Strategy and Leadership

Published by Emerald
Online ISSN: 1087-8572
Publications
Article
The MONEE project Regional Monitoring Report of the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre is a unique source of information on the social side of the transition taking place in the 27 countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Each year’s Report contains an update on the social and economic changes affecting people in the region and includes a wealth of data in a detailed Statistical Annex. This year’s Report provides a review of the first 10 years of transition, exploiting the fact that data are now available on many issues that cover the entire 1990s. The core chapters examine the record of the decade in four key areas affecting human welfare: income inequality and child poverty, health, education, and child protection. An introductory chapter analyses key economic and demographic trends. In each case, the Report summarizes developments to the end of the decade, discussing both the outcomes measured with statistical data and the policy options.
 
Article
Purpose - To present the highlights of The Association for Strategic Planning's 2004 conference, "Strategy in a Turbulent World". Design/methodology/approach - S&L Contributing Editor Stan Abraham attended the conference and selected the most interesting presentations for his report. Findings - Highlights include: Dwight Allen, "Globalization at risk," David La Piana, "Nonprofit organizations," Peter Bershatsky, "Managing innovation," and Doug Randall, "Imagine the future." Research limitations/implications - These are conference presentations with various research methodologies. Originality/value - In his presentation, Dwight Allen suggests that great uncertainty exists as to how international or global trade might develop. Faced with such uncertainty, strategists should undertake scenario planning to develop flexible strategies that can be implemented in a variety of futures.
 
Article
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to reveal a surprising global drama now unfolding across the world: unpredicted demographic trends portend unexpected social transformations. Design/methodology/approach - Using recent research, the paper considers the startling implications of some current demographic trends. Findings - Marketers and strategists need to radically rethink their mindsets based on new trends. For examples, the world population is aging in an unprecedented way. Research limitations/implications - It is important to note that trends in demography can be particularly misleading and can reverse suddenly. Practical implications - Many widespread assumptions based on previous demographic trends now seem to be misguided. For example, India seems very likely to become the world's most populous country by 2030. Originality/value - Surprising current trends and factors include: by 2020 the global middle class will swell by as many as 1.8 billion, a third of them in China alone; Beijing expects that it may have as many as 40 million frustrated bachelors by 2020; and the population of the 50 least developed countries is expected by the UN to grow from 800 million to 1.7 billion by 2050.
 
Article
Purpose - Eli Lilly's director of alliance management tells how the company has learned to make a success of its partnership strategy. Design/methodology/approach - The author describes best practices and key principles. Findings - The Lilly process has proven successful - of the last six products the firm has launched, four are promoted with a partner. Practical implications - Lilly has developed a "three-dimensional fit" analysis that helps the firm identify elements of strategic fit, cultural fit and operational fit between Lilly and a partner company. Originality/value - Lilly describes how the elements of their alliance program increase the likelihood of success for individual partnerships and how a continuous learning process contributes to the success of future alliances.
 
Article
Purpose - Highlight the management dilemma disruptive innovation poses and examine what the leading management theorists have to offer as a solution. Design/methodology/approach - The author examines six leading theories of innovation and three alternatives to disruptive innovation. Findings - The leading theories that try to solve the paradox of innovation don't work and the alternatives to disruptive innovation merely delay having to deal with the dilemma. Research limitations/implications - The author reviewed many theoretical approaches to innovation management and selected six for commentary. Practical implications - The author argues that the theorists are looking at innovation in the wrong way. Because innovation is a paradox, the solution lies in rethinking the fundamental assumptions. Originality/value - First article that examines the logic behind the leading disruptive innovation theories and refutes their advice.
 
