Gary Hamel – Core Competencies

Gary Hamel

Gary Hamel – Core Competencies – Contents

  • Gary Hamel Biography
  • Gary Hamel’s Big Idea: Core Competencies
  • Interesting Facts and Insights about Gary Hamel
  • Career Advice Quotes by Gary Hamel
  • Business Advice Quotes by Gary Hamel
  • Leadership and Management Advice Quotes by Gary Hamel
  • Gary Hamel Inspirational Quotes
  • Books by Gary Hamel
  • Articles by Gary Hamel
  • Common Questions about Gary Hamel
  • Videos about Gary Hamel

Gary Hamel Biography

Gary P. Hamel is a management consultant. He is a founder of Strategos, an international management consulting firm based in Chicago. Gary Hamel is the originator, together with C.K. Prahalad, of the concept of core competencies.

The Wall Street Journal ranked Gary Hamel as one of the world’s most influential business thinkers. Also, Forbes magazine has called him “the world’s leading expert on business strategy”.


Gary Hamel’s Big Idea: Core Competencies

Core Competency is a concept introduced by C. K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel. It is defined as the combination of multiple resources and skills that distinguish a firm in its marketplace. It is the foundation of the organization’s competitiveness.

Core Competencies fulfill three criteria:

  • Access: Competencies provide access to a wide variety of markets.
  • Benefits: Product or Service has significant customer benefits.
  • Unique: Difficult to imitate by competitors.

A core competency results from a set of skills or production techniques that deliver additional value to the customer. These Competencies enable an organization to access a wide variety of markets.

The core business of an organization is an idealized construct intended to express that organization’s essential activity. This idea enabled the phenomenon of outsourcing, which allowed companies to hand over to others the processes and operations, such as IT, which were not “core” to their business.


Interesting Facts and Insights about Gary Hamel

  • Born: Gary Hamel was born in 1954 in the US.
  • Strategos: Gary Hamel is a founder of Strategos, an international management consulting firm based in Chicago.
  • Schools: Hamel is a graduate of Andrews University in 1975.
  • First Career Job: Gary Hamelstarted his working life as a hospital administrator before taking a PhD
  • Ph.D.: Hamel earned his Ph.D. at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in 1990.
  • Core Competencies: Gary Hamel is the originator, together with C.K. Prahalad, of the concept of core competencies.
  • Professor: Hamel has been a Visiting Professor of International Business at the University of Michigan, Harvard Business School, and of Strategic Management at London Business School.
  • Reliance: Gary Hamel is a member of the Reliance Innovation Council formed by Reliance Industries Limited, India.
  • Author: Gary Hamel has authored and co-authored over seven books.
  • Speaker: Gary Hamel became a highly demanded international speaker in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
  • Expert: The Wall Street Journal ranked Gary Hamel as one of the world’s most influential business thinkers.
  • Forbes List: Forbes magazine has called Gary Hamel the world’s leading expert on business strategy.
  • Nationality: Hamel is an American citizen.
  • Occupation: Gary Hamel is an author, professional speaker, management consultant.

“You can’t use an old map to see a new land.”

– Gary Hamel

Career Advice Quotes by Gary Hamel

“Are we changing as fast as the world around us?”

“Discovery is the journey; insight is the destination.”

“Great accomplishments start with great aspirations.”

“Influence is like water. Always flowing somewhere.”

“Innovation is the only insurance against irrelevance.”

“You can’t use an old map to see a new land.”

“Win small, win early, win often.”

“A good strategy with a bad implementation is a bad strategy.”

“The goal is not to speculate on what might happen, but to imagine what you can make happen.”

“Never before has the gap between what we can imagine and what we can accomplish been smaller.”

“To discover the future it is not necessary to be a seer, but it is absolutely vital to be unorthodox.”

“The trick is to change jobs in time to guarantee that the long-term pay-off you promised four years ago in your capital budget proposal becomes someone else’s short-term performance target.”

“From Gandhi to Mandela, from the American patriot to the Polish shipbuilders, the makers of revolutions have not come from the top.”


Business Advice Quotes by Gary Hamel

“If customer ignorance is a profit center for you, you’re in trouble.”

“Your organization can start tweeting, but that won’t change its DNA.”

“Put simply, hyper-rational executives produce hyper-boring products.”

“An enterprise that is constantly exploring new horizons is likely to have a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent.”

“Business leaders must find ways to infuse mundane business activities with deeper, soul-stirring ideals, such as honor, truth, love, justice, and beauty.”

“Competition for the future is competition to create and dominate emerging opportunities-to stake out new competitive space.”

“In a world of commoditized knowledge, the returns go to the companies who can produce non-standard knowledge.”

“Creating the future is more challenging than playing catch up, in that you have to create your own roadmap.”

“There’s no such thing as “sustaining” leadership; it must be reinvented again and again.”

“In the long term the most important question for a company is not what you are but what you are becoming.”

