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Strategy & Leadership Archive

December 23, 2013

The Best s+b Blog Posts of 2013

Among all the terrific posts we’ve published, make sure not to miss these gems.
December 23, 2013

The Price and Prize of Strategic Partnering

Successful collaborations create transformational value, according to BP executive Luc Bardin.
December 20, 2013

Best of Multimedia: Social Media’s Impact on the Arab Spring, Wall Street, and Outer Space

This visual snapshot shows social media’s central role in communication from 2008‒13.
December 19, 2013

How the NRA Sets the Standard for Customer Engagement: A Q&A with Peter Murray

Here’s what distinguishes organizations that achieve impact and scale.
December 17, 2013

Why Strategy Matters in Emerging Markets After All

The argument that companies in developing regions can succeed through execution alone simply isn’t true.
December 13, 2013

Learning the Leadership Lessons of Retail

While shopping for gifts this holiday season, consider these valuable insights on how to be an effective executive.
December 12, 2013

Breaking through the (Second) Glass Ceiling

As GM’s new CEO, Mary Barra, may discover, many women who get to their company’s top spot find themselves facing yet more obstacles to achieving full power.
December 11, 2013

How Creepy Is Your Company?

In The Circle, novelist Dave Eggers creates a techno-dystopia that does a better job of  driving home the dangers of digitization than any nonfiction polemic to date.
December 11, 2013

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

If you’re considering leaving your job, you should first try doing everything you can to stay.
December 10, 2013

Why We Should Deregulate the Government

To be effective, a government needs the same thing as a business: good management.
December 6, 2013

Best of Multimedia: Why Leaders Should Think Like Psychiatrists

Hear how an adaptive style of leadership—like Nelson Mandela’s—can inspire people to work together in solving their thorniest problems.
December 5, 2013

Culture’s Critical Role in Change Management

A new survey shows that when executives fail to focus on culture, their change initiatives founder.
December 4, 2013

Make Big Bets

Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse argues that making a few big gambles may be a safer long-term strategy than sticking to small investments.
December 3, 2013

The Real Benefit of Socially Conscious Companies

How unconventional ownership structures strengthen America’s crazy-quilt economy.
December 2, 2013

Introducing s+b’s “Strategy of the Year”

What is 2013’s most in-vogue strategy? Make your nominations.
Best Business Books 2013
December 2, 2013

Best Business Books 2013: Managerial Self-Help

Influence, Inquiry, Action
Best Business Books 2013
December 2, 2013

Best Business Books 2013: Strategy

Rebuilding the Temple Mount
Best Business Books 2013
December 2, 2013

Best Business Books 2013: Leadership

Running the Detroit Three
Best Business Books 2013
December 2, 2013

Best Business Books 2013: Company Stories

Lessons in Failure
November 25, 2013

In Praise of Long-Tenure Cultures

Employees with a personal stake in a company are more likely to help it succeed.
November 22, 2013

The Three Habits of Highly Effective Demotivators

Surefire tips for stamping out morale and making sure you get the least out of your employees.
November 20, 2013

A Call for True Machiavellian Leadership

According to scholar Maurizio Viroli, leaders cited The Prince as a rationale for unethical behavior for far too long. Accomplish something great instead.
November 19, 2013

Five Steps to Becoming the Ultimate Boss: Your Own

Some advice for professionals who want to start calling their own shots.
November 13, 2013

A Generic View of “Business” Has No Place in Public Policy

The gulf between the interests of small entrepreneurs and global corporations is enormous.
November 12, 2013

From Netscape to eHarmony: The High Risks and Big Rewards of Platform Markets

Companies that link complementary partners, like dating sites or online auctions, can dominate for years or be swept away in an instant.
November 12, 2013

Are You Your Employees’ Worst Enemy?

