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Strategy & Leadership Archive

August 3, 2015

Overcoming Big Data’s Challenges

Companies that have the most success leveraging big data are getting three things right: talent, technology, and culture.
August 3, 2015

20/20 Foresight

Many business leaders need to improve their perceptual acuity. Here’s how you can develop the ability to look around corners — and become a catalyst for change.
July 29, 2015

Why Leaders Need to Ask, “Is That a Promise?”

Requesting clearer commitments can mobilize teams and lead to better execution.
July 29, 2015

A Strategist’s Guide to Power Industry Transformation

The way we create, use, and manage electricity is finally changing, and the implications go far beyond the utility sector.
July 28, 2015

Thinking Like a Leader: Three Big Shifts

Adopt a leadership mind-set before you try to lead.
July 22, 2015

What Makes Self-Made Billionaires Different

The unusual perspective of high-performing entrepreneurs allows them to turn good ideas into great businesses.
July 22, 2015

The Two Types of High-Potential Talent

The best leadership team contains both innovative producers and recognized performers. Unfortunately, many companies expect a single individual to fulfill both roles. For more related insights, listen to “What Makes Self-Made Billionaires Different.”
July 20, 2015

Your Leadership Summer

Use time away from the office to stimulate your development, and have fun doing it.
July 20, 2015

Staking Your Claim in the Healthcare Gold Rush

Revolutionary changes in the delivery, financing, and management of healthcare present a choice: Do you want to be a gold miner or a bartender?
July 14, 2015

Deals That Win

Twelve years of data shows that mergers and acquisitions that apply or enhance capabilities produce superior returns.
July 9, 2015

How Corporations Can Slim Down with a Bottom-Up Approach

The streamlining of corporate operations is usually executive-led, but engaging frontline employees is crucial to genuine reform.
July 8, 2015

Six Questions to Increase Employee Engagement

Leadership author and executive coach Marshall Goldsmith — who is always skeptical of catchphrases like employee engagement — talks about the qualities necessary to galvanize individuals’ commitment at work. 
July 8, 2015

Marshall Goldsmith on Finding Meaning at Work

To become a better leader, you need to start by asking yourself tough questions, and follow through.
July 6, 2015

The Future of Management Is Teal

Organizations are moving forward along an evolutionary spectrum, toward self-management, wholeness, and a deeper sense of purpose.
June 25, 2015

When CEO Star Power Backfires

Companies can significantly influence the media visibility of their CEO with certain kinds of press releases — but having a prominent CEO can also work to shareholders’ detriment.
June 24, 2015

Papal Pull

Pope Francis’s efforts to transform the Catholic Church show how those at the top can grapple with a bureaucracy while exemplifying spiritual leadership.
June 23, 2015

Strengthening Your Cultural Fortress

Building a strong company culture is about more than the perks you offer employees.
June 22, 2015

Better Lucky than Smart

An age-old bit of wisdom can help you overcome outcome bias to improve your decision making as a leader.
June 18, 2015

The Advantages of a Diverse Board

When it comes to corporate multiculturalism, it’s the relationship between an ethnically diverse board and its CEO that makes the biggest difference for leading firms.
June 15, 2015

The Trouble with Putting Goals Ahead of Strategy

Winning strategies start with a big idea.
June 9, 2015

Why Higher Minimum Wages Might Be the New Normal

As companies such as Walmart, Aetna, and Facebook start paying their workers more, others sense a change in the air.
June 8, 2015

The Data-Driven Optimist

Economist Max Roser is compiling an archive of global improvement.
June 2, 2015

The 1 Percent Innovation Solution

The best R&D is kept separate from strategic planning, but is closely linked to strategy. 
June 2, 2015

Jessica Kennedy Takes On Ethics, Power, and Gender

The professor at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management explains the root of unethical behavior.
June 1, 2015

The Selfie Strategy

Should you make your company in your own image?
May 20, 2015

Reconsidering the Charismatic CEO

Is magnetism at the top all it’s cracked up to be?
May 18, 2015

The Other “F” Word: An Interview with John Danner

The Berkeley professor and his coauthor say companies can no longer afford to treat failure like a dirty secret they have to hide.
May 14, 2015

The Double-Edged Sword of Success

If firms become mired in the successful practices that got them to where they are, they may stop looking for new ways to exploit resources and opportunities.
May 12, 2015

What’s Love Got to Do with Business?