“Because competence-building represents more cumulative learning than great leaps of inventiveness, it is difficult to “time compress” competence-building.”

“Management innovation is going to be the most enduring source of competitive advantage. There will be lots of rewards for firms in the vanguard.”

“There’s a simple, but the oft-neglected lesson here: to sustain success, you have to be willing to abandon things that are no longer successful.”

Somewhere out there is a competitor, unborn and unknown, that will render your strategy obsolete. ”

“Innovation is the fuel for growth. When a company runs out of innovation, it runs out of growth.”

“The single biggest reason companies fail is they overinvest in what is, as opposed to what might be.”

“I am an ardent supporter of capitalism – but I also understand that while individuals have inalienable, God-given rights, corporations do not.”

“Top-down authority structures turn employees into bootlickers, breed pointless struggles for political advantage, and discourage dissent.”


Leadership and Management Advice Quotes by Gary Hamel

“A noble purpose inspires sacrifice, stimulates innovation and encourages perseverance.”

“Engagement may have been optional in the past, but it’s pretty much the whole game today.”

“You can’t build an adaptable organization without adaptable people – and individuals change only when they have to, or when they want to.”

“Ideas that transform industries almost never come from inside those industries.”

“What matters in the new economy is not return on investment, but return on imagination.”

“There is no way to create wealth without ideas. Most new ideas are created by newcomers. So anyone who thinks the world is safe for incumbents is dead wrong.”

“One doesn’t have to be a Marxist to be awed by the scale and success of early 20th-century efforts to transform strong-willed human beings into docile employees.”

“We’ve reached the end of incrementalism. Only those companies that are capable of creating industry revolutions will prosper in the new economy.”

“A titled leader relies heavily on positional power to get things done; a natural leader is able to mobilize others without the whip of formal authority.”

“What’s true for churches is true for other institutions: the older and more organized they get, the less adaptable they become. That’s why the most resilient things in our world – biological life, stock markets, the Internet – are loosely organized.”


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“We like to believe we can break strategy down to Five Forces or Seven Ss. But you can’t. Strategy is extraordinarily emotional and demanding.”

– Gary Hamel

Books by Gary Hamel

  • Competing for the future, by C. K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel, 1994
  • The Future of Management, by Gary Hamel, 2007
  • Leading the Revolution, by Gary Hamel, 2000
  • What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation, by Gary Hamel, 2012
  • Strategic Intent, by C. K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel, 1989
  • Alliance Advantage: The Art of Creating Value Through Partnering, by Gary Hamel and Yves Doz, 1998
  • Leading the Revolution: How to Thrive in Turbulent Times by Making Innovation a Way of Life, by Gary Hamel, 2002
  • Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them, by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini, 2020
  • Strategy as Stretch and Leverage, by C. K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel, 1993

Articles by Gary Hamel

  • The Core Competence of the Corporation, by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad, Harvard Business Review, 1990
  • Strategic Intent, by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad, Harvard Business Review, 1989
  • Corporate Imagination and Expeditionary Marketing, by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad, Harvard Business Review, 1991
  • Strategy as Stretch and Leverage, by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad, Harvard Business Review, 1993
  • Strategy as Revolution by Gary Hamel, Harvard Business Review, 1996
  • Bringing Silicon Valley Inside by Gary Hamel, Harvard Business Review, 1999
  • The Quest for Resilience by Gary Hamel and Liisa Välikangas, Harvard Business Review, 2003
  • “Funding Growth in an Age of Austerity” by Gary Hamel and Gary Getz; Harvard Business Review, 2004
  • The Why, What, and How of Management Innovation by Gary Hamel, Harvard Business Review, 2006

Common Questions about Gary Hamel

  • How to contact Gary Hamel?
  • What is Gary Hamel’s “Humanocracy” message?
    • Organizations are sluggish, change-phobic, and emotionally barren. Human beings are adaptable, creative, and passionate. The gap between humans and organizations is the result of bureaucracy and hierarchy. Humanocracy explores how to build an organization that’s fit for the future.
    • Consult the book, Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them, by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini, 2020
  • What is Gary Hamel’s “What Matters Now” message?
    • This phrase refers to the book What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation, by Gary Hamel, 2012
    • The focus of the book is on how to reinvent management. To rethink the assumptions about capitalism, organizational life, and the meaning of work.

“Win small, win early, win often.”

– Gary Hamel

BIG IDEAS:

“Strategies for Influence” explores and shares the BIG IDEAS from the Leaders of Influence that can help you with your Career, Business, and Leadership. Click on any of the links below to explore the Big Ideas that have influenced our work and culture.

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Videos about Gary Hamel

Revolutionary Leadership, featuring Gary Hamel

Gary Hamel: Renowned Business Strategy and Management Thought


“Discovery is the journey; insight is the destination.”

– Gary Hamel

Image Credit:Image by Sion Touhig/Corbis photos/svobodavpraci/8585195045