Many leaders inadvertently stand in the way of superior performance. Here’s how to avoid the hindrance trap. And to check your own performance, take our interactive survey.
November 11, 2013

The Dynamic Capabilities of David Teece

To U.C. Berkeley's long-standing strategy thinker, companies gain an edge only when they evolve in ways no one else can match.
November 6, 2013

Advice for Facebook That May Just Help Twitter

For Twitter’s next chapter, some words of wisdom about leadership planning.
October 30, 2013

Two Books That Will Make You a Better Leader

Edgar Schein can teach you to be a better helper and more effective questioner—skills that are essential to your leadership success.
October 29, 2013

Dear Verizon: Here’s How to Make the Megadeal with Vodafone Pay Off

Avoid the usual temptations and your big bet on Verizon Wireless might be a big win.
October 28, 2013

Exceed Customer Expectations—and Get Home for Family Dinner

Sheryl Sandberg is wrong: Women (and men) who want to “have it all” should create companies that reflect their values.
October 28, 2013

Will Volkswagen Bring Mitbestimmung to Chattanooga?

Worker participation in management decisions has long been controversial, but the benefits far outweigh the risks.
October 25, 2013

Where Does Leadership Live?

As we develop new ways of doing business, we must also develop new ways of looking at, and assigning, leadership.
October 18, 2013

Wall Street and the Pursuit of More

Only in finance is money an end in itself—resulting in behavior that’s less than virtuous.
October 16, 2013

How to Find Creative Solutions? Struggle a Little Longer

Kellogg’s Loran Nordgren says the key to unlocking unconscious thought is being motivated to find answers.
October 14, 2013

Are You Disabling Your Organization with Advice?

Quiet leaders don’t give advice to solve problems—they help their employees think of solutions for themselves.
October 11, 2013

Why ‟Keeping It Simple” Can Be a Complicated Mistake

When you apply simplistic solutions to complex challenges, you miss out on bigger opportunities.
October 8, 2013

An Entrepreneur’s Journey to Business Nirvana

How G Adventures’s founder Bruce Poon Tip built a successful business by following his bliss.
October 7, 2013

The Source of Organizational Dysfunction, Revealed!

Organizations are much more complex than how they’re designed. Executives should take that complexity into account when measuring performance.
October 7, 2013

The Capable Strategist: How Leaders Mistake Execution for Strategy

Booz & Company senior partner Ken Favaro explains to s+b executive editor Paul Michelman that when leaders substitute visions, missions, purposes, plans, or goals for the real work of strategy, they send their firms adrift.
October 7, 2013

The Capable Strategist: We're from Corporate and We're Here to Help

 Booz & Company senior partner Ken Favaro speaks with s+b executive editor Paul Michelman about understanding the real value of corporate strategy and the head office.
October 4, 2013

How Boards Can Rein In CEO Pay

The SEC’s push for greater transparency is a smart move, but it’s not enough to fix executive compensation.
October 3, 2013

Night of the Living Board of Directors

As board members become more entrenched and partisan, their institutional knowledge loses value.
October 2, 2013

The Management Stylings of Harvard Business School

How the “vocal silence” used to communicate professorial mores at HBS can make a difference at your company.
October 1, 2013

What Executives Really Mean When They Talk About Change

When business leaders talk about organizational change, they’re really pursuing an ideal.
September 27, 2013

In Conversation: How to Use Conscious and Unconscious Thought to Make Better Choices

In the third part of our In Conversation video series, Kellogg's Loran Nordgren argues that while conscious thought helps you identify available options, unconscious thought helps you figure out which choice is best.
September 26, 2013

How Interactive Media Can Scramble Your Brain

New research documents the negative consequences of media multitasking.
September 26, 2013

In Conversation: Loran Nordgren on How to Encourage Innovation

In the second part of this "In Conversation" video series, Kellogg's Loran Nordgren talks about how tapping into the unconscious can spark creativity and innovation in the corporate world.
September 25, 2013

