Article PDF: 1.1 Position Paths

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Six rules regarding the continuity of strategic positions over time.

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This article explains why and how competitive positions rise and fall over time. The direction of strategic positions is affected both by conditions in the environment and the decisions that those in those position make and act upon. Positions not only describe paths, rising and falling over time, but strategic position are paths. Where they have come from and where they are going is a critical part of what they are and how they must be analyzed. The problem is that positions change so slowly and gradually that we cannot see those changes easily. In our everyday lives, we often think of positions as static resting places. In everyday terms, we describe a person's "position" in a static way as part of a social hierarchy or as clearly define roles. This person is a department manager. That person is a priest or a lawyer. This is not the way we think about positions when we analyze strategic environments. We always attempt to look at positions not only in terms of where they are right now, but where they have come from and where they are going.