Michael Porter, 55, is widely respected in the US and UK as the leading
authority on global competitiveness, an innovative management thinker and
Millions of HR managers, investment analysts, consultants and scholars
devour his books.
Porter originated the idea of ‘sustainable competitive advantage’ which has
now achieved cliché status in worldwide business circles.
The Professor of Business Administration at Harvard regularly advises heads
of state, major corporates and companies such as AT&T, Procter & Gamble
and Shell. Officially, he is known in the US as the Bishop William Lawrence
University Professor – only the fourth Harvard faculty member in its history to
be recognised with a university professorship.
His fees on the conference circuit are notoriously high at about £100,000 a
Last year, it was reported that the Thai government intended to pay Porter
$1m for a lecture and consultancy on how the country can stay competitive.
While it is unclear how much he will earn working for the DTI, his UK project
is expected to last about four months.
Porter’s big idea is that companies should not just focus on operational
effectiveness because it ultimately leads to competition on prices. He believes
strategy should be about making companies different and that ethical policies
can bring competitive advantages.