Leadership Lessons from the World of Walt Disney

Disney legend Marty Sklar’s new memoir-cum-business book offers great backstage stories—and insights for leaders.
September 24, 2013

How Microsoft Can Once Again Punch Above Its Weight

A respected head office and strong corporate affinity will drive the company’s fortunes.
September 18, 2013

Thought Leader Interview: Loran Nordgren

In the first part of this four-part video series, Loran Nordgren, an associate professor at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, tells Amy D'Onofrio, enterprise practice coordinator at Booz & Company, that taking a break and distracting the mind can lead to higher-quality decision making.
September 16, 2013

Seven Ways to Make Your Strategic Planning Relevant

Planning and performance management systems can be designed to reinforce your most distinctive capabilities—not undermine them.
September 13, 2013

The Lesson of J.C. Penney: There Is No King

Fights in the boardroom between shareholders and management highlight one important question—who gets to call the shots?
September 6, 2013

Audits, Auditors, and Those of Us Who Love Them

The most underappreciated of corporate functions deserves its day of praise.
September 5, 2013

Let’s Just Stop Calling Them Leaders

Executives, officials, and managers should have to earn the title of “leader,” not just expect to receive it.
September 4, 2013

Keeping the Stupid Out of Your Life

The trick is to remain focused on your purpose and surround yourself with good people.
August 30, 2013

Deploying the M&A Counterattack

Sometimes it pays for a company to respond to a deal in its own backyard, and sometimes it doesn’t.
August 27, 2013

Looking Inside the Latest Reorganization of Microsoft

As he prepares to step down, will Ballmer’s organizational shake-up make any difference?
August 27, 2013

The Thought Leader Interview: Loran Nordgren

The cofounder of unconscious thought theory explains how taking a break and distracting the mind can lead to higher-quality decision making.
August 27, 2013

The Secret to a Successful Divestiture

When you are selling part of your company, don’t just offer buyers a potential asset; give them the capabilities to gain value from it.
August 27, 2013

How to Let 999 Flowers Die

For innovation to flourish, variation must go hand in hand with selection.
August 27, 2013

Changing Structures and Behaviors at Walgreens

When your strategy shifts, you may need to redesign your organization as well.
August 27, 2013

An Uncommonly Cohesive Conglomerate

How United Technologies Corporation—owner of Pratt & Whitney, Otis Elevator, and a wide range of other businesses—became one of the major corporate success stories of the past two decades. See also “The Story of UTCʼs Success—In Pictures.”
August 27, 2013

The Business Case for Nature

By demonstrating the value of investing in the environment, conservationists can forge unexpected partnerships and reap large-scale benefits.
August 27, 2013

How Ready Are You for Growth?

A Booz & Company study reveals that only 17 percent of companies are poised for a profitable future.
August 27, 2013

How to Design a Winning Company

The eight components of your organizational genome hold the secret to unleashing superior performance.
August 26, 2013

The Enduring Management Wisdom of Lincoln

Lessons for managers from a manufacturing success story.
August 22, 2013

Greed Is Good for Some, but Not for Everyone

Leaders who project their negative attitudes onto their subordinates can hamper the way their companies do business.
August 21, 2013

Can Your Career Survive Transient Competitive Advantage?

Rita Gunther McGrath helps you determine how ready you are for an accelerated business lifecycle.
August 19, 2013

Retaining Top Talent: Yes, It Really Is All about Them

If you want to retain your high-potential employees, you have to get involved in helping them plan their careers.
August 19, 2013

Do You Have a Stay Strategy?

Starting a business is one thing—sticking with it is quite another.
August 16, 2013

Is Your Organization Passive-Aggressive?

Here are the symptoms to watch out for and what to do if you find them.
August 9, 2013

Learning What Not to Do from an Experienced Executive

Jon Corzine’s legal troubles point to a toxic mix of bad ethics, bad management, and bad leadership.
August 5, 2013

Has National Scale Worn Out Its Advantages for Health Systems?

