Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Strategy & Leadership 2013: feature articles, columns and book reviews in Volume 41
Article Type: The year in review From: Strategy & Leadership, Volume 42, Issue 1
Leaders and leadership - many theories, but what advice is reliable?
Robert J. Allio
Leadership advice is a burgeoning literary genre, but there's not much evidence of efficacy. This veteran executive and strategy consultant summarizes several fundamental concepts that have shaped the current debate about leaders and leadership. He deflates some leadership myths and offers practical advice to leaders about how to perform more effectively in their roles.
Roger L. Martin: why stock-based compensation poisons leadership
Roger L. Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, explains why the private sector's 35-year addiction to "maximizing shareholder value" has been disastrous for shareholders, employees, the personal lives of executives, the economy and society at large in his recent book, Fixing the Game. He has advice for private-sector leaders who want to get back to doing the real business of focusing activities on providing value to customers.
Updating a classic formula for strategic success: focus, alignment, repeatability and leadership
It is time to revisit the basic principles and analytical frameworks that enable leaders to meet the challenge of how to secure sustainable competitive advantage through strong strategic positioning. The four recently published books discussed in this "Masterclass" shed some new light on the fundamentals of strategy in complementary ways.
Four decades of business scenarios: what can experience teach?
Stephen M. Millett
Some 40 years ago the first business scenarios were introduced at General Electric and Royal Dutch Shell. The scenario methods originated by the teams spread quickly to countless thousands of other companies and to non-profits and government agencies. Based on four decades of experience, three general conclusions about the use of scenarios for business planning are evident: investing in extensive research can help envision something important we do not know; a scenario learning team can be a change agent; and scenarios help an organization manage risk and opportunity when data is an unreliable guide.
Crisis management: Western Digital's 46-day recovery from the 2011 flood disaster in Thailand
Lau Chee Wai and Winai Wongsurawat
This crisis-management case details how Western Digital lost and regained its position as the world's leading hard-disk-drive fabricator after disastrous flooding at its Thailand facilities in 2011. The case documents the key resources and decisions that facilitated Western Digital's rapid recovery from the largest natural disaster the company had ever experienced.
Why Agile can be a game changer for managing continuous innovation in many industries
A few cutting-edge product and service development teams seeking to systematically achieve both disciplined execution and rapid continuous innovation are adopting Agile - a set of management practices and values based on customer focus achieved through iterative and incremental development, and where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams and their customers. Agile's advocates believe it offers a unique opportunity to rethink US manufacturing management.
Using the customer journey to road test and refine the business model
David W. Norton and B. Joseph Pine II
"Customer journey," in essence, means the sequence of events - whether designed or not - that customers go through to learn about, purchase and interact with company offerings - including commodities, goods, services or experiences. The customer journey should be the end result of the implementation of a coherent strategic plan. The journey follows a scripted sequence of events companies produce to deliver value to the customer, profitability to the company and differentiation from the competition.
Laurence Capron analyzes corporate development's build, borrow and buy options
One the major findings reported in Build, Borrow or Buy: Solving the Growth Dilemma by Laurence Capron and Will Mitchell is that too few companies consider the full range of "build, borrow and buy" options in their corporate development efforts, while the odds for success and survival significantly favor those that do, and do it in a disciplined and systematic way. Her advice: "Choosing carefully among different growth modes, and developing the right blend of options, will help you take speedy advantage of emerging opportunities, while minimizing the cost of doing so."
Cisco's corporate development portfolio: a blend of building, borrowing and buying
This case study of Cisco's corporate development approach shows how the company implemented a powerful new business capability: the discipline of selecting the best pathways - build, borrow or buy - to follow when pursuing growth opportunities. Developing such a capability improves the likelihood that a firm will achieve long-term growth and it enhances a firm's chances of survivability.
Will business model innovation replace strategic analysis?
This masterclass considers a number of recent business articles and books that can help practitioners clarify the distinction between the strategy development and business model innovation approaches and decide which is appropriate for their situation. For most companies, adapting to external opportunities and threats and capitalizing on strengths and resources can be done either through strategic planning or business model innovation. But doing both can energize strategic thinking and get managers more engaged in readying the company for the future.