Article
Purpose - Most companies focus on using outsourcing to achieve cost cutting. This article urges them instead to consider outsorcings potential for capability enhancement. Design/methodology/approach - Reports on a handful of companies that place outsourcing - onshore or off - in a strategic context. Findings - Leading companies start by analyzing not just where they can outsource to lower costs and improve quality, but which capabilities are vital to their core business. Research limitations/implications - A recent Bain survey of large and medium-sized companies reports that only 10 percent are highly satisfied with the costs they're saving, and a mere 6 percent are "highly satisfied" with offshore outsourcing overall. Practical implications - Outsourcing has become so sophisticated that even functions like engineering, R&D, manufacturing, and marketing can be moved outside. Originality/value - The authors show that it's no longer a company's ownership of capabilities that matters, but rather its ability to control and make the most of critical capabilities. In other words, capability sourcing has become strategic.
 
Article
Purpose - This paper aims to offer a new experience innovation framework to identify new customer value and develop potential new business models. Design/methodology/approach - The framework, a Typology of Human Capability, illuminates the potential uses for digital technology across four dimensions of human experience. Findings - When exploring the frontiers of discovery and innovation, the Typology of Human Capability can be a useful guide to innovation opportunities. Practical implications - Digital technology enables new-to-the-world possibilities for the delivery of emotion-evoking experiences by an ever-broadening array of methods that engage our human senses through endless sights, sounds, and other sensations. Originality/value - Viewing value creation possibilities with the typology in this paperhelps companies tap the infinite possibility inherent in today's digital technology. Understanding this linkage between technology, human capability, and value creation can boost a firm's creative capabilities.
 
Article
Stew Early is a principal of Early & Associates, a strategic management consulting firm in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania ([email protected] /* */) and a Contributing Editor of Strategy & Leadership.
 
Article
Purpose – This paper aims to argue that narratives, skillfully deployed by senior leaders in an organization, can be a very effective tool for creating, disseminating and executing corporate strategy. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents a model for narrative use by leaders and a practical guide to implementing the model. Findings – Preliminary and anecdotal data are presented to substantiation a case for leaders' use of narrative as an alternative means for conveying corporate strategy. Originality/value – Implications for the practical use of narratives by leaders are explored by this paper.
 
Article
Leadership, at its best, leverages other people's full potential The L.E.A.D. program follows neither the old command-and-control style of management nor the more laissez faire approaches that have emerged. Instead, L.E.A.D. begins with a clear mandate for managers to leverage their people to their highest levels of achievement, as individuals and as a group. The first step involves leveraging employee judgment, then fully engaging them in their work by respecting the psychological contract implied in employment, aligning all employee efforts by clarifying context, and finally developing individual capacity by coaching and mentoring. The L.E.A.D. process can spell the difference between truly outstanding achievements vs. run-of-the-mill practices that achieve far less.
 
Article
Purpose - Environmental uncertainty threatens many companies. This paper seeks to offer a strategic model to help imperiled firms overcome employee inertia, counter competitive forces, and speed organizational renewal. Design/methodology/approach - The paper presents a change model which outlines five major steps, each comprised of three elements. Examples from the field illustrate sequential stages of the cycle. Findings - This framework aligns human resources and organizational processes. By adhering to this approach, leaders can become transformational change agents. Practical implications - The proposed strategic format evolved from face-to-face discussions with exemplary turnaround leaders. In their visits to the author's classroom over the last six years, they offered insights that should prove beneficial to other leaders in turnaround situations. Originality/value - The paper extends existing business models by providing a comprehensive set of action steps to engage all organizational members.
 
Article
As part of our series of software tests by practicing managers, we asked a consulting firm that has thoughtfully reviewed several products for us to try out Advia, a planning system specifically targeted for entrepreneurs and small businesses seeking to plan and manage strategically.
 
Article
The demands placed on the business community from the external environment during the past decade have already become legendary. Increased government controls have taken place in almost all developed countries. Overthrow of governments has been all too frequent in LDC's. Consumerism, a moderate problem for businessmen in the '60s, exploded in the '70s. University communities world-wide were not particularly more active in the '70s, but they became more effective in their protests. As usual, the media reported the confrontations with a flare to sell stories — rarely was business pictured in a favorable light.
 
