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 Spotlight On...  2018/04/15
 
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Video

Volkswagen do Brasil Case Supplement: Employee Recognition Awards Ceremony, Video (9-111-708) NEW
Volkswagen do Brasil

A short video of the company''s annual employee rewards event.

Case

Summa Equity: Building Purpose-Driven Organizations (9-118-028) NEW
Serafeim, George;Freiberg, David

In 2015, Reynir Indahl left top Nordic private equity firm Altor Equity Partners to found Summa Equity (Summa). After long contemplation following the financial crisis, Indahl was convinced the financial system was producing negative externalities and that the current private equity model adopted by most firms would no longer be successful. Summa was developed under a new private equity model that sought to "future-proof" businesses by focusing on .....more

Case

Charity or Bribery (9-118-052) NEW
Soltes, Eugene;Tilley, Brian

Filip Kowalski, a senior manager at the pharmaceutical company Healthgen, leads sales for the firm''s Polish division. While pitching Healthgen''s products, he develops a relationship with a director of a regional health fund who also runs a private foundation. After a natural disaster, Healthgen- at the request of the director- donated products to help during the crises. After Healthgen wins an important contract, the media alleges that the donation .....more

Case

An Intern''s Dilemma (A) (9-316-128) NEW
Sucher, Sandra J.;Preble, Matthew

An HBS student is asked to misrepresent himself during the course of his summer internship by his employer in order to obtain data from industry competitors.

Case

Uruguay: Facing the 21st Century (9-318-019) NEW
Reinert, Sophus A;Chu, Michael;Knoop, Carin-Isabel

In the fall of 2017, self-made businessleader Edgardo Novick pondered his campaign to be elected President of Uruguay, "the Switzerland of Latin America." Inspired by populist revolts against the statue quo observable worldwide, Novick hoped he could ride popular momentum to break the political monopoly of the traditional parties and return the country to its past greatness. Uruguay had been one of the world''s most successful countries in the nineteenth .....more

Supplement

Apple: Privacy vs. Safety? (B) (9-318-079) NEW
McGee, Henry;Hsieh, Nien-he;Schwalb, Nathaniel

This case supplements "Apple: Privacy vs. Safety (A), covering select events in 2017, including 1) a mass shooting in which U.S. law enforcement was not able to access the shooter''s encrypted iPhone and 2) Apple''s compliance with the Chinese government''s request to make it more difficult for iPhone users to download "Virtual Private Network" apps.

Case

Meg Whitman and eBay Germany (9-402-006) NEW
Hill, Linda A.

To maximize their effectiveness, color cases should be printed in color. After acquiring the German online auction company Alando.de, eBay CEO Meg Whitman and her team must integrate Alando''s Web site with the company''s existing platform. The acquisition is the first step of eBay''s journey to become a global trading platform. In addition to the challenge of a technical integration of massive scale, the case explores the inner workings of eBay''s .....more

Case

Craig Parks (A) (9-497-013) NEW
Thomas, David A.;Chadderdon, Lisa

Craig Parks is a 1992 HBS graduate who, without much deliberation, returns to work for his former employer, Taylor Burton on Wall Street. The choice proves to be a poor fit for Craig. The case documents his decision-making process, personal history, and the dilemma he confronts once he realizes returning to Taylor Burton was the wrong decision.

Supplement

Craig Parks (B) (9-497-014) NEW
Thomas, David A.;Chadderdon, Lisa

Supplements the (A) case.

Case

Netflix in 2011 (9-615-007) NEW
Shih, Willy;Kaufman, Stephen P.

Reed Hastings founded Netflix to provide a home movie service that would do a better job satisfying customers than the traditional retail rental model. But as it encountered challenges it underwent several major strategy shifts, ultimately developing a business model and an operational strategy that were highly disruptive to retail video rental chains. The combination of a large national inventory, a recommendation system that drove viewership across .....more

Case

Chicago Chemicals, Inc. (9-618-028) NEW
Pisano, Gary P.;Hammond, Jan;Fisher, Marshall


Case

Judo in Action (9-703-454) NEW
Corts, Kenneth;Freier, Debbie

Contains four short stories about small firms challenging large firms. Illustrates some of the ideas that have been termed "judo strategy." In each case, one can argue that the small firm attempts to use the large firm''s size and incumbency to constrain the large firm and provide an opportunity for the small firm. The four vignettes are: (1) Softsoap pioneers the liquid soap market with little competition, at least initially, from the incumbent bar .....more

Case

AKB48: Going Global? (A) (9-717-445) NEW
Alcacer, Juan;Sasamoto, Kotaro;Chayakul, Tee;Yamazaki, Mayuka

After a remarkable success in Japan, the producer of the Japanese female singing group AKB48 evaluates market opportunities overseas for his artistic creation. This case introduces the business model behind the AKB48 concept and allows students to identify what geographic market - China, Indonesia, Taiwan, The Philippines, Thailand or South Korea - is more suitable for AKB48''s first move overseas. During the discussion, students also identify the .....more

Supplement

AKB48: Going Global? (B) (9-717-446) NEW
Alcacer, Juan;Yamazaki, Mayuka

After a remarkable success in Japan, the producer of the Japanese female singing group AKB48 evaluates market opportunities overseas for his artistic creation. This case introduces the business model behind the AKB48 concept and allows students to identify what geographic market - China, Indonesia, Taiwan, The Philippines, Thailand or South Korea - is more suitable for AKB48''s first move overseas. During the discussion, students also identify the .....more

Case

Cisco Systems and OpenDNS: Strategic Integration (9-718-489) NEW
Wu, Andy;Gonzalez, George;Wang, David


Case

GasBuddy: Fueling Its Digital Platform for Agilitiy and Growth (BAB420) NEW
Gillan Huang, Clare M.

