Brendan Byrnes: Do you think investors can look at companies that are using these strategies, and say, "These may be a better investment, down the road?" Can this be a tool for investors as well, when looking at the stock market?

Roger Martin: Absolutely. I really think that it's a way of analyzing companies and just asking yourself the question, from the outside -- you'll never have as much information as the insiders but you can still analyze it -- and say, "Well, where are they playing? Do they have a proposition that actually is winning with the customers?"

I give Jeff Immelt a bunch of credit. I think he inherited a company that maybe had had a Where to Play that expanded a little bit too much, and maybe wasn't as precise about its How to Win. I think he's trimming back on areas that are less advantaged, for him.

Good businesses -- NBC Universal, a great business -- but it fits better with Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA). When the deal closes, it'll be fully at Comcast. GE Capital (NYSE:GE), which became a more sprawling empire of things that really worked well and didn't work so well has been shrunk back ...

Brendan: Got in a little bit of trouble back in ...

Roger: [laughs] In 2008? Absolutely.

I think investors, hopefully, are looking at that and saying, "Wow, that's getting to be a more precise strategy, where we can understand why they're playing where they are, and how they're intending to win in each of those places," and would like that.

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To watch the full interview with Roger Martin, click here.