How to fall in love with your colleagues.
May 11, 2015

Leading Teams through Change at the Speed of Business

How to guide your team amid uncertainty, without losing momentum.
May 11, 2015

How Emerging Markets Can Finally Arrive

Building world-class domestic firms is the overlooked key to economic development.
May 6, 2015

Vertical Integration 2.0: An Old Strategy Makes a Comeback

More companies are seeking greater control of their value chain — but they should do so with caution.
May 5, 2015

Do You Know Your Wrecking Crew?

It’s time to celebrate those butt-kicking, get-it-done teams who work out of the spotlight.
May 4, 2015

CEO Succession: Why It Pays to Have a Plan

Large companies can lose billions of dollars when they don’t plan for changes in leadership. See also “The $112 Billion CEO Succession Problem.”
May 4, 2015

The $112 Billion CEO Succession Problem

Poor planning for changes in leadership costs companies dearly. Getting it right is worth more than you might think. See also “CEO Succession: Why It Pays to Have a Plan.”
May 4, 2015

The Decline of the COO

Is it time to add chief operating officers to the list of endangered species?
April 29, 2015

How Digital Leaders Outperform Their Peers

Even after all these years, many companies have not yet figured out the transformational power of new technology.
April 27, 2015

The Haier Road to Growth

Customers always come first for this Chinese appliance maker — even as it continually reinvents itself and expands around the world.
April 22, 2015

Welcome to the Marijuana Economy

The CEO of a leading recreational marijuana company argues that the industry is green in more ways than one.
April 20, 2015

Forget the Vision, Make the Connections

Executives in transition often spend too little time on what matters most: building relationships.
April 20, 2015

The Imagination Gap

Business leaders in at least 16 sectors are still not fully prepared for the digital transformation of their industries.
April 13, 2015

The Foundation of CEMEX’s Success — In Pictures

How the Mexican company developed the global capabilities needed to support its international business strategy. For more insights, read the related article.
April 13, 2015

Mark Bertolini’s Preventive Disruption

For Aetna’s CEO, the lauded move to raise employee wages is just part of a broader strategy to adapt to changes in healthcare.
April 13, 2015

CEMEX: An Emerging Market Multinational

The most profitable global company in the cement industry expanded from Mexico by building world-class capabilities.
April 13, 2015

CEMEX’s Strategic Mix

An s+b Roundtable: This Mexican cement company redefined itself as a global solutions provider with the critical capabilities to match. See also “The Foundation of CEMEX’s Success — In Pictures.”
April 7, 2015

Big Ideas Mark the Path from Strategy to Execution

Winning companies are made by leaders committed to solving important problems with innovative ideas — against all odds.
April 6, 2015

Isn’t Every Company a Social Enterprise?

Social responsibility is no longer optional for leaders — it must be an integral part of their business.
March 31, 2015

Getting Off the “Bad Growth” Treadmill

The secret to sustainable expansion is to stop chasing growth; instead, build an engine that delivers it.
March 30, 2015

Boost Your Innovation Confidence

Know your customers, understand new technologies, embrace failure, then take a leap of faith.
March 25, 2015

Hey, Leaders: Stop Thinking So Much and Just Do It

To reach your true leadership potential, writes INSEAD professor Herminia Ibarra, push yourself outside your comfort zone.
March 23, 2015

Learning from the Persuasive Genius of Great Leaders

The art of framing is an essential skill for executives who want to motivate and inspire.
March 23, 2015

10 Principles of Organization Design

These fundamental guidelines, drawn from experience, can help you reshape your organization to fit your business strategy.
March 19, 2015

A Culture of Personality

A CEO’s character can change a company’s culture, the way it operates, and its performance.
March 18, 2015