Managing a supply chain's web of risk
Though JIT supply chain optimization and global sourcing has become a significant source of competitive advantage for many companies, they increasingly find themselves operating within a "web of risk" stretching upstream and downstream throughout the supply chain and distribution chain. Managing risk requires more sophisticated analysis of dynamic supplier systems to identify the many strands in the web of risk. As a general rule, most companies need to model the extent to which the loss of an individual component supplier puts an entire assembled product at risk, and the capacity of a secondary or tertiary supplier to compensate for the loss of supply.
Embracing connectedness: insights from the IBM 2012 CEO study
Saul Berman and Peter Korsten
The 2012 IBM CEO Study, Leading Through Connections, identifies and analyzes trends that emerged from discussions with 1,700 CEOs and public-sector leaders in every part of the world. It found that increasingly CEOs are focusing on how recent advances in technology allow companies to re-imagine connections among people - customers, employees, partners, investors or the world at large. Exploring this new potential raises major implications for organizational strategy, structure and culture.
Fidelity Investments: adopting new models of innovation
Wendi R. Bukowitz
This case looks at how Fidelity Investments, an American multinational, multi-division financial services corporation, organized and focused its innovation program. The program's goal was to support corporate strategy, introduce the best and brightest concepts about how to innovate and also serve the specific needs of individual units. This case shows how the program encouraged business units to select the new innovation models and tools appropriate for each situation.
Three proven rules: discovering how exceptional companies think
Michael E. Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed
By seeking the decision-making criteria implicit in the many and varied choices in a select group of truly exceptional companies, the authors discern three rules that these "miracle workers" applied regardless of the circumstances. They show how leaders can practice these rules when making decisions that matter to their organizations.
Effectiveness at the top - what makes the difference and why?
The author addresses why so many successful executives fail when they get to the highest level and why the top job is definably different from other executive positions. The particular qualities needed for CEO success are insightfully examined.
Social business: an opportunity to transform work and create value
Peter J. Korsten, Eric Lesser and James W. Cortada
Leading businesses are rapidly undergoing a substantive transformation in how they work, a networking approach called social business. Social business can create valued customer experiences, increase workforce productivity and effectiveness and accelerate innovation. Companies are also using social approaches to share knowledge with their suppliers, business partners and their employees.
Boeing's offshoring woes: seven lessons every CEO must learn
The grounding of Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner, a plane that depended on foreign suppliers for key elements of its innovative technology, opened a somber new chapter in a calamity that has been causing US industry to waste away for decades: flawed offshoring decisions. Seven lessons drawn from the Boeing experience show CEOs how to rethink offshoring.
What went wrong at Boeing
Like many US firms, Boeing enthusiastically embraced outsourcing and offshoring as a way of reducing costs and development time. The end result was the opposite: the whole fleet of technologically innovative 787 planes was grounded. The Boeing crisis illustrates how offshoring risks can not only increase overall costs, but raise mission-critical issues potentially affecting the survival of entire firms.
A continuous-learning process that updates and enhances planning scenarios
A scenario analysis helps managers become more sensitized to potential shifts in their current markets and become better prepared to respond as the future unfolds. This system for continuously updating the key drivers of the scenarios can help planners and senior decision-makers identify and track the unfolding events that are most relevant to the challenges and big issues facing their organization.
Instituting a company-wide strategic conversation at Proctor & Gamble
A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin
To truly win in the marketplace, a company needs a robust process for creating, reviewing and communicating about strategy. The process established at P&G by then CEO A.G. Lafley and consultant Roger Martin was designed to shift the culture of the organization to one that was more dialogue oriented, to create a structure in which the business teams could truly benefit from the experience and cross-enterprise perspective of senior leaders and to build the strategic-thinking capabilities of P&G's executives.
Rita McGrath explores the risks and opportunities of the transient-advantage economy
In her new book, The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business (Harvard Business Press, 2013), innovation guru, Rita Gunther McGrath offers her own perspective on the new competitive landscape, which she refers to as the "transient advantage economy," and she sets out to help strategists more fully understand its implications and better navigate its major challenges.
Regaining customer relevance: the outside-in turnaround
George S. Day and Christine Moorman
When the value proposition offered by once successful companies like McDonald's, Starbucks, IBM, and Charles Schwab lost its luster, how did they recover?
