New PDF release: Aligning the Stars

By Jay W. Lorsch Thomas J. Tierney

ISBN-10: 0585440352

ISBN-13: 9780585440354

ISBN-10: 1578515130

ISBN-13: 9781578515134

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Sample text

To what extent can or should a firm remain local? Or national? What level of presence is required to compete effectively in large markets like the United States or Germany? What exactly does being “global” mean—a presence in five countries or twenty-five? Can that presence be achieved through joint ventures and alliances, or must a firm grow painstakingly from within? The strategic decisions surrounding a firm’s target clients are therefore bound up in issues of geographc strategy as well as customer differentiation.

If it’s on a project fee basis, how are overruns and changes of scope accommodated? Is your fee to be paid entirely in cash, or is there a non-cash component such as equity? Is there a performance incentive built into your contract? Do you price differently by geography, by business line, or by customer segment? Do you price differently against different competitors? From a client’s perspective, moreover, these economic aspects of pricing don’t tell the entire story. Clients encounter another type of “price” as well: the time, effort, and risk associated with engaging an outside service provider at all.

Some partners believed fervently in the strength of the firm—that their downturn was just another business cycle and that all they really needed to do was hunker down and stick to the basics, which had served them so well over the years. In sharp contrast, other partners believed the firm was breaking (if not already broken)—that their marketplace was changing rapidly and that if they didn’t change with it they’d perish. This latter contingent didn’t agree among themselves on the central problem or what to do.

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Aligning the Stars by Jay W. Lorsch Thomas J. Tierney


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