The Best Strategy Quotes
"Your No. 1 goal is to reduce the risk of failure and uncertainty."
Alexander Osterwalder, Swiss author and inventor of the Business Model Canvas
"You pick a general direction and implement like hell."
Jack Welch, the former chairman of the board of General Electric
"Competition is a way of separating the lazy from the industrious."
Hermann Simon, German management consultant and entrepreneur, inventor of the hidden champions idea
"Anyone who has visions should see a doctor."
Helmut Schmidt, former German Chancellor
"When you're on the field, it's not about whether you like it or not. All that matters is playing at a high level and doing everything you can to help your team win."
LeBron James, NBA basketball player
"If you have the intention to renew yourself, do it every day."
"We have to lay the railroad tracks first before we can make the trains run on time."
Willie Pietersen, professor of practical management at Columbia Business School, New York.
"What is not possible for one, many can accomplish."
Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, German social reformer and municipal official
"Implementation is everything. (...) There are so many people who work so hard and yet achieve so little."
John Doerr, venture capitalist and author of Measure What Matters.
"Embrace chance! Affirm chaos!"
"The starting point of any strategy is a great situation analysis. (...) Intelligence precedes operations."
Willie Pietersen (2010), Grandmaster of Strategy
"The result of our incomplete knowledge of the world, or about the connection between our present actions and their future outcomes. (...) There are things we do not know, and things we do not know that we do not know. And sometimes things we do know that are just not so."
Kay and King (2020) on the prevailing "radical insecurity".
"The reason why it is so difficult for existing firms to capitalize on disruptive innovations is that their process and their business model that make them good at the existing business actually make them bad at competing for the disruption."
Clayton M. Christensen, U.S. economist, author & management consultant
"The key steps in dealing with a strategic challenge are a diagnosis of the situation - a comprehension of 'what's going on here,' finding the crux, and then creating reasonable action responses."
Richard Rumelt (2022)
"The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do."
Michael E. Porter, U.S. economist and university professor of economics at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School
"The central issue is never strategy, structure, culture, or systems. The core of the matter is always about changing the behavior of people."
John P. Kotter, Professor of Corporate Governance, Harvard Business School
"Strategy is a big word. Often oversized. When it comes up in a meeting, everyone freezes to a pillar of salt, and everyone hopes for the Messiah to show the way. But you have to realize that strategy is often just the tried and true remedy for the weak. Strategy is important (...) for those who can't make it with sheer performance."
Holger Jung and Jean Remy von Matt, Momentum (2002)
"Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, (...). There is no other route to success."
Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter
"Once you understand business models you can then start prototyping business models just like you prototype products."
Alexander Osterwalder, inventor of the Business Model Canvas
"Openness makes us more crisis-proof as a company, but also as a country. That's why German SMEs in particular need to think about how to move from hidden to open champion."
Kerstin Hochmüller, CEO, Marantec Group
"Only those who know where they want to sail set their sails correctly."
Jürg Meier, Swiss Titular Professor of Zoology, University of Basel
"Only what the customer perceives contributes to success."
Franz-Rudolf Esch, German Brand Pope
"Nothing is more helpful than a challenge to bring out the best in a person."
Sir Thomas Sean Connery, schottischer Schauspieler
"After the game is before the game!"
Sepp Herberger, former coach of the German national soccer team
"Market share is a meaningless number unless a company defines the market in terms of the boundaries separating it from its rivals."
Bruce Henderson (1989), founder of the consulting firm BCG
"Some people have a keen eye for other people's weaknesses and a poor eye for their own."
Ernst Ferstl, Austrian teacher and writer
"The more planned people are, the more effectively chance strikes them."
Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Swiss writer, playwright and painter
"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
Charles R. Darwin, British naturalist
"I love it when a plan works".
Hannibal Smith, The A-Team
"I never think about the future. It comes soon enough."
"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results."
Winston Churchill, British statesman
"Don't be afraid to give up the good to achieve the great."
John D. Rockefeller, US entrepreneur
"Good artists copy - great artists steal."
Steve Jobs, former U.S. entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Apple Inc.
"Experimentation can be defined as an iterative process of learning what does and does not work. The goal of a business experiment is actually not a product or solution; it is learning - the kind of learning about customers, markets, and possible options that will lead you to the right solution."
David L. Rogers, consultant, author and faculty member in Digital Strategy & Marketing, Columbia Business School.
"Execution is everything."
John Doerr, OKR evangelist, investor and venture capitalist.
"It's not our job to predict the future, but to be well prepared for it."
Pericles, leading statesman of Athens
"A goal without a plan is just a wish."
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French writer and pilot
"Dual Transformation is the greatest challenge a leadership team will ever face. It is also the greatest opportunity a leadership team will encounter."
Anthony, Gilbert, and Johnson (2017)
"You have to do exactly what you think: You can't do that."
Eleanor Roosevelt, former U.S. human rights activist, diplomat and first lady
"Dreams without goals are just dreams. And ultimately, they fuel disappointment. On the road you must apply discipline, but more importantly, consistency. Because without commitment you'll never start, but without consistency, you'll never finish."
Denzel Washington, US actor
"The one who hunts two rabbits at the same time will not catch any of them."
"The strategy process is learning and formulation work."
Steffen Bersch, CEO of the SSI-Schäfer Group
"Life belongs to the living, and those who live must be prepared for change."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet
"Creating a new business from scratch is hard, but executives of incumbents have the dual challenge of creating new businesses while simultaneously staving off never-ending attacks on existing operations, which provide vital cash flow and capabilities to invest in growth."
Scott D. Anthony, author
"Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value."
Michael Porter (1969)
"A good field hockey player plays where the puck is. A great field hockey player plays where the puck is going to be."
Wayne Gretzky, former Canadian ice hockey player
"... strategy is the determination of the basic long-term goals and objectives of an enterprise, and the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary for carrying out these goals".
Alfred D. Chandler (1962), business historian, in Strategy and Structure, on the success factors of large companies.
"The strategy is an economy of forces".
Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."