6 Ways to Challenge Your Leadership Assumptions

A decades-old study of culture in leadership provides some insight on what underlies your beliefs about leaders and what they do.
March 16, 2015

Speak Honestly, Lead Honorably

Beware of euphemisms that belie “hellish” behavior.
March 16, 2015

Best of Multimedia: How Women Can “Make It Happen”

A Wall Street Journal video interview with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company reveals insights for the next generation of female leaders.
March 16, 2015

Linda A. Hill on the Creative Power of the Many

The Harvard Business School professor explains how leaders can harness collective genius to achieve innovation success.
March 16, 2015

Agility Is Within Reach

With strategic responsiveness and organizational flexibility, you can move quickly when your industry changes.
March 12, 2015

The Impact of a Corporate Idealist

In a recent video interview, Christine Bader explains why paying attention to your company’s ethical, environmental, and societal consequences pays off.
March 11, 2015

Does Berkshire’s Culture Ensure Its Future?

In his new book, Lawrence A. Cunningham says that Berkshire Hathaway’s corporate culture will enable it to survive without Warren Buffett.
March 10, 2015

The Challenges of Corporate Responsibility inside a Big Company

Former BP policy development manager Christine Bader discusses why CSR efforts fail - and how to help them succeed. For more insights, read the related blog post.
March 9, 2015

Inside Walmart’s Wage Hike

A raise for the lowest-paid workers won’t end economic inequality—but it might force other companies to rethink their compensation at the bottom.
March 5, 2015

Dealing with Your Childish Boss

Managing up to a supervisor who behaves like a toddler? Neuroscience can help.
February 27, 2015

How Inattentive Management Wastes Employees’ Time

The Center for Creative Leadership’s Jennifer Deal on how organizations can respect their people’s time. For more insights, read the related article.
February 26, 2015

Diversify or Focus? The Best Strategies Do Both

It’s time to break your company’s cycle of expand-contract-repeat.
February 25, 2015

The Buzzkill Boss

The joys and struggles that leaders experience at home have a major impact on their attitudes at work, as well as on their subordinates’ moods and performance.
February 24, 2015

Five Keys to Strategy in the Age of the Hack

When it comes to data thieves, no company is immune. Leaders, here’s how to prepare.
February 23, 2015

Why You Didn’t Meet Your Innovation Goals in 2014

Answer these 10 questions to focus your energy and resources this year.
February 17, 2015

Mindfulness for Senior Executives

Harvard University social psychology professor Ellen Langer says organizations can make better decisions by setting the right context. For more insights, read the related article.
February 11, 2015

Shake Shack’s Secret Sauce? It Cares.

The burger chain’s boffo business model thrives—despite paying low-wage workers more than it has to.
February 9, 2015

What’s Your Relational Intelligence?

In Leading with Sense, Professor Valérie Gauthier defines leaders as genuine, generous, generative — even poetic.
February 9, 2015

Stop Wasting Your Employees’ Time

Smartphones are not the problem — it’s bad management that people resent. And watch the video “Keep the Smartphone, Ditch the Bad Management Practices.”
February 9, 2015

How to Seize the Opportunities When Megatrends Collide

Preparing for the inevitable interactions between global forces can help you stay ahead of the competition.
February 9, 2015

Creating Resilient Organizations

Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, describes how to build the capacity to survive disastrous events.
February 3, 2015

Five Ways to Reverse the Downward Spiral of Distrust

How to shift negative momentum in working relationships.
February 2, 2015

The Mission Statement Is Dead! Long Live the Mission Narrative!