Article
It is not astonishing that societies suffer linguistic hangups derived from their national experience. Germans, recalling the horrible inflation of the 1920s, have been sensitive to even small accelerations in their cost of living. Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government is testing the strength of British detestation of unemployment, an emotion associated with the general depression which began in the same decade and persisted until the start of World War II.
 
Article
The economy of the 1980s presents significant problems and no easy promises for business. In a slow-growth, high-inflation environment business will have a difficult time making profits grow faster than inflation. Developing strategies to do so, however, is the art of strategic planning.
 
Article
Business continues to face increasing world-wide political and economic risks, despite signs of a modest economic recovery. This survey of 80 countries shows risks increasing for exporters and financial institutions. However, companies with direct foreign investment will face little increased risk because the desire for new foreign investment will continue to constrain nationalist pressures in most countries. Political violence from terrorist groups, dissidents, and guerrilla forces is not expected to exceed last year's levels. However, the threat of violence from international hostilities is greater for many territorial and maritime disputes.
 
Article
What are “Strategic Alliances”? Are they different from joint ventures? Professor Edward B. Roberts of M.I.T. defines them as direct co-investments by two or more companies pooling complementary resources to achieve common goals in an arrangement that is less than a full merger or acquisition. These co-investors are motivated by a desire to share risks and resources, gain a window on technology, obtain synergies (marketing, technological, or operational), and/or gain credibility. However, strategic alliances are not easily maintained—they require substantial commitment and mutual trust, Professor Roberts told the Business Week conference audience. Unfortunately, co-investors are often caught in a tug-of-war of mismatched organizational cultures and management styles as well as a differing sense of urgency. Over time, objectives may diverge, interest may subside, or the unit's loss of autonomy may become a problem.
 
Article
The Strategic Management Society attracted 450 participants to its annual conference in October in exotic, bustling Singapore to explore the theme, “Cultures and Competitive Strategies.”
 
Article
The highlights of the worldwide business climate forecasts for 1986 are:
 
Article
Whether they're growing, downsizing, restructuring, or just trying to survive, today's organizations are struggling to sail through the “storms of change.” What's more, the management waters don't promise to be any smoother in the 1990s. So the stormy seas theme of this year's Planning Forum conference in San Francisco seemed most appropriate. In this review I will try to relate the insights from the sessions I attended to the theme of coping with change.
 
Article
There were a lot of eager customers at the Conference Board's annual strategic planning conference in March. Many of us had just read Walter Kiechel's Fortune article about “Smart Corporate Strategy for the 1990s” (February 29, 1988), which presents a remarkable reversal of the publication's skeptical attitude toward strategic management thinking. As a result, I felt the conference theme, selected by its organizer, Walter Schaffir, was made to order for our turbulent times. If my colleagues and I are to keep our jobs in the next decade, we really need to learn all we can about “Getting Value from Strategic Planning!”
 
Article
Last year's conference focused on the some of the ways in which corporate planning experts can add value to their line organizations. The theme was so well received that the conference planners decided to offer an encore this year. Once again I will approach this review essay from the perspective of a planning executive looking for new ways to add value to his or her firm.
 
Article
Japanese strategy for Europe: Scrap the “Made in Japan” approach, pursue serious industrial investment, introduce technology, and apply it locally.
 
Article
Appearing at The Planning Forum's 1992 International Conference, was a “faculty” that included many of America's most respected strategic thinkers. They urged attendees to take daring steps into strategic management's wild beyond:
 
Article
George Bush's catchy but empty phrase—“new world order”—is likely to become uncomfortably ironic in 1992 as the forces of disorder create both risks and opportunities for international business.
 
Article
Scenario building, hand in hand with a careful analysis of your business' driving forces, offers a means of systematically studying the longer term requirements for sustained competitive advantage.
 
Article
In this summary of the key speakers at the Strategic Leadership Forum's 1999 Conference, the author poses answers to a number of questions:What does the year 2000 mean for business enterprises? Is it a turning point in any sense beyond a calendar? What are the key uncertainties facing business leaders at this historical juncture? What are the central issues for business strategy that arise from these uncertainties? And what concepts and tools can help companies manage the transition to a new era?
 
