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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

Existing customers versus new prospects: who should get the reward?

Should you reward your existing customers for their loyalty, or spend your marketing budget on attracting new business? This is the dilemma explored by Jiwoong Shin and K. Sudhir, writing for MIT Sloan Management Review.

The authors observe that expert opinions differ on the relative merits of the two strategies.

You want big data? Maybe you have enough data already

Big data has been hyped to such an extent that companies now expect it to deliver more than it actually can, according to Jeanne W. Ross, Cynthia M. Beath and Anne Quaadgras, writing for Harvard Business Review.

They also observe that analytics-generated insights can be replicated quite easily.

Productivity on the slide? Here’s what to do

Writing for Management Today, John Spencer points out one of the economic puzzles of recent years: the decline in the rate of productivity growth.

Spencer observes that a feature of previous recessions was the rise in productivity per worker coupled with the growth of unemployment.

Why it's essential to identify your primary customer

You might think you have a customer-driven strategy, but it’s not always obvious who your most important customers are. Writing for Harvard Business Review, Robert Simons describes the term “customer” as one of the most elastic in management theory.

Can a great logo really improve company performance?

Think of a powerful company and it’s likely to have an equally powerful logo. Examples include the golden arches of McDonald’s, Starbucks’ mermaid and the bitten apple of – yes – Apple.

Why do some companies innovate more successfully than others?

Michael Kidner, Colour Column, Flowers Gallery

Writing for Bloomberg Businessweek, Christine Crandell discusses why some companies successfully innovate and others don't.

Crandell argues that high rates of failure for new products – "once considered an inevitable cost of doing business" – are unacceptable in the modern business environment.

An entrepreneur's guide to strategic thinking

Michael Kidner, Canterbury, Flowers Gallery

Entrepreneurs often devote a lot of time to their initial business idea, as well as the figures involved. But all too often, little time is afforded to strategic thinking.

This problem can become more acute as the business grows and the leader spends most of his time concerned with the day-to-day running of the company.

How can businesses tempt the new debt-averse consumer?

Michael Kidner, Circle After Image, Flowers Gallery

In  Harvard Business Review, Eric Janszen considers the current economic climate and discusses the challenge of selling to debt-averse consumers.

Motivation: why money might not be as effective as you thought

Trevor Sutton, Window, Flowers Gallery

Money might not be the great motivator it is generally believed to be. That is the shock conclusion of a book by best-selling author Daniel Pink called Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, discussed by Hardy Green on Fortune.

The lessons of mission-driven companies

Trevor Sutton, Butterfly, Flowers Gallery

Mission-driven companies come under the spotlight in an entry for Harvard Business Review's Blog Network by Michael V. Russo.

Why digital communication is no substitute for face-to-face management

Eduardo Paolozzi, Landscape, Flowers Gallery

With the business environment now relying heavily on digital technology for communication, the importance of face-to-face management is emphasised by Jerry S. Wilson at Businessweek.com.

Managing innovation: why should your team follow you?

Terry Frost, Saint Raphael, Flowers Gallery

According to G. Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Viton on BusinessWeek.com, the first step towards managing innovation is addressing a key question from employees: "Why should I follow you?"

How should leaders cope with change during difficult times?

Terry Frost, Rider's Song, Flowers Gallery

In an interview by Terry Waghorn on Forbes.com, leadership guru Kevin Cashman offers advice on staying ahead of change in tough times for business.

The five skills that set true innovators apart

Terry Frost, Suspended Forms, Flowers Gallery

In Harvard Business Review, Jeffrey H. Dyer, Hal B. Gregersen, and Clayton M. Christensen discuss the five "discovery skills" that make true innovators stand out from the crowd.

How to improve your company's customer service in the post-recession environment

William Crozier, Flowers Gallery

Providing good customer service is the subject under discussion in an article by Dave Dougherty and Ajay Murthy in Harvard Business Review.

Downsizing: how should you manage a reduced workforce?

Betsy Dadd, Dad, Flowers Gallery

With the global economic crisis gathering pace and downsizing becoming increasingly prevalent, Tara Weiss of Forbes.com discusses the thorny issue of managing a reduced workforce.

Denial can block change so here's how you can defeat it

Betsy Dadd, Empty Pool, Flowers Gallery

On BusinessWeek.com, Rosabeth Moss Kanter of HarvardBusiness.org discusses how denial can prevent necessary change and describes four tools that can be used to defeat the deniers.

Are you at risk from CEO-itis?

Julie Cockburn, Foldface, Flowers Gallery

There’s an affliction you could be at risk of contracting. It affects many people in positions of power and the symptoms include “a tendency toward isolation, belief that you’re smarter than others, preference for loyalists, aversion to changing course even in the face of failure – and love of royal treatment”.

Can Western businesses survive the recession with cost-innovation strategies used in emerging markets?

Jack Smith, Zig Zag, Flowers Gallery

According to Peter J. Williamson and Ming Zeng, writing for the Harvard Business Review, Western businesses can cope better in these recessionary times by adopting cost-innovation strategies that have worked for emerging-market companies.

How to recruit in bad times to prepare for better times

Trevor Sutton, Moon Dreams 9, Flowers Gallery

In Harvard Business Review, Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, Boris Groysberg, and Nitin Nohria offer a guide to recruiting in both good and bad times.

Ten tips for managing a business in a recession

Terry Frost, Forgetting Lorca, Flowers Gallery

The theme of how to manage a business during the recession is explored at Fortune courtesy of senior editor at large Geoff Colvin.

Survival guide for new CEOs

Noel Forster, Untitled 4, Flowers Gallery

Writing for McKinsey Quarterly, former McKinsey managing director Ian Davis offers valuable advice to new chief executive officers in the form of a 'letter to a newly appointed CEO'.

Revealed: the four key attributes managers need during a downturn

Terry Frost, Black Moon and Ochre, Flowers Gallery

In Harvard Business Review, Robert I. Sutton advises on how to be a good manager when the economy is bad.

Unlocking value with social technologies

Noel Forster, Untitled, Flowers Gallery

Social technologies are a modern phenomenon. They have found favour with consumers at a faster rate than any previous technologies.

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