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Celebrating 25 years

Compliance. Transformed. by PwC

This autumn marks the 100th quarterly issue of strategy+business. Given the laws of nature, the rigors of the market, and the power of disruption, reaching the quarter-century mark is an impressive achievement for people, for companies, for institutions of all types, and for publications.

The editors of s+b are marking the occasion by looking back on all we’ve published since issue 1 in 1995. We are certainly proud of our legacy. On many days, “10 principles of change management,” which appeared in 2004 (issue 35), is the most highly trafficked article on our website. And “The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid,” by C.K. Prahalad and Stuart Hart, which appeared in 2002 (issue 26), was developed into the eponymous epoch-defining book.

For the next several weeks, we’ll be adding articles from our archive to this page, and featuring them in our newsletter. Our goal is to resurface some of the best original thinking we’ve published, noting why we think it’s still deserving of your attention. And don’t miss our crossword puzzle. Today, as was the case when issue 1 was published in 1995, the task is for us to read the clues, and to use our wits and minds (and, now, the occasional tip from Google) to fill in the blanks.

An illustration of a woman standing on an arrow, holding a pair of binoculars.

Learning to love transparency

The post-COVID imperative requires much better ESG reporting and disclosure. CEOs and their executive teams should focus on five short-term priorities.

The s+b crossword

Get ready to put your knowledge of all things business to the test with a puzzle celebrating our 25th anniversary.

10 principles of organizational culture

For decades, Jon Katzenbach and his colleagues at the Katzenbach Center — the PwC Strategy& global institute on organizational culture and leadership — have been delving into the mysterious power of culture. It turns out that how people feel and relate to one another when they’re at work can have as much impact on overall performance as strategy, intellectual property, or disruptive innovation. This 2016 article, by Katzenbach, Carolin Oelschlegel, and James Thomas, distills the learned experience and application of theory into a compelling narrative, one that shows how focusing on behaviors and emotions can invigorate companies.

Frances Hesselbein’s merit badge in leadership

In 2015, s+b contributing editor Sally Helgesen profiled Frances Hesselbein, a longtime associate of Peter Drucker who, at the age of 99 when we wrote about her, was a powerful force in the theory and practice of leadership (and she's still going strong in 2020). “You don’t meet Frances; you encounter her,” one of Hesselbein’s collaborators said of her. Helgesen deftly interweaves Hesselbein’s impactful biography with the enduring ideas she champions.

Kill your performance ratings

Articles make their mark when they effectively challenge assumptions and practices that are widely accepted. In 2014, neuroscientist David Rock and colleagues Josh Davis and Beth Jones convincingly argued that the most powerful tool organizations use for human capital management was broken. They urged leaders to evaluate people based on the unique role they play in moving the organization forward.

10 principles of change management

In 2004, John Jones, DeAnne Aguirre, and Matthew Calderone grappled with the most vexing of challenges that leaders face: how to shepherd your organization and its people through possibly wrenching change. Offering pointed but useful advice to senior executives, it remains one of the most-read articles in our collection — year in and year out — with several million views.

The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid

In January 2002, C.K. Prahalad and Stuart Hart, professors at the University of Michigan and North Carolina, respectively, urged leaders to imagine the world’s 4 billion poorest people as potential consumers — and described precisely how they could engage them profitably. The prophetic article was followed by the best-selling 2004 book of the same title. In 2019, Deepa Prahalad, C.K. Prahalad’s daughter, updated a portion of the argument in s+b.

Clayton M. Christensen, The Thought Leader Interview

Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen’s landmark 1997 book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, popularized the concept of “disruptive innovation” and has become a touchstone for a generation of strategic thinkers. In a lengthy 2001 interview with journalist Lawrence M. Fisher, Christensen discussed his theories, accurately predicted the fate of two very large industrial corporations that were engaged only in “sustaining innovation,” and signaled the title of his following book, The Innovator’s Solution.

The last mile to nowhere: Flaws and fallacies in Internet home delivery schemes

At the height of the Internet boom, it was treacherous to lean against the prevailing optimistic trend. But in this 2000 article, using sophisticated data analytics, Tim Laseter inserted a needed dose of realism into the discussion on the development of e-commerce — and pointed to the exact competencies and capabilities that the dominant e-commerce firms would develop over the next 20 years.

Make way for intelligent agents

In 1995, three years before the founding of Google, at a time when the Internet was still referred to unironically as the “information superhighway,” Lawrence M. Fisher introduced readers to the concept of software that could handle “employee questions on pensions, consumer calls about products or services, or filter out just the news you want to read from the ever-growing list of online publications.”