Why have companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, SAP, Salesforce.com, or VMware been so envied by competitors and partners over the years? And how have they come to command the lion’s share of customers’ business in their main categories? Part of the answer lies in their pursuit of Power balanced with a suitable focus on Performance, the essential corollary to Power as a lever for sustained success. In essence, companies like these have built a powerful franchise in at least one major product category where they dominate, which gives them “gorilla” power. Most companies can only dream of this type of success, largely because most entrepreneurs, CEOs, and management teams find themselves over-stretched by the demands of Performance – managing existing commitments – and thus unable to play for Power. Applying just one of these two levers is not sufficient – it is critical to play for both. Whenever companies neglect one over the other, they are quickly penalized by customers, investors, and/or partners, as we’ll see in this post.
Philip Lay spent two decades as an account executive, general manager and entrepreneur, before becoming a strategy advisor and managing director with The Chasm Group in 1995.
Today Philip is visiting professor at IESE business school in Barcelona and serves on a public-company board alongside his advisory activities with boards, CEOs and management teams.
Major clients include Autodesk, Compuware, HP, NetApp, Rackspace, SAP, and Salesforce.com.