The Essential Advantage

The Essential Advantage: How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy

Discover your company's essential advantage.

The conventional wisdom about strategy may be leading your company astray. In The Essential Advantage: How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy, we maintain that success in any market accrues to firms with a coherence premium — a tight match between their strategic direction and the capabilities that make them unique.

Achieving coherence requires a sharpness of focus that few companies have mastered. This book helps you identify your firm's distinctive blend of strategic direction and differentiated capabilities that give you the "right to win" in your chosen markets.

The Essential Advantage


Our book “The Essential Advantage”

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Among other insights, the authors reveal:

  • Why you should focus on a system of only a few differentiated capabilities
  • How to identify the way to play in your market by finding the nexus of your customers and your own capabilities
  • Why you should manage your portfolio to fit your capabilities system
  • How to raise your top line by deploying your capabilities for growth
  • How to uncover surprising opportunities in M&A that conventional deal makers don't see
  • How changing the way you think about costs can help you grow stronger
  • How to rework your organizational structures and practices to become more coherent than your competitors

Few companies achieve a capabilities-driven right to win in their market. This book helps you position your firm among them.

We have developed a number of tools that allows you to apply a capabilities-driven strategy at your company

  • Strategy Profiler
  • Capabilities Assessment Tool
  • Way-to-Play Tool
  • Right-to-win exercise
Strategy Profiler

Strategy Profiler: Do you have a winning strategy?

Is your company strategically adrift, capability constrained, or on the way to becoming a supercompetitor? Find out in a few minutes how well your company is positioned for success. This short survey will help you identify potential areas for improvement based on your unique starting position.

Start the Strategy Profiler

We can help you set up a Strategy Profiler tailored to your organization.

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Capabilities Assessment Tool

Capabilities Assessment Tool

Is your company aligned on the few things that really matter to its success? How good is your company at those most important capabilities?

The Capabilities Assessment Tool can help you identify, build and monitor the capabilities that are at the heart of your success. We can help you customize the tool so it optimally fits your company.

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Way-to-play tool

Way-to-play tool

What’s the best way for your company to add value to its customers? You can start thinking about your company’s way-to-play by looking at common, generic ways of creating value. These are what we call puretone ways to play.

The way-to-play tool allows you to experience a number of puretone ways to play and start thinking about how they might apply to your company.

Start the way-to-play tool

Right-to-win exercise

Right-to-win exercise

What strategy is going to give you a right to win? To develop a capabilities-driven strategy, you need to start by identifying alternative ways to play that your company could pursue. This exercise will help you determine whether a given way to play gives your company a right to win.

Start the right-to-win exercise

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