Thinking outside the Cave
As many senior executives will confirm, this focus on capabilities is easy to write about but surprisingly difficult to execute, especially in highly turbulent times. But the alternative is worse. This is not the time to find a cave and hibernate until the economic storm passes — for it’s unlikely the storm will pass anytime soon, and a capabilities-driven strategy is the only way to remain equipped for perpetually stormy weather.
Take care to build those capabilities you genuinely need, rather than those that do not serve your customers — even if some of the latter feel important or mattered in the past. Remember that capabilities do not manifest themselves overnight; they take time to grow. That’s why foresight — particularly the ability to anticipate future industry dynamics and customer needs — is so crucial.
As you look for ways to foster growth, consider every move through the lens of your ultimate aspiration: your ability to thrive by consistently attracting customers. To achieve that goal in today’s global business environment, it’s not only what you do that matters — it’s how well you are equipped for it.
Reprint No. 08401
Cesare Mainardi is the managing director of Booz & Company’s North American business and a member of the firm’s executive committee. He works with companies in the consumer products industry to help them achieve major business transformations.
Paul Leinwand is a partner with Booz & Company based in Chicago. His primary area of focus is developing strategy and growth programs in the consumer packaged goods and retail sectors. He chairs the firm’s marketing advisory council.
Steffen Lauster is a partner with Booz & Company in Cleveland who focuses on strategy development and revenue management initiatives for consumer products clients in the U.S. and Europe.
Also contributing to this article were Booz & Company Partners Leslie Moeller and J. Neely, Principals Jaya Pandrangi and Juan Carlos Webster, and Consulting Editor Tara Owen.