Sustainable Growth:

Competitive Advantage

Corporate Capabilities

The Basic Building Bock of Your Firm and the Basis of Your Competitive Advantage



"Our only limitations are those which we set up in our minds or permit others to establish for us." Elizabeth Arden


Competitive Strategies

Survival Strategies

Market Leadership Strategies

Building resources

Building distinctive capabilities

... More

Strategic Management Reource-based Model of Strategic Management Corporate Capabilities Sustainable Competitive Advantage Strategy Formulation Strategy Implementation Sustainable Profit Growth Searching for Opportunities Strategic Management: RESOURCE-BASED MODEL

10 Rules for Building a Great Business

6Ws of Corporate Growth

  1. Know WHY: develop corporate vision, define shared values, and build corporate capabilities... More

Characteristics of a Capability2

  • Is built around a tight business focus closely linked to the company's vision and values

  • Is based on value proposition which can be measured in terms of time, value, or cost

  • Is a corporate property, and therefore it is a corporate responsibility to ensure its development and deployment

  • Is broadly based across the value chain

  • Consists of an integrated set of enablers across business functions:

    • Organization's knowledge and skills

    • Business process and organization structure

    • Supporting systems and technology

    • Positional assets and/or resources



Two Fundamental Beliefs

By Andrew Spanyi

An organizational capability approach requires that leaders subscribe to two fundamental beliefs:

  1. Organizations should be designed, led, and managed so that it is easy for customers to do business with the company and create and environment that helps employees to serve customers.

  2. Organizations are complex business systems in which a change in any one component is likely to have an impact on other components. An understanding of critical relationships is essential.

Creating Competitive Disruption

7 Strategies

  • Develop the ability to surprise

  • Develop ability to move quickly... More

3 Strategies of Market Leaders

Effective Innovation Process

7 Lessons from Silicon Valley Firms

  1. Make cross-functional involvement the path of least resistance...  More



Capability Defined

Capability represents the identity of your firm as perceived by both your employees and your customers. It is your ability to perform better than competitors using a distinctive and difficult to replicate set of business attributes. Capability is a capacity for a set of resources to integratively perform a stretch task.

Balanced Organization: 5 Basic Elements

Corporate Capabilities (Wood):

  • Effective creativity. idea, and knowledge management systems are established... More

9 Signs of a Losing Organization

Organizational Capability Approach vs. Traditional Functional Paradigm

"In the capability model, senior managers are predominantly concerned with issues about the quality of products and services provided to customers (external and internal), the flow of value-added work, and roles and responsibilities.

The dominant view on performance measurement shifts from the traditional focus of actual-vs.-budget to a more balanced model that includes the timeliness, quality, and cost of providing products and services to customers.

Allocation and budgeting of resources moves from the traditional practice of individual units vying for resources based on their own needs toward cross-group teams  that jointly assess resource needs based on the flow of work needed to create value to customers. Problem solving would seldom involve situations in which unit managers had to compete with each another; instead, organizations would adapt to departmental interdependence, recognizing that issues are best addressed through cross-group problem-solving sessions focused on providing services to customers and the required flow of work."9

Capabilities the Basis of Your Competitive Advantage

Through continued use, capabilities become stronger and more difficult for competitors to understand and imitate. As a source of competitive advantage, a capability "should be neither so simple that it is highly imitable, nor so complex that it defies internal steering and control."4 Capabilities grow through use, and how fast they grow is critical to your success.

According to the new resource-based view of the company, sustainable competitive advantage is achieved by continuously developing existing and creating new resources and capabilities in response to rapidly changing market conditions. Among these resources and capabilities, in the new economy, knowledge represents the most important value-creating asset.

Distinctive and Reproducible Capabilities

The opportunity for your company to sustain your competitive advantage is determined by your capabilities of two kinds distinctive capabilities and reproducible capabilities and their unique combination you create to achieve synergy.

