Today competitive pressures are increasing and managers are expected to adopt strategies that will sustain their business. Proponents of the Resource-Based View (RBV) and the Core Competence Concept are advocating strategies which stress the importance of intangible features of the firm in achieving a robust platform for sustained competitive advantage. However, the take-up of these concepts in British Industry is slow and spasmodic. Many firms are still concentrating on efficiency measures with little regard to the damage being done to business effectiveness. Most articles in this subject area concentrate on large multi-national corporations, but the majority of businesses can be categorized as small to medium sized enterprises. This article addresses a particular problem for consultants operating in the medium sized enterprise sector: how to describe the confusing plethora of articles on the Resource-Based View as an easily remembered framework for clients. The author recommends that practising senior managers regularly review their strategic decisions from the perspective of the Core Competence Engine. There is an urgent need to span the chasm between academic debate and business effectiveness; this framework is offered as one possible bridge. This article introduces, the ‘Core Competence Engine’ as a conceptual framework for managers. This encompasses the major themes seen in the core competence debate and serves to answer some of the criticisms of the RBV and to eradicate some of the confusion arising out of the jargon that is being used.