Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editor’s letter From: Strategy & Leadership, Volume 36, Issue 4
There are a lot of articles in this issue that deserve special mention:
Innovation on the front line: Naveed Moosa and Patiwat Panurach, Principals at Strategos, challenge conventional innovation management practices in their article, “Encouraging front-line employees to rise to the innovation challenge.” Companies with a centralized innovation system, the standard practice, need reminding that the fresh ideas and crucial insights front-line employees gain from their interaction with customers are a vital resource. Too few companies promote frontline-line innovation in a systematic way. “But setting broad corporate challenges, teaching employees new skills and engaging them in the quest for innovation can produce powerful insights, innovative approaches to problems, and an increase in the capacity of an organization to implement new ideas.”
Eight new strategy rules: Matt Porta, Brian House, Lisa Buckley and Amy Blitz, of IBM Consulting, identify and explain new strategies for value creation in their article, “Value 2.0: eight new rules for creating and capturing value from innovative technologies.” They suggest, for example, “Emerging technologies enable greater customer intimacy by increasing the ease of access to customers and lowering the relationship barrier.”
Disposable strategies: George Stalk, a Boston Consulting Group Principal, outlines a radical strategic concept in his article, “Challenging the advantages of scale: disposable factories and strategies.” Stalk explains, “The disposable factory is a strategy that can lower overall costs, save valuable time getting to market and reduce the capital risk of overestimating demand.” He expands on the concept in his interview.
Innovative sustainable growth: Darrell Rigby, a Bain & Company partner, and Suzanne Tager, manager of Bain’s Global Retail and Consumer Products Practices, report that leading companies are learning how to use sustainable growth strategy to pursue a wide range of growth opportunities. Their article “Learning the advantages of sustainable growth” looks at how pioneering firms like Toyota, GE, Timberland and Starbucks have developed innovative practices, process, and products that promote sustainable growth.
Identifying customers’ strategic needs: David W. Crain, a marketing and strategy consultant and former Director of Marketing at Fluor Corporation, and Stan Abraham, a professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at Cal Poly Pomona, offer a unique five-step method for discovering a customer’s particular strategic needs, the key to identifying high-value new business opportunities. Their model is based on an original application of value-chain analysis.
Better strategic thinking: No corporate strategist should fail to read, “How leading companies are stretching their strategy” by Boston Consulting Croup senior partners Nicolas Kachaner and Michael S. Deimler. They offer a wealth of practical ways companies can wring more insight out of their investment in planning.
A colleague is honored: Finally, we owe special thanks to S&L Contributing Editor Stan Abraham for preparing his “Conference report” on the Seventh Annual Conference of the Association of Strategic Planning. Professor Abraham has reported on every ASP annual conference since 2001 for S&L, and this year he was the first inductee into ASP’s Hall of Fame.
Robert M. RandallEditor