McGill Professor Karl Moore wrote an excellent article in Forbes a few weeks ago titled: Porter or Mintzberg, whose view of strategy is most relevant today?
Michael Porter tends to favor a more prescriptive model where the assumption is that you can study the different market forces and “deliberately choose a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value”. Henry Mintzberg’s classic 1987 HBR article “Crafting strategy” favours a more organic strategy development process, where periods of stability are interrupted occasionally by periods of transformation.
In recent years they have both dedicated a large amount of time to addressing the social needs of society- healthcare, poverty, education… Porter created a body of knowledge to help fix the healthcare system and recently introduced the “Creating Shared Value” concept. It suggests a major left-turn in the right direction for corporation… It invites business to measure success beyond profit and embed social responsibility in their strategies and operations.
The following are a few short video clips for those of you who wish to compare the styles and the evolving positions of Porter and Mintzberg.
On Strategy: Here Porter defines his view of strategy in a short 1 min. clip. Notice the energy in the delivery, the emphasis on the planning process.
On Creating Shared Value: Very interesting clip where Porter, in 5 minutes, shares how forces are converging to redefine the role of business beyond profit maximization.
On strategy: Again, a 1 minute clip. This time notice the very different style and the direct attack on Porter…
On Entrepreneurship: In this recent interview with Karl Moore, Mintzberg talks about his experiment in starting a family business. An intimate glance at his attempt to walk the talk and develop a business in small organic steps.
So…Porter or Mintzberg? Why not both!