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Strategy

Do you have a clear business strategy? We examine the strategy and tactics practised by some of the world’s most successful companies, and share the policies for strategic success. Leadership Review members automatically receive our annual Strategy Blueprint

How to survive global crisis

“The old geopolitical model is breaking down, but the only thing emerging in its place is crisis,” Ian Bremmer writes in Strategy+Business.

Adapt to digitisation or prepare to be obsolete

Amazon is revolutionising publishing, bookselling and retail; Uber’s smartphone-integrated taxi service threatens established taxi firms in cities around the world; and Airbnb is blindsiding the hotel industry.

Find the sinkholes in your strategy

No strategy is ever perfect, says Ken Favaro, writing for Strategy+Business. But it takes great leadership and confidence to recognise this.

The author poses two questions to help you work out just where your company’s weaknesses lie:

Stop blocking collaboration in your firm

Professionals who collaborate with their colleagues on cross-disciplinary work generate more revenue, inspire greater client loyalty and give their firms competitive edge, says Heidi Gardner in Harvard Business Review.

Five strategy beliefs that are just plain wrong

John Loker - Space is a Dangerous Country - Worlds Divide 2

We know a great deal about what strategy is, but very little about how to make strategy work, write Donald Sull, Rebecca Homkes and Charles Sull for Harvard Business Review.

Don’t just lead your industry – dominate it

Competitive advantage is shifting, say Thomas N. Hubbard, Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi, writing for Strategy+Business. The new industry leaders are leaner and more focused than their predecessors. They are the “supercompetitors”.

The lessons leaders everywhere can learn from Chinese companies

Chinese companies can teach the West responsiveness, flexibility, improvisation and speed, say Thomas Hout and David Michael, writing for the Harvard Business Review.

Using your emotions in negotiations

Learn to use your emotions and you will be a better negotiator, writes Shirli Kopelman for the HBR Blog Network.

Many people fear acknowledging emotions at work, believing they only cloud judgement and impede reasoning. But, argues the author, your emotions can be an important negotiating tool, giving you energy and expression.

Why you need to get marketing and IT to work together – and how to do it

Marketing and IT will need to work better together if they want to generate big revenue from big data.

Big data necessitates a “marriage of convenience” between CMOs and CIOs – both of whom are responsible for turning this new resource into profit, explain Matt Ariker, Martin Harrysson and Jesko Perrey, writing for McKinsey Insights.

How to plan for the long term and the short term at the same time

Is it possible to invest in tomorrow without damaging performance today? Ken Favaro, writing for Strategy+Business, looks at short-term/long-term tension and how to get over it.

How to thrive in a slow-growth industry

Weak markets are not a valid excuse for a company’s slow growth, write Kasturi Rangan and Evan Hirsh for Strategy+Business. With the right market proposition, you can achieve success, no matter what state your industry is in.

Tips on selecting and trialling new management practices

Adopting a new management practice could give your company competitive edge and boost performance. But, warns Julian Birkinshaw, writing for Harvard Business Review, leaders should beware the “next big thing”.

Why Peter Drucker was wrong about culture and strategy

The late, great management guru Peter Drucker famously commented that “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. As Ken Favaro points out, writing for Strategy+Business, the quote is frequently cited by people who believe that culture is at the heart of every great company.

Is it time to reinvent your brand?

According to Lynn Russo Whylly, writing for ChiefExecutive.net, ignoring or missing a major consumer trend or behavioural shift can seriously damage a brand’s chances of survival.

Some big-name brands have endured by learning how to reinvent themselves, such as IBM, Apple and McDonald’s.

How to defeat your rivals in a price war

Competing on the basis of low prices is commonplace. But price wars are more than just trying to get an edge, observes Patrick Reinmoeller, writing for MIT Sloan Management Review.

Five ways to make your innovation initiatives successful

When innovation initiatives succeed, leaders immediately want more. While this is encouraging for innovation teams, it presents them with the dual challenge of scalability and funding.

Growth opportunities: don’t overlook the low-hanging fruit

Leaders can miss growth opportunities because they are so far removed from the many day-to-day processes carried out in their organisations they lead, observe Jeremy Eden and Terri Long, writing for ChiefExecutive.net.

How to encourage strategic thinkers in your organisation

Strategic thinkers are shown to be the most highly effective leaders in multiple studies, observes Robert Kabacoff, writing for the HBR.org Blog Network.

So given the value of strategic thinkers, how can organisations develop more of them?

Big data – are you still unsure about what to do?

A Gartner survey in 2013 found that 64% of enterprises were either deploying or planning big data projects. However, writing for the HBR.org Blog Network, Phil Simon is sceptical.

Use disruption to change for the better

Writing for Strategy+Business, Jon Katzenbach observes that a disruptive event can cause people to change behaviours immediately. However, he also points out that it will rarely have a lasting effect on deeply embedded cultural flaws unless a leader uses the event to spread critical changes.

Five ways consultants get it wrong for your business

Every business leader needs help at some time in their career. A view from an outsider can throw a new light on a tricky problem, and the right consultant can mean the difference between success and failure.

Why marketing managers can’t afford to ignore the power of online reviews

Online reviews and other sources of peer-to-peer information are a significant and growing force in consumer choices and spending decisions.

However, writing for Harvard Business Review, Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen observe that many marketers are neglecting this trend and are still working much as they did ten years ago.

Want your business to grow? First you must break through these barriers

The majority of businesses fail to grow, observes Verne Harnish, writing for Fortune. But although most are only small ventures, unlikely to become the next Google or Amazon, there is still plenty of potential going to waste.

According to Harnish, to become a thriving, mid-market company, it is necessary to overcome the following three barriers to growth:

Are you comfortable with your strategy? You shouldn’t be...

Strategy is important, as every executive knows. But some are frightened by it because it requires them to make decisions that cut off other possibilities and options – so they fear that making the wrong decision could potentially wreck a career.

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