Editor's note: DM Review warmly welcomes George Veth as a monthly columnist. He will share his experience on the successful formation and execution of competitive corporate strategy.

Strategy consultants George Stalk and Rob Lachenauer recently wrote the business book, Hardball - Are You Playing or Playing to Win? The book outlines a set of competitive strategies for gaining and sustaining market leadership. The flavor of the book surfaces in the authors' depiction of a premeditated, almost single-minded intentionality that each of the case study protagonists portrays when deriving and executing their strategies. The book piqued some controversy, but it captured some simple truths. First, the execution of strategy is precalculated and intentionally executed. Strategy execution is not left to chance. Second, good execution, like good strategy, is fact based and results driven. The capabilities required to identify, use and act on information are fundamental to achieving a high level of sustainable performance.

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