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(originally published by Booz & Company)


15 Years, 50 Classics

7. The Centerless Corporation: A Model for Tomorrow - Bruce A. Pasternack and Albert J. Viscio, Third Quarter 1998
This article proposed an organizational structure for high-performance companies that was based on lowering overhead and transaction costs, sharing services, and mastering capabilities.

8. The Last Mile to Nowhere: Flaws & Fallacies in Internet Home-Delivery Schemes - Tim Laseter, Pat Houston, Anne Chung, Silas Byrne, Martha Turner, and Anand Devendran, Third Quarter 2000
In the thick of the New Economy, the authors predicted the failure of much-hyped “Internet delivery” companies such as Webvan by demonstrating the trade-off between speed and variety. (Tim Laseter’s incisive Operating Strategies columns have appeared in the magazine ever since.)

9. The Third World Goes to Market - Stephan-Götz Richter, Third Quarter 2000
Richter was one of the first writers to notice how companies from emerging markets (like the Tata group in India) were buying established Western companies (like Tetley Group) and taking over global distribution channels.

10. Here Comes Hyperinnovation - Michael Schrage, First Quarter 2001
This piece examined how new prototyping methods had radically reduced the cost of testing products, services, and business models — effectively creating a new financial resource that could be called iterative capital. (Michael Schrage has contributed some of s+b’s most insightful essays, on topics as diverse as financial innovation literature, board practices for managing risk, and PowerPoint.)

11. Rethinking Strategy in a Networked World (or Why Michael Porter Is Wrong about the Internet) - Don Tapscott, Third Quarter 2001
The debate is far from settled over the question of whether open innovation (like Linux) or closed controlled innovation (like Apple) is better (especially with Apple ascendant in 2010). Nearly a decade ago, this well-known author laid out a compelling case for open source enthusiasm.

12. Jared Diamond: The Thought Leader Interview - Randall Rothenberg, Third Quarter 2001
China lost to the West during the Renaissance, said this master evolutionary historian, because it was too unified. In this wide-ranging interview, he suggested the same may be true of some businesses.

13. The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid - C.K. Prahalad and Stuart L. Hart, First Quarter 2002
Prahalad, who passed away early in 2010 after a sudden illness, lived to see this seemingly outlandish concept — low-income markets as a prodigious opportunity — become part of the strategy and operating model of companies around the world. (C.K. Prahalad’s other articles in s+b, such as “The Innovation Sandbox,” were also compelling and influential.)

14. Profits and Perils in China, Inc. - Kenichi Ohmae, First Quarter 2002
This was one of the first articles to point out how the new Chinese geopolitical model — the country as corporation — balanced central control with decentralized freedom. It also represented the first major piece by this expert on global strategy about China.

15. What Are the Measures That Matter? - Art Kleiner, First Quarter 2002
As a columnist and profile writer, I published 28 major articles in s+b between 2000 and 2005. I’m proudest of this one, the story of the fierce philosophical feud between two former coauthors and colleagues: balanced scorecard inventor Robert Kaplan and metrics skeptic Tom Johnson.

16. Why CEOs Fall: The Causes and Consequences of Turnover at the Top - Chuck Lucier, Eric Spiegel, and Rob Schuyt, Third Quarter 2002
This was the first of Booz & Company’s groundbreaking annual studies of CEO succession, showing why CEO tenure is ever shorter and more intense — and how chief executives can compensate.

17. The Barista Principle: Starbucks and the Rise of Relational Capital - Ranjay Gulati, Sarah Huffman, and Gary Neilson, Third Quarter 2002
This piece represented an early recognition of how the trendsetting coffeehouse chain grew by cultivating relationships with employees, suppliers, and customers.

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