Article
Purpose – This paper aims to present the opinions of Daniel Burrus, a futurist who has been predicting for decades which technologies would become the driving force of business and economic change, on a new trend called “Business 2.0.” This involves using the new web-based social networking applications (many of which were originally created for personal use) in a way that fosters innovative teamwork, customer co-creation of value, collaboration with external partners, and interactive communication between leaders and employees in an efficient way. Design/methodology/approach – The author describes how social networks created for personal use can be employed to facilitate leadership communications and have peer-to-peer features that offer advantages over intranet systems designed for business use. Findings – By re-purposing the use of personal social networking technology as a set business tools, companies can increase collaboration, problem solving, and improve communication transparency, all of which are critical to adopting continuous value innovation focused on the customer. Practical implications – Many sensitive issues need to be thought through, such as what happens when a memo or communication meant for internal view only is widely circulated over the internet. Originality/value – Innovative companies are beginning to embrace social networking tools as a way to enhance communication, information sharing, and collaboration, thereby allowing them to implement many innovative, even radical, business practices.
 
Article
Purpose – Today, the strictly vertical SBU is increasingly being replaced by SBUs that reach across organizational boundaries to create cross-unit synergies, promote radical outsourcing, foster the emergence of new businesses out of what had once been functions, and pursue growth through strategic alliances at this same functional level. Both corporate and SBU executives need practical help to select which opportunities to pursue and how to prioritize them. Design/methodology/approach – The solution proposed here offers simple guidelines for opportunity assessment – a combination of analysis and a recipe – for the leveraged SBU. A.T.Kearney calls this model SBU 2.0. Findings – The SBU 2.0 model allows the organization to see and evaluate many opportunities, not just the obvious or the trendy ones, and to make the best tradeoffs in deciding what to pursue and what to forego. Research limitations/implications – An illustrative case study showing best practice is offered. Practical implications – The evolution of the SBU has been so swift that, at many companies, there's a danger of being overwhelmed by the number of seemingly inviting opportunities for “synergy” or “leverage,” whether in the context of sharing activities, sourcing them, or recombining them. The SBU 2.0 model is designed to improve opportunity assessment. Originality/value – Introduces the the SBU 2.0 model, which is likely to be of interest to top corporate leadership and SBU management.
 
Article
Marketing value is not an oxymoron. Most, if not all, companies determine strategies and implement them with a common end-goal—to satisfy customers while maximizing Return on Investment (ROI). It's the whole ballgame. Inning by inning, organizations that are making hefty investments in brand building, marketing, and communication activities want to see measurable returns on those investments.
 
Article
Purpose – The strategic initiative IBM undertook to resurrect itself after the dot.com era of a decade ago provides meaningful lessons for other multinational corporations looking to pursue higher margins, globalize their operations, and change and reduce their cost structures. This paper aims to look at these lessons. Design/methodology/approach – This case describes how IBM executed a number of strategic shifts – from investing billions of US dollars in strategic acquisitions and new markets, such as India, China and Brazil, to aggressively driving costs out of selling, general and administrative expense (SG&A) – to create a stronger portfolio of offerings and a more efficient operating model. Findings – IBM achieved success by executing toward four strategic goals: Capture higher value: migrate to more attractive customer segments as well as higher-value products and service offerings; invest for growth: take advantage of the global footprint to benefit from global growth, as well as invest in new market offerings; shift the operating model to drive productivity: improve operating performance by globally integrating, while pushing decisions further down into the organization; and apply shared values and performance management Research limitations/implications – This is an internal case analysis. Practical implications – IBM has shifted substantial focus and investments to growth markets in recent years and created an operating unit dedicated to the world's growth markets in 2008. The newly established growth markets unit generated more than twice the revenue growth of IBM major markets operations in 2008. Originality/value – Enabled by global integration, supported by increased visibility and driven by an integrated management team, the IBM operating model investigated here provides the capability to understand and balance not only what is needed to perform today, but also to meet the needs of the future. It creates a dynamic that gives managers and senior leaders the ability to both lead and follow the enterprise's aspirations and each other.
 
