Richard D'Aveni
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Richard D'Aveni
Key Topics:
  • Beating the Commoditization Trap
  • Winning in Hyper-turbulent Markets
  • Growth Leadership
  • Executive Briefing & Workshops
  • Bio Info:

    One of his generation's foremost strategists, Richard D'Aveni is perhaps best known for his work on hypercompetition. A Professor of Strategic Management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, D'Aveni is a winner of the prestigious A. T. Kearney Award for his research. He was featured in The Thinkers 50 ranking of the world's most important management thinkers, is called one of the "Seven Most Influential Strategic Theorists" by the Corporate Strategy Board, and is listed as one of the "Top Living Business Gurus" by Tom Davenport and Larry Prusak. He is a consultant to global Fortune 500 companies as well as some of the world's wealthiest families.

    D'Aveni has authored several highly influential articles in the Harvard Business Review and Sloan Management Review, as well the book Hypercompetition, which coined the phrase and became a global bestseller. He has received acclaim for Strategic Supremacy and his latest book, Beating the Commodity Trap: How Smart Companies Out-Maneuver Their Rivals to Win the Price War.

    The result is that Richard D'Aveni has consistently provided innovative insights into the worlds of strategy and business. His work is credited with creating a new paradigm in the field of strategic management based on temporary advantages, employing rapid and aggressive maneuvering rather than defensive barriers to entry and power over buyers and suppliers. His recent research looks at the perils of commoditization, where he has identified three commodity traps – deterioration, proliferation, and escalation – and provides strategies to escape each trap.

    A highly sought after advisor and speaker, D'Aveni has delivered over 500 addresses to audiences of five to 5,000 people, including annual corporate meetings, board of directors meetings, professional societies, and senior executive forums, including the World Economic Forum's Annual Summit at Davos, the Conference Board CEO Forum, the Strategic Management Society, the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals, CIO Forum, the American Marketing Association, Management Center Europe, and hundreds of global corporations and associations.

    D'Aveni holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree from Cornell University, and is a CPA and an attorney.


    Beating the Commoditization Trap

    Commoditization – a particularly virulent form of hypercompetition – is destroying markets, disrupting industries, and shuttering long-successful firms. In this important presentation Richard D'Aveni provides a radical new framework for fighting back. Drawing on an in-depth study of 30-plus industries, he recommends first identifying the commoditization trap you're facing. He describes three:

    Deterioration: Low-end firms enter with low-cost/low-benefit offerings that attract the mass market – as Zara did to high-end fashion companies.

    Proliferation: Companies develop new combinations of price paired with several unique benefits that attack part of an incumbents' market – as Japanese motorcycle makers did to Harley-Davidson.

    Escalation: Players offer more benefits for the same or lower price, squeezing everyone's margins – as the iPhone did in mobile devices.

    D'Aveni provides you with the tools for diagnosing your competitive position and shows how to improve it while also increasing your pricing power – by destroying the commoditization trap confronting you, escaping it, or even turning it to your advantage.

    Winning in Hyper-turbulent Markets

    Richard D'Aveni reveals how competitive moves and countermoves escalate with such ferocity today that the traditional sources of competitive advantage can no longer be sustained. To compete in this turbulent environment, D'Aveni argues that a company must fundamentally shift its strategic focus. He shows how firms move up "escalation ladders" as advantage is continually created, eroded, destroyed, and recreated through strategic maneuvering in four arenas of competition. D'Aveni explains how competitors engage in a struggle for control by seeking leadership in the arenas of "price and quality," "timing and know-how," "stronghold creation/invasion," and "deep pockets." Winners set the pace in each of these four competitive battlegrounds.

    Growth Leadership

    Are upstart competitors taking deadly aim at your company's products and markets? Richard A. D'Aveni presents counter-revolutionary strategies and tactics that any industry leader or established company can use to defend itself against revolutionaries, disrupters, or hypercompetitors. The secret lies in making the rules, not breaking them, D'Aveni says, because rule makers still rule. D'Aveni demonstrates how global powerhouses such as Disney, Microsoft, and Procter & Gamble have achieved preeminence by reconceptualizing their product portfolios as powerful competitive arsenals he calls "spheres of influence." Essentially a new way to compete by restructuring portfolios around a core geographic/product market, spheres enable any company to influence the behavior and positioning of rivals.

    Executive Briefing & Workshops

    Need to make the right decision about your critical business policy and strategy? Professor D'Aveni can develop a custom-made enterprise and industry-wide discussion that can focus on the crucial areas of innovation, competition, global strategy, business execution, and the dynamics of jockeying for competitive advantage in rapidly changing environments. Call us to discuss how to make this happen.


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  • Hypercompetition: Managing in a Disruptive World
  • Beating the Commodity Trap: How Smart Firms Win Price and Proliferation Wars
  • Advanced Competitive Strategy
  • Global Strategy and Implementation
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