Your company’s guiding principles should be built to focus your employees’ thinking, decisions, and actions.
February 2, 2015

The Redefined No of the CFO

For today’s financial leader, decisions are based on strategy, not spreadsheets.
February 2, 2015

How to Lead in Ambiguous Times

Stability, resilience, and relationships are the keys to thriving amid geopolitical crises.
January 28, 2015

Best of Multimedia: How You Give Criticism Depends on Where You Live

This infographic explores how people in 12 countries deliver negative feedback at work.
January 27, 2015

Leading, the Rickover Way

In Against the Tide, retired rear admiral Dave Oliver examines the management techniques of Hyman G. Rickover, the father of the nuclear navy.
January 26, 2015

The Quantified Self Goes Corporate

How to make data your source of sustained growth.
January 20, 2015

The Internet of Things Wins s+b’s 2014 Strategy of the Year

The linking of billions of devices through the Web has scaled the heights of strategy fashion.
January 15, 2015

The Value of the CEO Variety Pack

A chief executive with a diverse background usually brings innovation and new ideas to a company, but the shake-up doesn’t necessarily pay off.
January 14, 2015

Give-to-Get Corporate Partnering

In The Reciprocity Advantage, Bob Johansen and Karl Ronn argue that the most successful partnerships start with sharing, not protecting, your intellectual capital.
January 14, 2015

7 Surprising Disruptions

Are you ready for what’s coming in your industry this year? For more insights, read the full collection of perspectives from Strategy&.
January 12, 2015

Defensive Behavior and the Bosses That Provoke It

Managing self-protective responses in the workplace is up to employees and their supervisors alike.
January 2, 2015

Hiring for Cultural Fit at the Top

C-level transitions can be difficult, especially when preserving a company’s character is critical.
December 23, 2014

What You Read: The 10 Most Popular s+b Articles of 2014

Among all the articles we’ve published over the last year, here are the ones that garnered the most attention.
December 19, 2014

Best of the s+b Blog: A Feast of Management Ideas for the New Year

A look at some of the best blog posts that we published in 2014.
December 16, 2014

Integrity Is Free

For businesses that keep their promises, there are often invaluable hidden benefits.
December 15, 2014

The Truth About Breakthrough Strategies

You won’t find them through typical strategic planning, executive retreats, or brainstorming sessions.
December 15, 2014

What Self-Made Billionaires Do Best

They don’t just generate results. They produce breakthroughs.
December 10, 2014

What Is This Thing Called Resilience?

It is a hot buzzword, but often clouded in mystery. Here’s what executives need to know.
December 1, 2014

Leadership Insights from a Special Needs Parent

Raising a child with disabilities showed me what it takes to be an effective leader.
November 25, 2014

What the Ebola Crisis Can Teach Business Leaders

Executives have much to learn about how fragile the public’s trust in them can be.
November 21, 2014

How to Lead a Successful Global Team

INSEAD professor Erin Meyer discusses how companies can boost the efficiency of their multinational teams by focusing on how they communicate across cultures. For more insights, read the related article.
November 18, 2014

Best of Multimedia: Three Techniques for Embracing Culture Change

Fixing resistance to transformations starts with reframing mind-sets and assumptions.
November 11, 2014

The Complexity of Complexity

It’s not enough to say your organization is simple or complicated—you must also understand what kind of complexity you’re dealing with.
November 10, 2014

China’s Philosopher-CEO Zhang Ruimin

Haier’s leader describes how he built a winning global company by continually reframing his management philosophy.
November 7, 2014

Best Business Books 2014: Innovation

Greasing the Skids of Invention
November 4, 2014

How to Be Privileged Like Louis XIV

A favored position creates authentic leadership only when it is tempered by accountability.
November 3, 2014

Best Business Books 2014: Strategy

To the Nimble Go the Spoils
November 3, 2014

Making Sense of Globalization

The DHL Global Connectedness Index, now in its third edition, shows that not all flows of trade, capital, information, and people are alike.
October 29, 2014

The Virgin Chronicles

Richard Branson’s books demonstrate how an entrepreneur’s drive and verve can turn seemingly crazy ideas into reality.
October 28, 2014

Free Your Strategy from Annual Planning

When your strategy is shackled to the annual planning process, you lose a uniquely powerful management tool.
October 28, 2014

The Sharing Company

Behind the hype of peer-to-peer economics is a quiet B2B revolution.
October 27, 2014

The 10 Principles of Organizational DNA

Based on 10 years of organizational design (“organizational DNA”) research and 220,000 diagnostic surveys, here’s what we’ve learned about building high-performance companies.
October 23, 2014

