Competing For Advantage by Hoskisson, Hitt, and Ireland

This is the textbook for my BUS 588 Strategic Field Monkey Management class. I expect to learn a great deal.

corporations are expendable and that success -- at best -- is an impermanent achievement which can always slip out of hand.
-- T. J. Watson of IBM, page 6
If everything seems to be going well, you've obviously overlooked something.
-- author unknown

But to continue on with the text:

To achieve strategic flexibility, many firms have to develop organizational slack -- slack resources that allow the firm some flexibility to respond to environmental changes.
-- author, page 13

This is like being in the America's Cup and luffing your sails (strategically, mind you). Or like investing $1M and keeping $100k aside in a money fund waiting for a really good opportunity. None of these are a good idea, you're supposed to go full out, when you need to change tack, or better investment comes along, then you move resources. Even if I assume slack resources are easier to re-purpose, I'm still not going to do anything about it until I get a Poisson distribution of the intervals between times we needed slack resources.

Farrell (James Farrell, CEO of Illinois Tool Works (ITW)) suggests that his success with acquisitions is how he focuses management on what ITW calls the "80/20 process." This means that the division should aggressively focus on the 20 percent of customers or products that provide 80% of sales, and forget about the rest, which are seen as a distraction.
-- author, page 51

This approach ssems to have merit, namely a tangible goal. But firms sometimes get a good deal of information from their customers, regarding their wants. IF one adopts this, one should spend more time on news and industry [trends,developments].