We had morning tea with at retired strategy colleague Robert today. We had a passionate discussion about the process of formulating Corporate Strategy. Robert shared the importance of our respective need to remain objective and as dispassionate as possible, when completing an industry analysis of our own businesses and those of our clients.

Our big clients are often tempted to believe that with enough energy (and money) an Industry’s Value Chain can be changed. In few cases this may be possible. Usually, where clients are in a big blue ocean with no other fish around. However, Industry Value Chains are usually the result of a school of competitive forces and shifting customer preferences that evolve over years and are beyond the influence of any one company. As Robert shared, a clear and dispassionate reading of your industry must be accepted as the canvas on which strategy should be considered and developed.