Stanford Executive Briefings: Business Strategy

Getting from Little Bets to Big Breakthroughs

From his research on innovative leaders, from Apple, 3M, Toyota, and Starbucks, to the U.S. Army’s counterinsurgency strategists, to artists and even standup comics, Peter Sims found they shared a surprisingly similar approach to strategy: A deliberate process of trial and error.

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Change Management and Strategic Planning

Change inevitably engenders resistance. Even the best strategic plans can fail if this resistance is not met and overcome. Dr. Roberta Katz explains six principles for effective implementation and discusses current efforts within Stanford University that provide a model for successful change.

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Rookie Smarts: Reclaim Your Competitive Edge

Based on years of research, Liz Wiseman offers keen insights into how thinking like a rookie can reinvigorate your competitive edge in the workplace.

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Intelligent Strategy

Drawing on the successes of General Motors in the 1920s, NASA’s Apollo program, Apple, IKEA, and Nvidia, Professor Richard Rumelt defines five elements of good strategies.

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Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces One Truth at a Time

Dr. Pfeffer argues that conventional trends in leadership theory don’t align with the facts and are ineffective for creating change. He addresses the social psychology that influences the traits and behaviors of actual leaders.

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Why Don't We Naturally Make Good Decisions?

We rarely study—much less apply—the fundamental thinking processes that should be undertaken before we make important decisions. Dr. Howard describes the elements of high-quality decisions and tells how to increase our clarity of action in the personal and professional decisions that shape our lives and organizations.

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Strategy by Design

Tim Brown advocates using the three stages of “design thinking”: inspiration, ideation, and implementation to create successful innovations that are desirable to consumers, technically feasible, and viable from a business point of view.

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Building a Feedback-Positive Organization

An effective leader must be prepared to offer timely and honest feedback, both to employees and to other members of the management team. David Bradford examines what it takes to have a "feedback-rich" organization, while Scott Brady relates how feedback propelled his own organization through tremendous growth.

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The Risk Matrix

How do growth leaders such as Procter & Gamble, GE, and Amazon consistently achieve above-average organic growth? These companies pursue a disciplined, systematic process that distributes innovations across a spectrum of risk, ensuring that they balance incremental growth with breakthrough opportunities.

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Doing Well and Doing Good

Jeffrey Swartz firmly believes in commerce, and that profits for Wall Street are necessary—but not sufficient. It's no longer enough to be solely focused on the bottom line. Timberland is proof that profit-minded companies can "do well" for shareholders and "do good" for communities.

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The Business of Change

Change only happens in and through other people. Dean Saloner describes the new mantra of Stanford’s Business School—change lives, change organizations, and change the world. The soft skills are really the hard skills: communicating, motivating others, teamwork and conflict resolution. Among all these, self-awareness is key.

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Creating the Future

Never has there been a more exciting or hazardous time to be at the helm of a corporation. How do you stay out of the band of mediocrity and position your company to become an architect of industry revolution? Reinvent who you are in meaningful ways, and move beyond incremental change to industry reconception.

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Reinventing the Way We Do Business

An insightful interview in which Ed Whitacre shares, vividly, leadership lessons learned and the core management principles that catapulted him to 17 years as chairman and CEO of AT&T and, temporarily lured out of retirement, as chairman and CEO of General Motors Co.

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