The unconventional German business strategy that more people need to know about

Written by Brian Bloch Wednesday 09 February 2022
The EKS strategy is a well-kept secret of the German business world, and boasts some impressive success stories. Discover a new way of thinking about profits, purpose and positioning
A red paper boat shooting out of a bottleneck

Many years ago, a German friend of mine in New Zealand introduced me to the Engpasskonzentrierte Strategie (EKS), which literally means ‘a strategy that concentrates on a bottleneck’. At the time, I translated this as ‘Prioritised Systems Strategy’, others refer to it as the ‘Cybernetic Management Strategy’. Whatever you call it, we are dealing here with a very compelling and effective way of looking at business and career paths. The EKS is hardly known in the English-speaking world, but in the German-speaking world, it has a strong following and boasts some impressive success stories.

So what is this all about and why is it so special?

Founded by Wolfgang Mewes in 1970, the essence of the strategy is to focus on a gap in the market, but in a very specific manner and with a clearly defined approach. This may sound familiar, but – unlike the conventional concentration on profits, revenue, market share and so on – with the EKS, it is power, dependency and reciprocity that matter. 

The objective is to become, or remain, the best problem-solver for a certain target group. But rather than prioritising the optimisation of your profits with the least resources possible, your priority lies instead with concentrating your current resources on your strengths and offering solutions to the problems of your clearly defined target market – which automatically leads to growth and profits.

Keep reading for a case study of EKS in action


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