Recent deals suggest that geographic concentration is trumping the benefits of pure size.
July 29, 2013

Was News Corp’s Split Inevitable and Is PepsiCo Next?

Why some corporate relationships end in divorce while others live on in blissful union.
July 22, 2013

Don’t Ask, Don’t Learn

Because of how we’ve been taught, our ability to engage in productive inquiry in the workplace has been deeply compromised. But it can be overcome.
July 18, 2013

Is Strategy Fixed or Variable?

Successful strategists understand that their role is to manage a process fraught with contradictions.
July 16, 2013

Would You Want Your Child To Work For You?

Business decisions that significantly impact people’s lives should take those people into account.
July 15, 2013

U.S. Employees Are Disengaged—and Mismanaged

A new Gallup poll reveals pervasive apathy in the workplace.
July 12, 2013

MERS: The Major Threat That’s Not on Your Risk Map

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome could be the next big worldwide crisis. Are you ready to lead your global company through it?
July 11, 2013

How Balanced Is Your Organizational DNA?

Both formal and informal elements have the power to make or break a new strategy.
July 11, 2013

How to Win (Twitter) Friends and Influence People

There are certain rules to follow if you want to grow your Twittersphere.
July 10, 2013

Resurrecting a Forgotten Capitalist

David Farber’s seminal bio of John J. Raskob sets the business context for The Great Gatsby.
July 8, 2013

Summer Camp for Systems Thinkers

Introducing Camp Snowball, where teachers learn the hidden interactions that separate success from failure.
July 2, 2013

How the Fortune 500 Says It’s Saving People and the Planet

An increasing number of companies are giving consumers specific details about their efforts to protect the environment and their workers.
July 1, 2013

Why Your Child Isn’t Being Taught to Succeed

By focusing on individual skills over teamwork, we are setting up our children to struggle in the modern workplace.
June 28, 2013

Are You Leading Like It’s 1980?

The world of work has changed an awful lot in the past 30 years. It’s time for your performance management to catch up.
June 26, 2013

Smarter Executive Decision Making Is Within Reach

Dan Heath, the coauthor of Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, explains how to raise the quality of your company’s decisions.
June 24, 2013

Jamie Dimon’s Dual Role and the Threat of Absolute Power

It’s time to reconsider the benefits and risks of combining the CEO and chairman roles.
June 20, 2013

Does P&G Need Product Innovation or Strategic Innovation?

As A.G. Lafley returns to the helm, the consumer products giant can’t just rely on its product development expertise to get its mojo back.
June 19, 2013

AT&T from Apples to iPhones

Ed Whitacre rescued a couple of iconic American companies, but a few years too late for my family.
June 11, 2013

China: The Mother of All Black Swans

Low-probability, high-impact events can be catastrophic for companies doing business in the Chinese market.
June 11, 2013

What You Should Accomplish in Your First 10 Days

It traditionally takes months for new leaders to make a positive impact. That’s simply much too long to wait.
June 11, 2013

An Index to the Best Thinking in Business

Welcome to strategy+business’s new blog.
June 10, 2013

You Can’t Build a Winning Strategy If You Don’t Know Who You Are

The road to sustained success begins with the answer to this simple question: “Who are we?”
May 28, 2013

Research Perspectives on the New CEO

Academic studies of the recruitment of chief executives suggest that those from outside the industry do relatively well, companies pay more for generalists than for specialists, and “shadow emperors” hamper performance.
May 28, 2013

Portrait of the Incoming Class

The newest CEOs have neither the diversity nor the global backgrounds that you might expect.
May 28, 2013

“It’s Time for a Change”

CEO turnover is trending high, but in a more planned and stable manner.
May 28, 2013

Captains in Disruption

Even when facing a crisis, some CEOs know how to anticipate the worst, plan a response, and navigate to advantage. You can do the same.
May 28, 2013

