Strategy & Change

In today's environment, change is not an event, it’s business as usual, and one of the most critical challenges for modern managers. Our organizations must be nimble and alert; if we miss a trend, there may be no catching up. The only choice is to effectively and continuously innovate in the face of demanding customers, shareholders and management who insist: ”better, faster, cheaper.”

Capabilities-Driven Strategy

Drawing on research, including in-depth case studies on companies such as Apple and IKEA, Paul Leinwand explains how companies can correct a flawed strategy and still create value in the market.

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The Changing Landscape of Marketing

The explosion of information made available by the Internet has caused a radical shift in consumer purchasing behavior. This environment lowers the barrier of entry for lesser-known brands—but also opens the door for established brands to diversify. Itamar Simonson’s research covers consumer decision making and brand evaluation, buyer behavior, and marketing management.

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Leveraging What Small Business Knows

How can big businesses retain their advantages? And where do unique opportunities lie for small businesses? Paul Oyer tells the stories of successes and failures he found on the road.

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Six Skills of High-Scale Entrepreneurs

How do you take an idea and turn it into a 100-million dollar enterprise—seemingly overnight? Amy Wilkinson has isolated six entrepreneurial skills that can carry an idea from start-up to scale.

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Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works

Most companies aren’t winning today—not because of the economy, rapid change, or rising complexity. It’s because they confuse strategy with vision and don't make the critical decisions it takes to win. Using the example of P&G’s dramatic turnaround of its Olay skincare line, A.G. Lafley and adviser Roger Martin prescribe a disciplined approach to five strategic choices.

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Strategy for Transformational Change

When Brad Smith took over as CEO, Intuit founder Scott Cook advised him to “Question everything.” In this highly informative presentation, Smith shares secrets that have led to revolutionary new products, sky-high productivity, and a ranking on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For.

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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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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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E-Economics: Demystifying Bitcoin

Bitcoin has made its presence known. After the initial hype and volatility, a number of unanswered questions remain. Susan Athey discusses the technological innovation behind Bitcoin and its broader applications, as well as crypto-currency’s potential impact on financial systems, industries—even world economies.

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Strategic Decision-Making

Strategic moments often appear in a crisis. These moments can either propel you forward or set you back—perhaps irretrievably. In order to set the right trajectory when something goes horribly wrong, get the worst information out first, know your values, and act on them.

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Simple Rules: Thriving in a Complex World

Simple Rules are the answer. These rules focus our attention and simplify the way we think. Easy to understand and remember, they coordinate teams and keep everyone working toward the same results. With practical examples that range from Airbnb to Indiegogo, biotech to burglars, poker-playing to internet-dating, Dr. Eisenhardt reveals how simple rules work to sharpen thinking and clarify strategy.

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Strategy and the Purpose-Driven Leader

In the past 25 years, thousands of articles have been written about strategy, but virtually none about the leadership vital for doing it well. Strategy has been transformed from an art to a science—but science alone is not enough. Cynthia Montgomery makes the case for bringing people back into the equation.

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Idea Hunting

Arriving at new ideas does not require genius. Andy Boyton explains that to become an effective idea hunter, be receptive to creative inspiration from unfamiliar or unusual sources.

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How to Manage People Through Continuous Change

Change is now business as usual. But employees are increasingly skeptical about committing to business strategies that are constantly being redefined. Carol Kinsey Goman presents specific methods for communicating your plan and the negative consequences for your team if they don't get on board.

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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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Scaling Up Excellence

Scaling is never quick and easy—it takes daily dirty work to make it happen, and even then it’s a ground war that can go on for years. Ultimately, you can’t win unless you scale up in excellence as you scale up in size. In other words, what got you here is not what is going to get you there.

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Billion-Dollar Lessons

Chunka Mui and Paul Carroll found the Number 1 cause of business failures of the past quarter-century: Misguided Strategy. Mui gives examples of the seven most common strategic failure patterns: illusions of synergy, misjudged adjacencies, faulty financial engineering and others.

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What Drives Phenomenal Success?

According to Colleen Barrett, success comes from an idea that is so simple, nobody quite believes it: customers return because they like the experience and they like the way they are treated. Her guiding rule is to hire on attitude and then train for skills, seeking individuals who will take the business—but not themselves—seriously.

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Garage-Based Innovation

The drive to invent that Bill Hewlett and David Packard shared when they launched HP in a garage decades ago is critical to organizations today. As we shift from a knowledge-based economy to a creative economy, innovation-driven companies will be the leaders. Fortunately, says Phil McKinney, creativity is a skill that can be practiced and learned, and he shares his “FIRE + PO” process for tapping human ingenuity.

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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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Built to Change

In today's highly competitive business environment, organizations must be ready to change—and change frequently. Edward Lawler and Christopher Worley discuss methods for creating strategies, structures, communication processes, and human resource management practices that are designed to facilitate an organization's ability to change.

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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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Finding Untapped Growth in Existing Markets

Managers are under constant pressure to grow, but it is often difficult to find new avenues of growth within an existing line of business. In order to win in the marketplace, it is essential to understand which customer behaviors make and lose money for your organization. Dr. James Hollingshead offers specific tools for seeing existing markets differently and uncovering hidden opportunities for growth.

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Judo Strategy

In this lively step-by-step guide to business competition, Professor David Yoffie explains how some companies succeed in defeating stronger, more powerful rivals, while others fail. Using the metaphor of martial arts, Yoffie details how successful challengers can turn their opponents' own size and power against them—and bring them down.

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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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Rapid Transformation

Stanford Professor Behnam Tabrizi's research shows that most organizations attempting fundamental change fail. Representing exceptions to this rule, Ann Livermore and Safra Catz share their experience and practices — practices that allowed their industry-leading companies to achieve successful transformations along with new levels of profitability.

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Customer-Centric Innovation

According to Lara Lee, intensive customer focus is the most effective means of achieving the rich pipeline of innovation that leads to continuous improvement and consistent growth. She shares examples of how she implemented this at Harley-Davidson, as well as the successes of Zipcar, Chipotle, and more.

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Leveraging China and India for Global Advantage

A successful China or India strategy is likely to become a matter of survival for multinational companies. China’s GDP will catch up to that of the U.S. by 2025, predicts Professor Gupta. By 2050, GDP of both China and India will reach or surpass that of the U.S., Europe and Japan combined. Strategies that capture market share, talent, and innovation opportunities in these emerging giants necessitate understanding their unique yet complementary strengths.

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Executing Your Strategy

In a business environment of fast-moving markets, global supply chains, and dynamic technologies, executing strategy is becoming increasingly difficult. How do you aim for a target that is constantly shifting—while standing on a platform that is constantly destabilized?

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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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Red Queen Competition: A Dynamic View of Strategy

Your job as a manager is not to come up with solutions—it is to be the architect of an organization that comes up with solutions. William Barnett explains how to see competition as an engine that generates capability. He offers ways to help you develop the strength to persevere and prosper, while others lose themselves in the struggle of just trying to keep up.

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The Adaptive Organization

Well-meaning, forward-thinking leaders often start a worthwhile project but then neglect to see it through to completion. Richard Roi and Todd Pierce explain how to build an adaptive organization from the bottom up, gaining commitment from each employee as an individual and as a member of the team.

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The Search for Life After Planning

Instead of producing a business plan on paper, which subsequently disappers into a desk drawer, you need to focus on strategic thinking and implementation. Rick Berthold presents a unique process for strategy formation that assures organizational alignment and leads to effective execution.

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