Does Your Strategy Give You a Right to Win?

Highlights from must-read article “The Right to Win” by Cesare Mainardi and Art Kleiner with Booz & Company.

What Strategy Gives You the Greatest Right to Win?

The most important question a top leader can ask is, “What strategy would give us the greatest right to win?”

The right to win is the ability to work in any competitive market with good hopes of success in both the short and long-term.

Imagine a coach saying, “That kid deserves to win.”

Visualize a teacher getting ready to take a test, saying, “That student deserves to excel.”

Developing the Right Capabilities

If we can’t have confidence in our ability to strategize, plan and execute, what do we have? What’s going on? And how can you accelerate execution in your company?

Research to Find the Causes and Solutions

Winners have the precise capabilities needed to meet the challenge.

Having the right capabilities are what attracts customers, investors, employees, and suppliers.

Earning the Right

The right to win can not just be given nor can it be taken for granted –  it must be earned.

You earn the right by making a series of choices that align your capabilities in a way that best helps your customers.

The innate qualities of an organization that distinguishes it from competitors are built gradually – decision by decision and act by act.

Complacency and Pride (Hubris) Ultimately Results in Failure

 It is common for organizations to become complacent.

The temptation of all humans are to become excessively prideful.

Pride (or hubris) leads to ineptness.

A business can’t thrive for very long without improves its capabilities and culture

Making Smart Decisions

The better your decisions, the more likely you will be to create the right capabilities and culture that enable you to win

Key Questions to Think About

  • What are your most important capabilities?
  • How are you developing these so that you have the right to win?
  • How are creating the most value for your customers?
  • Do your products and services give you the right to win?

The Right to Win

Business strategy is at an evolutionary crossroads. It’s time to resolve the long-standing tension between the inherent identity of your organization and the fleeting nature of your competitive advantage. It’s 8 a.m. in the executive conference room of a large global packaged-foods manufacturer (a real company, its name withheld to preserve...

Read more


Business strategy is at an evolutionary crossroads. It’s time to resolve the long-standing tension between the inherent identity of your organization and the fleeting nature of your competitive advantage. It’s 8 a.m. in the executive conference room of a large global packaged-foods manufacturer (a real company, its name withheld to preserve...

Read more


Does Your Strategy Give You a Right to Win?

Highlights by David Willden