Search results

1 – 10 of 45
Article
Publication date: 30 October 2018

Amy Blitz

This paper provides a disruption survival guide for companies during times of macro transformation.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper provides a disruption survival guide for companies during times of macro transformation.

Design/methodology/approach

The research compared the S&P 500 – as proxy for the US economy – from 1996 and 2018. Of companies no longer on the list, 12 died, including two from manufacturing: Bethlehem Steel and Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC). Still, some US manufacturers survived or even thrived during the period. To understand why, the paper compares Bethlehem, which died in 2003, to US Steel, which has survived but was removed from the S&P 500 list in 2014, and to Nucor, which has stayed on the list. POSCO is also used for comparison. The OMC case adds a different industry perspective.

Findings

The main findings from these cases are as follows: stay fit financially and avoid overreaching in good times, use operation strategies such as Lean and Six Sigma to build a culture of continual innovation and stay close to customers to compete on the basis of differentiation, particularly if competing on price is not a realistic option. The good news is differentiation is possible even in seemingly commoditized sectors like steel.

Research limitations/implications

This paper contributes to the literature on differentiation as a strategy for competing with low-cost disruptors.

Practical implications

This paper provides insights into the use of Lean, Six Sigma and other strategies for creating a culture of continual innovation among employees, customers, suppliers and other strategic partners. And, building on this culture, to compete on the basis of value-added differentiation, particularly if competing on price is not a realistic option.

Originality/value

The paper cuts through complex, fast-changing, transformative macro issues – e.g., Chinese competition and trade uncertainties related to new tariffs – and provides practical, timeless insights for navigating in such times. The focus here is on strategies for competing on the basis of value-added differentiation, particularly if competing on price is not a viable option. The good news is such competition is possible even in seemingly commoditized sectors like steel.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 41 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 September 2017

Amy Blitz

Threats from low cost competitors are a fact of markets, a trend likely not just to continue in coming years but to accelerate. The fundamental strategic question the…

701

Abstract

Purpose

Threats from low cost competitors are a fact of markets, a trend likely not just to continue in coming years but to accelerate. The fundamental strategic question the authors consider is how best to compete when competing on price alone is not a realistic option.

Design/methodology/approach

This case details how Korea’s POSCO steel company has successfully pivoted from competing on price to competing on innovation.

Findings

POSCO introduced new revenue-generating offerings as well as innovative cost-saving processes while also improving its environmental footprint.

Practical implications

POSCO began sending engineers to work directly with customers to identify areas of opportunity for specialized, differentiated, high value added steel products.

Originality/value

This case shows how POSCO managed to identify and address a host of unmet customer needs, introducing new revenue-generating offerings as well as cost-saving new processes while also improving the company’s environmental footprint, making it a desirable partner for customers concerned about having a socially responsible supply chain.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 45 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 November 2019

Amy Blitz

The US economy has undergone major macro disruption since the mid-1990s. Focusing on the retail grocery sector, this paper aims to compare the divergent strategies and…

Abstract

Purpose

The US economy has undergone major macro disruption since the mid-1990s. Focusing on the retail grocery sector, this paper aims to compare the divergent strategies and outcomes of three key players to identify strategies that work vs those that do not during turbulent times, relevant to other sectors as well.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the S&P 500 from 1996 to 2019 as a case selection method, the paper compares A&P, which died in 2015, one of just 12 of the original 500 companies to do so during the period; Kroger, which has held strong and has stayed on the S&P 500 list throughout the period; and Whole Foods, the only grocer to rise onto the list during the period, dropped in 2017 when it was bought by Amazon.

Findings

A key differentiator separating A&P from Kroger and Whole Foods is relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction. This may seem axiomatic but is too often lost under investor pressures for short-term gains.

Practical implications

Successful companies view such pursuit as an ongoing process requiring continual evolution even reinvention as customers’ preferences and expectations change. Related to this is the need to maintain an ongoing focus on creating value for customers, as well as for the employees, suppliers and other key stakeholders who shape the customer experience. Finally, to maintain such a focus, companies must also commit to long-term investment not just short-term profits or gains for shareholders.