Article
Purpose – The past dozen years in business have witnessed an explosion in the use of management tools and techniques. Keeping up with the tools and deciding which ones to use have become an essential part of every executive's responsibilities. Design/methodology/approach – In 1993, Bain & Company launched a multiyear research project to get the facts about management tool use. Over 12 years Bain assembled a global database of more than 7,000 respondents, including 960 this year. They supplement the survey with follow-up interviews to probe the specifics of tool use in individual companies. Findings – This year, the news is that executives are using more tools for acquiring customers, keeping them, learning more about what they want, and then satisfying and delighting them. They know they need tools to innovate, but they are not entirely sure how to go about it. To free up cash, they are outsourcing like crazy. And they are relying on information technology to run their businesses more efficiently. Research limitations/implications – This survey formerly was done annually and now is taken every other year. Practical implications – Managers who promote tool fads undermine employees' confidence that they can create the change that is needed. Executives are better served by championing realistic strategic directions – and viewing the specific tools they use to get there as subordinate to the strategy. Originality/value – Without satisfaction and usage data from companies that have adopted management tools, choosing and using them becomes a risky and potentially expensive gamble.
 
Article
Using alternative scenarios of possible future conditions, this utility has now developed contingency plans to meet long-term demand in the most efficient and economical manner.
 
Article
Purpose – Advises retailers that traditional strategies will not be adequate to cope with trends such as unprecedented customer diversity, market polarization and dominant mega-retailers. Explains what capabilities will retailers need to remain relevant to demanding customers. Suggests how retail executives should begin preparing to embrace fundamental change and become truly customer-centric. Design/methodology/approach – Using scenario techniques to examine retailing in 2010, the authors explore a “world of extremes”. In it retailers will face a consumer marketplace defined by unprecedented social diversity, competitive intensity and market complexity. Findings – As the marketplace polarizes across a variety of dimensions, corporate thinking needs to shift from “bell curves” – where firms try to serve a generic mass market but do not meet anyone's needs particularly well – to “well curves” – where companies drive growth by applying distinct business models in each part of their business to deliver the greatest value to explicitly defined groups of customers. In 2010, retailers will succeed to the extent that they abandon the undifferentiated middle and focus their organizations on serving the extremes of the demand curve, even if they play both sides. Research limitations/implications – This is one scenario from a set of possible futures for retailing in 2010. Practical implications – By learning how the world of extremes scenario is being shaped by long-running social and industry trends which, when added together, will bring about fundamental changes in the retail market, business can anticipate what steps they must take now to prepare for survival and success in 2010. These include: Craft an exceedingly focused, distinctive brand proposition; Drive customer-valued innovation through deeper insight; Optimize core activities through systematic intelligence; Realign the organization to operationalize customer centricity. Originality/value – Based on research at the IBM Institute for Business Value and work with clients worldwide, IBM Consulting identified five key “mega-trends” that are redrawing the rules of competition for retailers: Customer value drivers fragment; Customers become more guarded; Information exposes all; Mega-retailers break the boundaries; Partnering becomes pervasive.
 
Article
Purpose – This article examines the trends that will likely define the future of the retail banking industry in the next decade and the strategic imperatives for success. Design/methodology/approach – Scenario technology and trend analysis. Findings – Large players will generate higher aggregate profits by reaping the benefits of super scale, while niche players will aggressively pursue the most desirable customers by addressing their needs in distinct ways – those in the middle will get squeezed. Research limitations/implications – Combining the results of the IBM CEO survey with market research and interviews with industry executives, the authors have identified five key areas of ongoing innovation that have the potential to fuel enormous growth for the retail banking industry: retail payments, mortgage loans, account and product integration, global expansion and the customer experience. Practical implications – There are four strategic imperatives banks must follow to cultivate innovation and position themselves for sustainable growth. Originality/value – All banks, but small and medium sized banks especially, will have to specialize and focus on their core strengths – those activities in which they excel – and partner with best-in-class specialists for everything else.
 