In-depth investigations of six turnarounds indicate they regained the loyalty of their customers by pursuing a similar approach - the outside-in turnaround. It began with a new management team that stepped outside the boundaries and constraints of the company and looked at its market through the eyes of customers and competitors.
Seven management follies that threaten strategic success
V.K. Narayanan and Liam Fahey
Strategic initiatives fail far more often that they succeed! These veteran strategists suggest that the major cause of pervasive strategy failure is a set of common errors committed by leaders and managers throughout the strategy process. These errors of process deserve the name "managerial follies." Here's how to dodge them.
Decision making under extreme uncertainty: blending quantitative modeling and scenario planning
Peter J. Kennedy and Robert J. Avila
Sometimes the best view of the future requires an odd pair of bifocals: quantitative modeling and scenario planning. These two analytical approaches to decision making are typically not used together. But this case study of a subsidiary of a multinational-automotive firm operating in Brazil's extremely uncertain market conditions shows how the two approaches can be blended successfully to produce some important insights on imminent market discontinuity.
Lessons big-company leaders can learn from SME entrepreneurs
Tana Chanyatipsakul and Winai Wongsurawat
Why do some small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) succeed in emerging markets despite all odds while corporate ventures with more resources wither? What innovative strategies have they employed that offer lessons for the business-development teams of larger firms? To find out, the authors interviewed ten owners of thriving companies around Bangkok, Thailand, one of the upcoming and most robust economies in South East Asia. They observed their practices over time and identify four basic principles underlying their behavior.
Where to play and how to win - strategy fundamentals the Proctor & Gamble way
How to promote a disciplined approach to strategy development deep within the leadership ranks of the multi-business, multi-category firm? A new book by A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin, Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works highlights some of the innovative application models they developed to practice Michael Porter's strategy fundamentals at P&G. This "Masterclass" guides executives through the approach that Lafley, P&G's recently rehired CEO, and Martin, when he was a consultant to the firm, developed around five major interrelated questions and the choices that flow from them.
Continuous reconfiguration in the transient advantage economy
Rita Gunther McGrath
In most industries, the era of sustainable competitive advantage is over, and companies are going to have to learn how to survive and thrive in a new environment where competitive advantage will increasingly come and go in temporary waves. The firms that are most likely to succeed in this new context will be those that can catch each wave of advantage early, exploit it to the full and then shift to the next one. For businesses that have proved most successful at this, their surprising business model reconfiguration process is the secret sauce of remaining relevant.
The management revolution's growing army of rebel voices
What are business leaders to make of the slew of recent management books that possess an element not often associated with management: passion? Some of the new books are animated by the need for organizations to become passionate about adapting to a changing marketplace and society. Others are disturbed that organizations are systematically frustrating the passion of discerning customers. All reflect a perception that today's organizations represent a deep and pervasive failure. Together they call for a veritable revolution in management.
Michael Watkins on how new leaders can achieve a strategic jumpstart
Robert M. Randall
Former Harvard professor Michael Watkins wrote a best-selling book ten years ago that quickly became required reading for executives considering a job offer. More than a million copies later The First 90 Days (Harvard Business Press, 2013) has been revised and reissued. Anyone interviewing for an executive position will find this book an invaluable guide to understanding how to analyze and shape decision making during the critical first three months on the job. Watkins tells what he has learned after getting feedback from a generation of executives who have used his analytic models.
Social media provides a megaphone for organizations intent on shaping the corporate environment
Mark R. Kennedy
Businesses increasingly need to be aware the political, regulatory, media and activist actors in the firm's operating environment that shape, constrain or expand a firm's opportunities and raise certain risks. Their mission of these "shapeholders" is to be the influencers of the interplay between corporations and society. Now, amplified by the megaphone of social media and powered by contributions from corporations and online fund raising by interest groups, these actors have greater potential to affect a business' bottom?line, sometimes even its survival and so deserve strategic assessment by top management.
Converting the nonstop customer into a loyal customer
Paul F. Nunes, Olivier Schunck, Joshua Bellin and Ivy Lee
To secure customer loyalty today, companies must become masters of the new "nonstop customer" experience. They will have to learn to rapidly analyze the data on their customers' behavior for new opportunities and devise tactics to directly influence their customers' choices. Accenture has sketched a new map for the customer journey - the nonstop-customer experience model - that places evaluation, not purchase, at its center.
