Editor’s letter

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 1 September 2006


Randall, R.M. (2006), "Editor’s letter", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 34 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/sl.2006.26134eaa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Editor’s letter

Let’s start by adding up what I learned from this issue:

  • George Day and Paul Schoemaker warn that most organizations lack sufficient capacity to detect, interpret and act on the critically important but weak and ambiguous signals of fresh threats or new opportunities that emerge on the periphery of their usual business environment. They offer a top-level program to enhance peripheral vision, and assert that organizations that develop this capability can gain tremendous advantages over rivals.

  • What can leaders do when they cannot rely on personnel to do what is needed or expected? And why is this such an endemic problem in organizations? Jeff Grimshaw and his fellow consultants offer a logical explanation and a step-by-step remedy in “How to combat a culture of excuses and promote accountability.”

  • The dark side of trying to delight every customer is that now companies in many industries find themselves struggling to manage an over abundance of custom-designed products, services and IT functions, an excess of complexity that is hurting profitability. Experts at A.T. Kearney show how to slash bad complexity, learn from good complexity, and modularize offerings to achieve mass customization instead of complexity.

  • Gary Stach, who heads Eli Lilly’s Office of Alliance Management, adds to the lexicon of strategic management by introducing us to a “three-dimensional fit” analysis that helps the company identify elements of strategic fit, cultural fit and operational fit between Lilly and any alliance partner company. He describes the best practices of the whole partnering program in “Business alliances at Eli Lilly: a successful innovation strategy.”

  • IBM’s 2006 worldwide CEO study found that competitive pressures have pushed business model innovation up near the top of their priority lists. If CEOs’ emphasis on business model innovation continues or intensifies, it could become the relentless battleground where operational and products/services/markets innovation compete today.

  • I was seduced by the thesis of Liisa Välikangas and Quintus Jett. To further breakthrough innovation they champion amateur creativity and effort, a source of playful energy that animates organizational routines. Today’s leadership challenge is learning to manage the independent thinkers that emerge with this new amateurism.

There’s more: Stan Abraham reports on Chan Kim’s Blue Ocean strategy and Milind Lele’s temporary monopoly concept. And Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal introduce us to two important leadership archetypes that are a stretch for most top executives – the wizard and the warrior.

Looking ahead to the next issue, Strategy & Leadership’s contributing editor Liam Fahey and his associates are preparing another learning adventure. This special issue is an excursion into the practices of knowledge management, intelligence gathering and assessment and scenario planning.

Robert M. RandallEditor