Article
Why have the competitive rules changed — why have time and capabilities become the basis of competition? What are companies doing, specifically, to win in the new information economy?
 
Article
Purpose – The decade ahead will likely hold abundant opportunities for enterprises with the vision and energy to reach for them. This paper aims to look at how to take the most advantage of those opportunities. Design/methodology/approach – The paper examines the forces that will drive future growth. Then it reports on what some of the most successful companies are doing to harness those forces. Their focus on three key capabilities offers valuable insights for any enterprise seeking to excel in the coming years. Findings – Five areas of emerging economic opportunity are identified and the management capabilities to take advantage of them are described. Practical implications – The companies most likely to be successful in capturing rewards from these opportunities now evolving are those that develop fresh thinking in the way they approach operational excellence, customers, innovation, and the trade-off between global efficiency and local relevance. Originality/value – The paper shows how leading companies are building innovative capabilities to master the challenges of the emerging opportunities of the next decade.
 
Article
Purpose – To explore the future of the Internet in 2025, the authors participated in a collaborative research and scenario development project between Cisco, a global leader in Internet architecture and the scenario consultancy GBN, a member of the Monitor Group. The Internet's shape 15 years from now and the path it takes to get there are uncertain and unpredictable, hence the need for scenarios. Design/methodology/approach – To help explore possible futures of the Internet in 2025, researchers from Global Business Network and Cisco first identified a set of premises that provided a foundation for all the scenarios. Then they identified key drivers of change and synthesized them into three “axes of uncertainty.” Findings – Finally, from the many plausible scenarios, they selected four to develop in depth. Practical implications – These scenarios can help decision-makers in corporations directly involved in the business of the Internet and national leaders and policymakers perceive emerging patterns, detect big risks or opportunities in advance, and rehearse ways of operating in the different possible future environments. Originality/value – The four scenarios are: Fluid Frontiers: this is a world in which the Internet becomes pervasive; Insecure Growth: this is a world in which users – individuals and business alike – are scared away from intensive reliance on the Internet; Short of the Promise: this is a frugal world in which prolonged economic stagnation in many countries takes its toll on the spread of the Internet; and Bursting at the Seams: this is a world in which the Internet becomes a victim of its own success.
 
Article
It's a fairly accepted fact that competition will become even more intense in the 21st century than it is today. As we move forward from the Information Age to the Intelligence Age, success will come to those companies that build a knowledge base about their competitive environment and a perpetual strategy process to keep it continuously updated.
 
Article
A decade of political changes that have enhanced the climate for free market capitalism have fostered unprecedented international business opportunities in every region of the world. The authors chart the political and economic risk for 101 individual countries.
 
Article
Purpose – The paper aims to reveal a surprising global drama now unfolding across the world: unpredicted demographic trends portend unexpected social transformations. Design/methodology/approach – Using recent research, the paper considers the startling implications of some current demographic trends. Findings – The paper reveals that marketers and strategists need to radically rethink their mindsets based on new trends. For example, by the year 2050, more American babies will be born than Chinese ones. Research limitations/implications – It is important to note that trends in demography can be particularly misleading. Practical implications – Many widespread assumptions based on previous demographic trends now seem to be misguided. For example, Northern and western Europeans are now projecting steady population growth over the coming half-century. Originality/value – Surprising current trends and factors include: birthrates are falling across most of the developing world, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. The one glaring exception to this global trend is sub-Saharan Africa, which by the end of this century may be home to as much as a third of the human race. Even as Russia is becoming rich with its oil and gas wealth, the death toll – attributed to alcoholism, smoking, improper nutrition, avoidance of healthcare, psychological stress – continues to be unnecessarily high and its young male workforce looks set to fall by half. A great religious revolution will take place this century, as Africa becomes the home of most Christians and to as many Muslims as Asia, and far more than in the Middle East.
 
