Since the 1960s, American businesses have been "Managing Our Way to Economic Decline." This is the title of a classic article published in the July-August 1980 issue of Harvard Business Review. Back then, Robert H. Hayes and William J. Abernathy wrote that the focus of "The New Management Orthodoxy" on short-term financial results was causing, not curing, "sluggish economic performance." Recently Jack Welch, who is credited with starting the Shareholder Value Movement, pronounced it dead. If the short-term focus on Shareholder Value got us into this mess, what is going to get us out?

While there is no quick and simple answer, knowing your competitive position is the first step toward improving it. Our current economic situation is not unprecedented. When Japan was devastated by the destruction of World War II, it adopted W. Edwards Deming's philosophy of management, which emphasized superior quality as the key to improving competitive position over the long run. Today, for example, Toyota the world's largest and most valuable automobile manufacturer.

William Feuss & Associates is a marketing and management consulting firm that can help your company chart a course to increased market share. We specialize in the improvement of competitive position via Customer Value Analysis and Management for Quality.

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