Classic BCG Insights

Ideas about business strategy come in and out of fashion, but many BCG insights have endured over the years. The BCG insights featured in this collection set out foundational principles that leaders continue to rely on, particularly in times of volatility and uncertainty.

BCG Classics Revisited

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2013

BCG Classics Revisited: The Experience Curve

The experience curve theory still holds, particularly in specific industries. But to succeed in today’s environment, many companies need to develop an additional kind of experience.

Explore the Collection of Classic BCG Insights

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1968

The Experience Curve

One of the most well-known BCG insights, Bruce Henderson’s hallmark concept illustrates the direct relationship of costs to accumulated production experience.

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1976

The Rule of Three and Four

A stable competitive market never has more than three significant competitors, the largest of which has no more than four times the market share of the smallest.

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1990

Jazz vs. Symphony

John Clarkeson wrote that the winning organization of the future will look more like a collection of jazz ensembles than a symphony orchestra. The future is here.

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1981

The Concept of Strategy

An example of timeless BCG thought leadership, this piece explains why companies need to absorb the fast-changing lessons of strategic thinking to survive and thrive.

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1988

The Time Paradigm

How to deliver the most value for the lowest cost in the least amount of time? George Stalk identified the three tasks you must accomplish to become a time-based competitor.

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1973

The Experience Curve—Reviewed (Part II)

Bruce Henderson posited that the more experience a business had in producing a product, the lower it would cost to produce it. Read Henderson on the “experience curve.”

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1968

Why Change Is So Difficult

Bruce Henderson, the founder of BCG, wrote that all organizations must adapt or die. So why are the forces of corporate culture so set against change?

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1970

The Product Portfolio

Only companies with a balanced portfolio of products—as reflected in BCG's growth share matrix—can use their strengths to truly capitalize on growth opportunities.

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2006

The Kindness of Strangers

The lighter-weight business models enabled by Web 2.0 pose threats and present opportunities to traditional players.

The Corporate Portfolio
1977

The Corporate Portfolio

A diversified portfolio enables a company to operate on a higher level of complexity. Instead of developing a family of products, it is able to develop a family of businesses.

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1989

Network Organizations

One of our classic BCG insights explains why managers in network organizations have to empower their people and learn to live with less control.

2007

Center and Periphery

Strategy requires established players at the center to make regular visits to outsiders on the periphery, where modest investments can produce huge payoffs.

1980

Strategic and Natural Competition

Strategic competition holds the promise of a quantum increase in productivity and the ability to control and expand a company’s potential.

2002

Leading in Emotional Times

Companies managed by leaders who can connect emotionally to their employees, suppliers, and customers will emerge vastly stronger from these tumultuous times.