Your distinctive capabilities the characteristics of your company which cannot be replicated by competitors, or can only be replicated with great difficulty - are the basis of your sustainable competitive advantage. Distinctive capabilities can be of many kinds: patents, exclusive licenses, strong brands, effective leadership, teamwork, or tacit knowledge.

Results-based Leadership

Inspirational Leader: 10 Roles

Winning Team: 7 Elements

Reproducible capabilities are those that can be bought or created by your competitors and thus by themselves cannot be a source of competitive advantage. Many technical, financial and marketing capabilities are of this kind. Your distinctive capabilities need to be supported by an appropriate set of complementary reproducible capabilities to enable your company to sell its distinctive capabilities in the market it operates.

Building Capability through Leadership Attributes

Leadership Attributes

Leaders are responsible for building organizational capability. You need the ability to translate organizational direction into roadmaps, vision into action, and purpose into process. To do so, you must demonstrate at least five abilities7:

  1. To build your organizational infrastructure

  2. To leverage diversity

  3. To deploy teams

  4. To design human resource systems

  5. To make change happen

Creating a Culture for Innovation

The first step is to understand where the greatest deficiencies lie, and which levers will deliver the most impact.

Inspiring Culture: 5 Elements

For many organizations, the most critical levers to assess initially include structure and metrics, though establishing innovation processes and providing employees with new skill sets are also critical drivers of culture. The act of visibly sponsoring (let alone personally driving) specific initiatives focused on creating new organizational capabilities that promote innovation serves to send a message and establish new symbols and stories that reinforce a culture of innovation.... More

7 Dimensions of Strategic Innovation

The Strategic Innovation framework weaves together seven dimensions to produce a range of outcomes that drive growth.

Systemic Innovation: 7 Areas

Core Technologies and Competencies is the set of internal capabilities, organizational competencies and assets that could potentially be leveraged to deliver innovative value to customers, including technologies, intellectual property, brand equity and strategic relationships... More

Inspirational Leadership: 10 Roles

Inspirational leaders create an inspiring culture within their organization. They supply a shared vision and inspiring people to achieve more than they may ever have dreamed possible. They are able to articulate a shared vision in a way that inspires others to act.

People do what they have to do for a manager, they do their best for an inspirational leader... More


 Discover much more in the


Three Primary Sources of Distinctive Capabilities...

Trust as a Distinctive Capability...


MegaChange a New Approach to Organizational Transformation...

Creating Competitive Disruption...

Approaches Favoring Development of New Capabilities...

 Case in Point  British Petroleum (BP)...

 Case in Point  GE...

 Case in Point  Silicon Valley Firms...

 Case in Point  Toyota...

 Case in Point  Innovarsity...





  1. "Strategic Management - Competitiveness and Globalization", M.A. Hint, R.D. Ireland, and R.E. Hoskisson

  2. "The Centerless Corporation", Bruce A.Pasternack and Albert. J. Viscio

  3. "Strategy and the Delusion of Grand Designs", John Kay

  4. "Investment in Strategic Assets: Industry and Firm-Level Perspectives", P.J.H.Schoemaker and R. Amit

  5. "Strategy and the Delusion of Grand Designs", John Kay

  6. "MegaChange", William E. Joyce

  7. "Results-Based Leadership", Dave Ulrich, Jack Zenger, and Norm Smallwood

  8. "Strategic Management: Competitiveness and Globalization", Edition 4, Thomson Learning

  9. "Strategic Achievement", Andrew Spanyi

Corporate Leader

10 Rules for Building a Great Business

Look at Your Company from Outside In As Well As Inside Out

New Business Models

Top 7 Principles For Transforming Your Business From Mediocre To Great

Winning Organization

Balanced Organization: 5 Basic Elements

Innovation-friendly Organization

Organizing for Innovation: Organizational Models that Support Innovation

How To Transform Your Business Into an Innovative and Creative Culture

Guiding Principles To Liberate Employees from the Fear of Trying New Things

Corporate Culture

Strategies for Building a Growth Culture

Business Processes

Enterprise-wide Business Process Management (EBPM)