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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

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.

Those wishing to avoid or combat denial can make use of these:

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.

The enduring wisdom and advice of the late Peter Drucker

Noel Forster, Flowers Gallery

The November 2009 issue of Harvard Business Review celebrated the centenary of the birth of the management guru Peter Drucker, pointing out that the knowledge he shared during his lifetime is still very relevant to various situations the world finds itself in today.

So you need to cut costs? Here's how...

Derek Hirst, Flowers Gallery

You're heading a department and have been ordered in no uncertain terms to cut administrative costs by 10%, 20% or 30%. That's the hypothetical – but not uncommon – scenario discussed by Kevin P. Coyne, Shawn T. Coyne, and Edward J. Coyne, Sr in Harvard Business Review.   The Coynes offer some guidelines:  

Managing complexity and increasing effectiveness

Trevor Sutton, Flowers Gallery

Complexity is not necessarily bad for business, say Julian Birkinshaw and Suzanne Heywood writing for McKinsey Quarterly. However, there are different types of complexity and the problem for many executives is that they're not always sure of the type that their organisation has.  

An entrepreneur's guide to assessing market potential

Eduardo Paolozzi, Flowers Gallery

On Inc.com, Darren Dahl discusses how entrepreneurs can assess the market potential of a new product or service.

Why do good managers make bad decisions?

Jack Smith, Dialogue, Flowers Gallery

On BusinessWeek.com, Matt Boyle talks to management guru Sydney Finkelstein about his latest book Think Again, which examines why ostensibly good managers make poor decisions.

How to plan change strategically

Erika Andersen of Forbes.com discusses the basics of being strategic about change, and describes five steps to make your vision of the future possible.

Don't let your old strategy replace the new one

Sometimes, a drive for change within a company can lose momentum and people, teams or the whole organisation can revert to the old strategy. The challenge of dealing with such a scenario is discussed by Amy Gallo on HBR.org.

Setting goals: how to map the road ahead

Peter Vanden Bos explores the subject of business goals and how to set them on Inc.com, pointing out that smart CEOs might well understand the value of drawing a clear road map, but working out which direction to take is not easy task.

Overcoming the obstacles to change

On Forbes.com, Sangeeth Varghese discusses the "refreshing advice" found in a book by Chip and Dan Heath called Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.

How to make acquisitions pay off

Acquisitions come under the spotlight of Marc Goedhart, Tim Koller, and David Wessels on the McKinsey Quaterly website, as they explore the five acquisition strategies most likely to create value. The authors admit that "there is no magic formula to make acquisitions successful".

How to defend your company’s reputation

Leslie Gaines-Ross uses Harvard Business Review to highlight the issue of companies' reputations coming under attack from "small-scale adversaries in command of a surprisingly potent new-media and social network arsenal: blogs, tweets, text messages, online petitions, Facebook protest sites, and digital videos".

Focus on what you do worst, not best

Rather than start with best practices, you should find your industry's worst practices and look for ways to better them – that's the argument put forward by Umair Haque on his HBR.org blog.

How to make another organisation’s best practices work for your company

Best practices are hard to practice, says Ron Ashkenas on his HBR.org blog, and he explains why, offering some examples.

How to give customers a positive encounter with your organisation

Writing for MIT Sloan Management Review, Sriram Dasu and Richard B. Chase attempt to answer the question, "How can service organisations make their encounters with customers more positive?"

Building a brand in the age of social media

On the Harvard Business Review website Patrick Barwise and Seán Meehan offer advice on brand-building, pointing out that the rise of social media means it has never been more important to get the branding fundamentals right.

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