Article
Purpose - This paper aims to consider how corporate executives in a variety of industries can find important lessons in the recently published sixth edition of Benjamin Graham and David Dodd's Security Analysis (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008).Design/methodology/approach - This paper includes an interview with the lead editor of the book, value investor Seth Klarman. He explains key strategic lessons that corporate executives can learn from the value investing methodology.Findings - The insights contained within Security Analysis can and should be leveraged by business leaders and strategists to create value for their firms.Practical implications - Graham and Dodd-based valuation and investment is a viable method with which to assess corporate strategic initiatives (such as mergers and acquisitions, share buy-backs, etc.). Originality/value - This paper, the first in a business strategy journal, explains how business leaders can become adept at using modern applications of Graham and Dodd-based valuation to inform strategic decision-making.
 
Article
Creating a new agenda to return American businesses to the fore-front of worldwide competition requires nothing less than the reinvention of the corporation and a new style of leadership. Today there is evidence of real change; I think such change will continue unabated but on an unpredictable course. We do not know what specific changes will take place, but we know some facts that can shape a response to those that do occur:
 
Article
In May 1986, the Planning Forum's Southern California Chapter presented its Award for Excellence in Strategic Management and Planning to Robert E. Wycoff, the fifty-five-year-old president and chief operating officer of Atlantic Richfield Co. Arco is the twelfth largest industrial corporation in the United States, based on 1985 revenues of $22.5 billion. The Chapter's selection committee picked Arco out of a field of a hundred companies, comparing them against a list of criteria that included: commitment to planning, the company's planning system, and the results of that planning.
 
Article
A new generation of business teachers is performing in the national spotlight. During the past year, more students have been taught by professors Tom Peters, Ken Blanchard, Lee Iacocca, and Mark McCormack than the combined faculty of any business school in the country. Their writings are widely quoted and their speeches are big draws because there's a general assumption that their analyses are creditable observations of the real world.
 
Article
In a session of the Strategos Innovation Academy, participants considered how a number of core management processes – for example, strategic planning, capital budgeting, performance assessment and product and process development – inhibit innovation. Working in groups, the participants identified problems with existing practices and then suggested a number of ways to make the process less toxic to innovation. Today’s strategic-planning processes rarely emphasize radical innovation – the new business concepts and operational models that are necessary to keep corporations at the head of the pack – either implicitly or explicitly. Another failure that participants identified is the linkage between strategy planning and the annual budgetary cycle. To improve strategic planning, participants made a number of other suggestions, many of which derive from the toxicities and failures of the existing strategic-planning process. Companies should first ensure that their business definition and associated mission statement are broad. Narrow definitions are likely to reduce a company’s identity to its current business model, thereby impeding the possibility of renewal. Companies should also explicitly include innovation in the strategic-planning process. A chief innovation officer – a new senior-level appointee in the company – can help ensure that innovation remains central to the strategic-planning process. Greater scrutiny of strategic plans can also help. For example, CEOs can reject strategic plans that do not include a substantial amount of innovation. The introduction of new metrics for innovation would help formalize this commitment to innovation. Participants also recommended that companies find ways to dissociate the strategic-planning process from an annual schedule. Instead, the process needs to become continuous. To this end, some participants advocated renaming the process strategic evolution instead of strategic planning.
 
Article
The Knowledge Factory is a metaphor to describe an accelerated learning organization. World-class manufacturers are gearing every aspect of their business, from the shop floor to administrative offices, toward the rapid acquisition and deployment of knowledge. This article, based on an extensive research project to identify and interview best-in-class operations, provides conceptual guidelines and action steps for organizations striving to practice knowledge-based competitiveness.
 
Article
When was the last time you had enough information and enough time to make the kind of careful, clear, well-thought-out decision you would have liked to make? For most people it has been a long time — if ever. I want to explore how managers should make informed decisions within the context of a fast-paced environment that has poor information and high levels of competition.
 
Top-cited authors
Robert S. Kaplan
  • Harvard University
Henry William Chesbrough
  • University of California, Berkeley
B. Joseph Pine II
  • Strategic Horizons
Jeffrey Pfeffer
  • Stanford University
Amy Blitz
  • Babson College