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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

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.

The new approach to IT management

On the McKinsey Quarterly website, Roger Roberts, Hugo Sarrazin and Johnson Sikes explore a new model for managing IT which combines factory-style productivity to keep costs down with a more nimble, innovation-focused approach to adapt to rapid change.

Is it time to reinvent your business?

Carolyn M. Brown of Inc.com offers advice on how to successfully rebrand your business, pointing out that you can't run your company the same way forever.

Ten ways to test your strategy is working

Have you tested your strategy lately? That's the question posed by Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, and Sven Smit on the McKinsey Quarterly website.

Reinvent your business or run out of room to grow

Paul Nunes and Tim Breene urge you to "reinvent your business before it's too late" in Harvard Business Review.

Tune into customer sentiment to increase your company's profits

Bob Shaw of Forbes.com discusses how companies can grow in tough times by tuning into consumers' pricing and discount sentiments.

How internal social media could transform your company

Why are so many companies avoiding the use of social media internally, or failing to make it work effectively within their organisation?

This is a question addressed by Quy Huy and Andrew Shipilov, writing for MIT Sloan Management Review.

How to plan for the tough times like a family business

Although the term “family business” often suggests a small to mid-sized company, family-controlled enterprises play a powerful role in the world economy.

The Chief Strategy Officer: which type does your organisation need?

The role of Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) is relatively new in business, but it’s increasingly significant. The duties involved can vary depending on the organisation, and it’s important for boards and CEOs to identify the kind of CSO they need.

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