Leading with Intellectual Integrity

One skill distinguishes the effective CEO: the ability to make disciplined and integrated choices.
May 28, 2013

India’s Leadership Challenge

At many Indian companies, the development of top management has lagged behind the pursuit of technical excellence.
May 28, 2013

Building a Flywheel Business

By linking customers and capabilities, companies can generate the momentum for sustainable growth.
May 28, 2013

The Wise Leader

Practical wisdom in business comes from combining the broad view with the narrow, and opportunity with constraint.
May 28, 2013

The Thought Leader Interview: David Kantor

An eminent systems therapist says that learning to recognize the hidden patterns in conversation is the first step toward more effective executive leadership.
May 28, 2013

Culture and the Chief Executive

CEOs are stepping up to a new role, as leaders of their company’s thinking and behavior.
May 21, 2013

Structural Dynamics: Using Conversational Cues to Lead More Effectively

Systems therapist David Kantor speaks with Booz & Company partner Rutger von Post about how leaders can tap into "structural dynamics" to create better-performing teams.
May 21, 2013

Rebranding Strategy: Why Traditional Strategy Planning Needs a Makeover

Harvard Business School professor Cynthia Montgomery speaks with Booz & Company partner Ken Favaro about why strategy needs to be reimagined, and how a leader can help define what a business is and why it matters.
May 13, 2013

Can Best Buy Thwart the Grim Reaper?

The big box retailer badly needs a good dose of strategic innovation. Is it up to the task?
April 15, 2013

The Agility Factor

A few large companies in every industry show consistently superior profitability relative to their peers, and they all have one thing in common: a highly developed capacity to adapt their business to change.
April 8, 2013

We’re from Corporate and We’re Here to Help

Understanding the real value of corporate strategy and the head office.
April 1, 2013

Solving China’s M&A Maze

Multinationals creating partnerships with Chinese companies can adopt eight best practices to help manage the unique complexities they often encounter.
March 11, 2013

The Discipline of Managing Disruption

To Harvard professor Clayton Christensen, coauthor of How Will You Measure Your Life?, a primary task of leadership is asking questions that anticipate great challenges.
March 11, 2013

The Right Ideas in All the Wrong Places

How strategic intuition unlocks innovative solutions to your biggest problems.
February 26, 2013

Designing the Right Supply Chain

Companies that align their operations to their strategy unleash superior performance.
February 26, 2013

Well-Tailored IT

Develop a sophisticated, more strategically oriented information technology approach.
February 26, 2013

Beyond Functions

Conventional organizational structures may be obsolete. How about a model based on capabilities instead?
February 26, 2013

Think Functionally, Act Strategically

When a company competes on capabilities, its specialist leaders—in HR, IT, finance, and elsewhere—play a new, influential role.
February 26, 2013

Six Secrets to Doing Less

Why the best innovation strategies are rooted in the art of subtraction.
February 26, 2013

Product Management Gets Stronger

An innovative approach to managing product portfolios—the strong-form model—can help companies stay ahead of change.
February 26, 2013

The Thought Leader Interview: Cynthia Montgomery

A Harvard Business School professor observes that leaders become better strategists by engaging in conversations about the purpose of a company.
February 26, 2013

Hyundai’s Capabilities Play

The Korean automaker’s explosive growth in the last few years—achieved through better quality, stylish design, and clever marketing—has made it a dynamic player in the U.S. auto industry.
February 11, 2013

How Leaders Mistake Execution for Strategy (and Why That Damages Both)

When leaders substitute visions, missions, purposes, plans, or goals for the real work of strategy, they send their firms adrift.
February 4, 2013

What Drives a Company’s Success?

Booz & Company and strategy+business have introduced an online survey to explore the relationship between management theory, corporate identity, and high performance.
January 21, 2013

The Multipolar MBA

To Rakesh Khurana, a Harvard Business School professor known for his histories of management knowledge, business schools are facing a crisis of global irrelevance.