Gary Hamel

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Gary Hamel, 2008

Gary P. Hamel (born 1954) is an American management expert and a founder of Strategos, an international management consulting firm based in Chicago. He is co-author of "Core Competence of the Corporation" with C. K. Prahalad.


  • A noble purpose inspires sacrifice, stimulates innovation, and encourages perseverance. In so doing, it transforms great talent into exceptional accomplishment.
    • Gary Hamel quoted in: Richard L. Daft (2014), The Leadership Experience, p. 409

"The Core Competence of the Corporation," 1990


Gary Hamel, ‎C. K. Prahalad (1990) "The Core Competence of the Corporation," in: Harvard Business Review. May-june, 1990

  • The most powerful way to prevail in global competition is still invisible to many companies. During the 1980s, top executives were judged on their ability to restructure, declutter, and delayer their corporations. In the 1990s, they'll be judged on their ability to identify, cultivate, and exploit the core competencies that make growth possible - indeed, they'll have to rethink the concept of the corporation itself.
    • p. 2; Lead paragraph
  • In the long run, competitiveness derives from an ability to build, at lower cost and more speedily than competitors, the core competencies that spawn unanticipated products.
    • p. 4
  • Core competence is communication, involvement, and a deep commitment to working across organizational boundaries.
    • p. 6/283

Competing for the Future, 1996


Gary Hamel, ‎C. K. Prahalad (1996), Competing for the Future, Harvard Business School Press, April 1996

  • A company surrenders today's businesses when it gets smaller faster than it gets better. A company surrenders tomorrow's businesses when it gets better without getting different.
    • p. 17
  • Whatever market a company might dominate today, it is likely to change substantially over the next ten years. There's no such thing as "sustaining" leadership; it must be reinvented again and again.
    • p. 18
  • Only after Southwest Airlines became the most profitable airline in America did United and American challenge their long-held assumptions about how to compete. At worst, laggards follow the path of greatest familiarity. Challengers, on the other hand, follow the path of greatest opportunity, wherever it leads.
    • p. 19
  • Acquired through business schools and other educational experiences and from consultants and management gurus, absorbed from peers and the business press, and formed out of career experiences, a manager's genetic coding establishes the range and likelihood of responses in particular situations.... All of us are prisoners, to one degree or another, of our experience.
    • p. 54
  • If a top management team cannot clearly articulate the five or six fundamental industry trends that most threaten its firm's continued success, it is not in control of the firm's destiny.
    • p. 73
  • Our fifth premise is that the resource allocation task of top management has received too much attention when compared to the task of resource leverage.
    • p. 174

Leading the Revolution, 2002


Gary Hamel, Leading the Revolution: How to Thrive in Turbulent Times by Making Innovation a Way of Life. 2002

  • New business concepts are always, always the product of lucky foresight... The essential insight doesn't come out of any dirigiste planning process; it comes form some cocktail of happenstance, desire, curiosity, ambition and need. But at the end of the day, there has to be a degree of foresight -- a sense of where new riches lie. So radical innovation is always one part fortuity and one part clearheaded vision.
    • p. 23
  • Resilience is based on the ability to embrace the extremes—while not becoming an extremist. Most companies don't do paradox very well.
    • p. 25
  • All too often, a successful new business model becomes the business model for companies not creative enough to invent their own.
    • p. 46

Quotes about Gary Hamel

  • Hamel's contributions to management thinking are found in the well-attended lectures he gives around the world each year, as well as in his publications. These include numerous articles, some of which have won awards, and books such as Competing for the Future (1995) (written with C. K. Prahalad), and Leading the Revolution (2002). His style is deliberately anecdotal, illustrating points with clear examples.
Central to his thinking are the concepts of industry foresight, strategic intent, and the recognition of core competencies. Many companies are locked in the past. They may be employing out-of-date technologies and work practices. These kinds of companies are big on command-and-control, but they stifle innovative thinking. They may be pursuing growth and competitiveness by a constant, and maybe doomed, process of downsizing accompanied by slashing costs left, right, and center. They may also be locked in competitive strategies that pit them against industry rivals. According to Hamel, the past must be forgotten in favor of the future and a strategic intent.
  • Ciarán Parker (2006), The Thinkers 50: The World's Most Influential Business Writers and leaders, p. 93
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