Number 6 - Special issue: the value co-creation revolution
Strategy and co-creation thinking
Venkat Ramaswamy and Kerimcan Ozcan
In more and more firms, strategy making has become a joint process of co-creative discovery, as enterprises devise and develop new opportunities together with customers, partners and other stakeholders. The authors show how new co-creation engagement models can be designed all across the value chain of enterprise activities.
Venkat Ramaswamy - a ten-year perspective on how the value co-creation revolution is transforming competition
In 2004, the late C.K. Prahalad and Venkat Ramaswamy proclaimed a paradigm shift they predicted would transform the competitive landscape and require new leadership skills: value increasingly would be co-created interactively by firms and customers, rather than merely exchanged between them. In this interview with Prof. Ramaswamy, Strategy & Leadership reviews the progress of this "co-creation transformation" as it starts its tenth anniversary. He explains the basic elements of the co-creation playbook and what makes this perspective different and powerful.
Ten drivers of radical management in the "creative economy"
A new kind of business environment is emerging: the "creative economy." At its core is the need for organizations to engage in continuous innovation and adaptation. Successful businesses will respond with a paradigm shift in their leadership and management perspective from product-centric to customer-stakeholder centric.
Extreme trust: the new competitive advantage
Don Peppers and Martha Rogers
Leading companies are learning that they can achieve competitive advantage by proactively engineering IT systems and business processes to protect each customer's interest. Called "extreme trust," this approach is in fact financially attractive for a business in the long term, even though it may cost money up front in the form of foregone profits or newly incurred expenses.
How CEOs, CIOs and CMOs see the technology future of corporate openness, customer individualization and innovation partnerships
Linda Ban and Anthony Marshall
Extensive conversations about the future of business, innovation, customer interactions and technology with thousands of private and public sector leaders participating in a series of IBM surveys have revealed insights into opportunities for Chief Executive Officers, Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Information Officers to align their priorities and objectives. The authors' analysis of evolving C-suite priorities over several years shows how top executives can work closely together to leverage new technologies to manage openness across the organization, individualize customer relationships and invest in the partnership ecosystem for innovation.
Career advisoryAvoiding onboarding and promotion traps
When starting a new job, it is crucial to follow a comprehensive strategic framework for making transitions, one that distills the experience of many leaders facing a diverse range of situations. You must be systematic about diagnosing the situation and focused about deciding what you need to learn and how you will learn it most efficiently.
7 Columns in S&L Volume 41
The content management systems opportunity - new strategic marketing capabilities
Kenneth Alan Grossberg
Content management systems (CMS) are the tools used to manage the company presence on the world wide web, so their proper care and maintenance have become a subject of increasing concern to strategists and operating officers. The Gilbane Conference in Boston in November was designed to help participants learn "how to engage customers and enhance collaboration with both customers and colleagues more successfully with content, social technologies and digital marketing practices." Issue number 3.
Association for Strategic Planning highlights
Highlights of the keynote presentations of the Association for Strategic Planning's national conference in Atlanta. Issue number 5.
Association for Strategic Planning highlights
More highlights of the keynote presentations of the Association for Strategic Planning's national conference in Atlanta. The second of two reports on the annual meeting. Issue number 6.
8 Book reviews in S&L Volume 41
How to frame a crisis or share a vision of the promised land with stakeholders
David P. Boyd
The Power of Communication: Skills to Build Trust, Inspire Loyalty and Lead Effectively, Helio Fred Garcia (FT Press, 2012). Issue number 1.
Varieties of insight experience
Kenneth Alan Grossberg
Cognitive psychologist Gary Klein's latest book, Seeing What Others Don't: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights (PublicAffairs, 2013). Issue number 5.
Surfing temporary competitive advantage - the new competence
George S. Day
Rita Gunther McGrath's new best-seller, The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013).
A concise guide for innovation leaders
George Day's latest book, Innovation Prowess: Leadership Strategies for Accelerating Growth (Wharton Executive Essentials Series, Wharton Digital Press, 2013).