Ending the Battle between Leadership and Management

Historical and fictional accounts of King Henry V show how powerful the two disciplines can be when used together.
October 22, 2014

Best of Multimedia: What Airports and Alleys Can Tell You about Prospective Employees

In this HBR IdeaCast, the authors of “How Google Works” reveal their personal approaches to recruiting top-notch talent.
October 16, 2014

Reframing Sales Effectiveness

Aligning Strategy and Sales is the best sales book of the year—and one that senior executives should read.
October 13, 2014

A Call to Action on Big Data

It’s time for companies and governments to take the steps that will lead to an evolution in analytics.
October 9, 2014

The New Supercompetitors

Companies that realize the power of their capabilities can shape how industries evolve. For more insights, read “the related article.”
October 6, 2014

How to Set Productive Collaboration into Action

Here are 11 tips to encourage employees to build better ideas.
October 6, 2014

Politicians for Prosperity

National leaders, such as India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi, can make or break their country’s business climate.
September 30, 2014

The Accountability Equation

Holding people, companies, or systems responsible for their mistakes is about more than just pointing a finger at the most convenient target.
September 29, 2014

Are You Ready to Get Creative?

A new Strategy& online survey helps you check your innovation proficiency.
September 29, 2014

The Business of Coming Out at Work

Former BP CEO John Browne argues that self-disclosure is the right course for LGBT employees in The Glass Closet.
September 24, 2014

The Four Rs of High-Stakes Decision Making

When it’s all on the line, when and how a decision is made matter just as much as whether it’s made in the first place.
September 23, 2014

The Business Approach to Climate Change

John Elkington and Jochen Zeitz’s new book proposes how to achieve the triple bottom line of planet, people, and profits.
September 22, 2014

Are You a Conscious Capitalist?

It’s time for capitalism to find a higher purpose.
September 22, 2014

Trust Me, Trust Me Not

Barry Nalebuff, coauthor of Co-opetition, introduces a passage on when to—and when not to—believe what others say, from The Power of Noticing, by Max Bazerman.
September 16, 2014

How the Fresh-Start Effect Creates a Clean Slate

In this video, Wharton professor Katherine Milkman explains how to motivate people to move beyond their past failures and achieve their goals. For more insights, read “Katherine Milkman on Why Fresh Starts Matter.
September 15, 2014

Beyond the Brainstorm

Here are 15 ways to generate better ideas every day.
September 5, 2014

How Your Brain Responds to Performance Rankings

Watch this video to see why traditional employee evaluations are flawed. For more insights, read “Kill Your Performance Ratings.”
September 2, 2014

Young CEOs’ Risks Can Pay Off

Executives who take more chances may prove to be a better long-term bet than those who play it safe.
August 28, 2014

Best of Multimedia: What’s Your Leadership Style?

It may depend on where you live. Here’s how to navigate different ways of managing across cultures.
August 25, 2014

Lead by Asking

Sometimes the most obvious questions are the most crucial.
August 25, 2014

Know Thy Audience

Nick Morgan, author of Power Cues: The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and Maximizing Your Personal Impact, introduces a timeless lesson about crafting clear messages from Supercommunicator: Explaining the Complicated So Anyone Can Understand, by Frank J. Pietrucha.
August 18, 2014

Dick and Emily Axelrod’s Method for Holding Better Meetings

The couple share their secret for how to actually get work done the next time you gather your team together.
August 14, 2014

Where Are the Sinkholes in Your Strategy?

Answering two critical questions will fortify your company’s strategy—and your ability to implement it.
August 13, 2014

Remembering Warren Bennis

A consummate humanist and pioneer of management thought leadership has passed away.
August 11, 2014

The Importance of Putting People First

Starbucks’ plan to pay its workers’ college tuition may signal a new era in how employers consider their employees.
August 8, 2014

The New Supercompetitors

Companies that realize the power of their capabilities can shape how industries evolve. And watch the related video.
August 8, 2014

Katherine Milkman on Why Fresh Starts Matter

The Wharton professor says moments when you wipe the slate clean can help you meet your goals. And watch the video “How the Fresh-Start Effect Creates a Clean Slate.