Originality/value

The use of the S&P data as a case selection method frames the cases in context of the broader US economy and provides a strong foundation for comparing companies with diverse strategies and outcomes while facing the same macro disruptions and uncertainties.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 42 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 June 2019

Amy Blitz and Khurram Kazi

This paper aims to set out a vision of the advent of autonomous electric vehicles (AEV), piloted by artificial intelligence and serviced by other “intelligent” machines, a…

533

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to set out a vision of the advent of autonomous electric vehicles (AEV), piloted by artificial intelligence and serviced by other “intelligent” machines, a scenario that poses vast implications for business strategy in many industries.

Design/methodology/approach

Given the speed with which business leaders today must assess and react to the business risks and opportunities engendered by breakthrough technological change, their plans to navigate an autonomous electric vehicle-based transportation future can benefit from a scenario map to the roadblocks and the richest prospects.

Findings

Self-driving electric cars and trucks, which are expected to transform the transportation landscape over the next decade. A smart charging grid is a critical technology development.

Practical implications

Business opportunities to transform ground transport in areas such as operations and supply chain management are significant as well, particularly with unsupervised AEVs, which could slash labor costs and transport times.

Social implications

AEVs are expected to free up more than 30 billion hours per year in the U.S. alone currently spent driving, sitting in traffic or searching for a parking space.

Originality/value

Offers a look at the technology evolution needed for the AEV transportation revolution.

Article
Publication date: 21 November 2016

Amy Blitz

The authorseeks to identify what strategies are successful companies using to navigate this ever-evolving retail landscape? And what strategies and best practices can be…

1830

Abstract

Purpose

The authorseeks to identify what strategies are successful companies using to navigate this ever-evolving retail landscape? And what strategies and best practices can be learned from the retail sector for thriving amid major economic transformations such as the current one?

Design/methodology/approach

To help explain the divergence in performance across U.S. retailers given the same general macro context, the research focused on four companies – Target, Kohl’s, JC Penney and Sears.

Findings

Successful retailers focused on using technology to build value for customers first, and as a result shareholder value ensued.

Practical implications

One key indicator of the connection between a company and its customers is the effectiveness of its social media presence.

Originality/value

The article presents evidence that in order o leverage the full power of technology, retailers must make strategic investments in technology that enable them to understand who their customers are; determine what their customers most need and offer products and services that address these needs seamlessly in stores and online.

Article
Publication date: 4 July 2008

Matt Porta, Brian House, Lisa Buckley and Amy Blitz

Business “rules” (for the way value is created) are rapidly evolving, necessitating transformational change. The confluence of several factors – the Internet, innovative

3206

Abstract

Purpose

Business “rules” (for the way value is created) are rapidly evolving, necessitating transformational change. The confluence of several factors – the Internet, innovative new technologies, changing consumer preferences, intensified global competition, and the proliferation of fast‐evolving social technologies that connect people and ideas – is driving the need to change. This paper aims to investigate these issues/

Design/methodology/approach

The paper looks at eight new rules which have been identified through research on 100 technology start‐ups and 40 early adopter large enterprises that were then refined based on insights from technology analysts, IBM business leaders and the venture capital community.

Findings

The paper finds that these rules, referred to as Value 2.0, illustrate unique ways in which emerging technologies are enabling new value creation in an enterprise.

Practical implications

Corporations can use the eight rules to capitalize on new markets and business models, get closer to markets and customers and create new capabilities

Originality/value

The Value 2.0 proficiencies described in the article seem likely to be critical in coming years for corporations in many industries.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 November 2007

Edward Giesen, Saul J. Berman, Ragna Bell and Amy Blitz

The purpose of this paper is to find out what exactly the term business model innovation encompasses and what type yields the best results.

18137

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to find out what exactly the term business model innovation encompasses and what type yields the best results.

Design/methodology/approach

IBM Consulting researchers first identified the main types of business model innovation, which can be used alone or in combination. They then compared these three types of business model innovation across 35 best practice cases.

Findings

The study found that all new business models can be classified into three types: innovations in industry models; in revenue models and in enterprise models. A key finding was that each type of business model innovation, with the right strategy and strong execution can generate success.

Practical implications

Researchers found that while network plays are being used by diverse companies in different industries and regions and of varying age, size and other characteristics, this tactic has been a particularly useful strategy for older companies.

