned strategies should reconcile and modulate sometimes conflicting external demands in a way that is appropriate for the corporation’s geographic and market positions. In the end, companies must leverage their overall nonmarket strategy as a source of competitive advantage.
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