Originality/value

The study found that best business model innovation strategies provide a strong fit between the competitive landscape for a particular industry and the organization's strengths, shortcomings and characteristics such as age and size.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 March 2007

George Byrne, Dave Lubowe and Amy Blitz

This article describes the five‐year success of a lean Six Sigma approach to improving operations that is also a way of doing better things – innovating in products

12799

Abstract

Purpose

This article describes the five‐year success of a lean Six Sigma approach to improving operations that is also a way of doing better things – innovating in products, services, markets and even a company's underlying business model.

Design/methodology/approach

Consultants from IBM's Operations Strategy group and from the Institute for Business Value analyzed the innovation records of several leading companies that have implemented operations strategies based on Lean Six Sigma management techniques.

Findings

They found that lean Six Sigma initiatives also led to product innovations, such as Caterpillar's phenomenally successful low‐emissions diesel engine, and also to redesigned processes, including a streamlined supply chain. After five years, by 2005, revenues at Caterpillar had grown by 80 percent.

Research limitations/implications

A case study of Caterpillar illustrates the points of the lean sigma six approach.

Practical implications

For more than five years, industry leaders have used company‐wide lean Six Sigma programs to create an organizational climate in which innovation becomes instinctive, and, consequently, they have surfaced major innovation opportunities that have revitalized their businesses.

Originality/value

Identifies several distinguishing characteristics that set successful approaches apart from those with a traditional operational improvement mindset. Successful innovators have: an innovation vision based on factual customer and market insights; leadership committed to perpetual innovation; alignment across the extended enterprise; organizational capabilities that made innovation habitual.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 January 2008

Lawrence Owen, Charles Goldwasser, Kristi Choate and Amy Blitz

To innovate, many high performing firms are collaborating beyond their organizations – with their extended networks of suppliers, customers, business partners and others

4033

Abstract

Purpose

To innovate, many high performing firms are collaborating beyond their organizations – with their extended networks of suppliers, customers, business partners and others. Such collaboration, however, is not easily accomplished. IBM Consulting offers a framework for managing these alliances – its ABCs of collaborative innovation – that can improve the chances of success. This paper aims to explore this framework.

Design/methodology/approach

IBM Consulting has recently completed a major study of innovation success and problems as perceived by top management. For example, they found that the strongest collaborators in a recent IBM study were also the strongest financial performers. This paper studies these firm's success factors.

Findings

To paper finds that to avoid the pitfalls of collaborative innovation, IBM Consulting's research and experience has determined that the key guiding principles are: alignment, boundaries and commitment, which they call the ABCs.

Practical implications

Alignment entails synchronizing the strategic vision and innovation goals with the implementation of these throughout the organization, focusing on collaboration both vertically and horizontally. Managing boundaries enables collaboration across organizations, establishing structures and processes regarding governance, operations and technology. Finally, an ongoing commitment is required to orchestrate and systematize collaboration for innovation throughout the organization and its extended enterprise over time.

Originality/value

The paper offers a useful top‐level review of the success factors for collaborative innovation.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 July 2009

Saul Berman, Steven Davidson, Sara Longworth and Amy Blitz

Companies are now struggling to cope with the most severe recession in more than half a century. This paper aims to study how leading companies have successfully reacted

2970

Abstract

Purpose

Companies are now struggling to cope with the most severe recession in more than half a century. This paper aims to study how leading companies have successfully reacted to the crisis.

Design/methodology/approach

The researchers identified early winners in the current recession, beginning with large US‐listed companies whose stock appreciated by at least 5 percent in 2008, at a time when the S&P declined by 37 percent. They looked at best practices of 61 companies.

Findings

Winners have learned to ask, “Which strategies will allow the company to both survive in this economic transformation and, potentially, to thrive in it?”

Practical implications

Overall, the early winners the following: focus on value via sustainable strategies that emphasize long‐term value; exploit opportunities presented during downturns, including growing through low‐cost acquisitions and stock buy‐backs; and act quickly, with the agility to respond ahead of, or at least to keep pace with, rapid changes in the new economic environment.

Originality/value

As winning firms have learned, there are the three targets for leaders in the new economic environment. The article offers a how‐to guide to achieving them: leadership target no. 1: focus on value; leadership target no. 2: exploit opportunities; and leadership target no. 3: make speed a competitive advantage.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Keywords

1 – 10 of 45