When the case is introduced, GasBuddy is a 15-year-old mobile app-led company, providing gas station and pricing information to drivers and selling ads to fuel stations and convenience store owners. Though the GasBuddy Mobile App has received many awards and often ranks among the top-three travel apps in downloads, competitive pressure is building. Recognizing the competitive shifts, its parent company, UCG, brings in a new management team that is .....more

Case

Strategy and the Crystal Cycle (CMR301) NEW
Mathews, John A.

In industries characterized by very large capital investment and fast-moving technological dynamics, cyclical behavior emerges as the setting in which firms have to strategize. The barriers to entry in such settings are extremely high, but they can be breached--as shown in the flat panel display industry, which has seen successive entries by Japanese, then Korean, then Taiwanese firms during the past decade. In its short history, this industry has .....more

Cases

A Better Approach to China''s Markets (F1003G) NEW
Magni, Max;Atsmon, Yuval

Most companies treat all big cities in China as one animal, all growing cities as another. It''s much more effective to define markets by economic outlook, consumer attitudes, and culture.

Cases

Manage Your Team''s Collective Time (F1406A) NEW
Perlow, Leslie A.

It''s long been known that time management and designated time off improves employees'' quality of life. New research shows that it also dramatically increases companies'' productivity. The key to success is not to focus on individual behavior but rather to empower teams to collectively manage their time.

Case

Qwikcilver and Woohoo Developing a Complementary Platform (IMB671) NEW
Srinivasan, R.;Lakshmipathy, Sandeep;Koride, Padmavathi

This case on Qwikcilver and Woohoo analyses the development of the Qwikcilver gift card processing business, its various challenges in evolving the primary B2B business model and how the firm has introduced the Woohoo platform to help with direct customer connect. It begins with the efforts of the founders in identifying a green field opportunity, how they go about bringing in the initial customer base and then the case delves into the different developments .....more

Case

Qwikcilver and Woohoo Developing a Complementary Platform (Abridged) (IMB673) NEW
Srinivasan, R.;Lakshmipathy, Sandeep;Koride, Padmavathi

This case on Qwikcilver and Woohoo analyses the development of the Qwikcilver gift card processing business, its various challenges in evolving the primary B2B business model and how the firm has introduced the Woohoo platform to help with direct customer connect. It begins with the efforts of the founders in identifying a green field opportunity, how they go about bringing in the initial customer base and then the case delves into the different developments .....more

Case

Corporatization of Bollywood (IMB675) NEW
Agarwal, Aayush;Kansal, Chaitanya;Garg, Pranav

Set in 2016-17, the case describes the evolution of the Hindi movie industry, popularly called Bollywood, in India. Specifically, the case focuses on an exogenous shock that occurred in 2000 when the Government of India formally recognized Bollywood as an ''industry'' through a policy change. This change ushered in the corporatization of Bollywood which, in turn, affected the industry''s structure. Keeping production companies at center stage, students .....more

Case

Collaborative Commerce for Empowering Marginalized Communities: The Autorickshaw Community Empowerment (ACE) Ecosystem and t4u (IMB679) NEW
Jose, P. D.;Rao, Menaka

The case as the title reveals is about a collaborative program called ACE which combines technology, with a social need through a creative business model to empower the autorickshaw driver community to improve their livelihoods. Launched in Bangalore South India, the empowerment of the auto driver community is through paid advertising panels fixed at the back panel of the autos. The autos are monitored with real time feeds and forwarded to advertisers. .....more

Case

The Water Wars: Colas and Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century (IMB681) NEW
Jose, P. D.;Rao, Menaka

This case elucidates the need for water for businesses, with a focus on beverage companies. The global scarcity of water as a resource and the conflicts that surround its usage is elaborated. The water footprint of the cola companies and two other major companies of Nestle and Unilever are highlighted along with the strategies they have used to try and circumvent the problem, since they rely extensively on water as it is the main ingredient in their .....more

Case

Oilcorp''s Marketing Campaign: Mixed Reactions to a CSR Initiative (NA0505) NEW
Parra, Juan M.

In January 2010, the head of the Colombian Red Cross approached Oilcorp, owner of the largest regional chain of service stations in the country, requesting its participation in its 100th anniversary celebration with a brand awareness campaign for its social programs. Given that the annual budget had already been approved without this campaign in mind, Oilcorp''s CEO assigned the task of raising money to the marketing department. Nevertheless, the .....more

Case

Arkansas Egg Company: Cracks in the Specialty Egg Market (NA0511) NEW
Hyatt, David G

Michael Cox, a third generation producer of eggs based in the small town of Summers, Arkansas, converted production in 2007 from conventional caged white eggs to specialty eggs bearing the marketing attributes of organic, cage-free, free-range, and pasture-raised. Although he did this to secure contracts with better margins, in 2016 there was a glut of conventional white eggs on the market and that was depressing prices. Because of this, consumers .....more

Case

Houston We Have A Problem: They Paid Themselves Bonuses! (NA0514) NEW
Lapointe-Antunes, Pascale;McPhee, Deborah

It was June of 2006, and Amanda Walsh, interim CFO, was soundly criticizing herself for not seeing the bigger picture of what had gone on during the previous 18 months at Vanderville Plastics Company (VPC). Two prior years'' financials were still in "draft" form with auditors'' statements showing that the firm might not be a going concern. Peter Giroux, the CFO who hired her, had kept Amanda from having any interaction with the company vice presidents, .....more

Case

Monmouth Rubber & Plastics (NA0518) NEW
Rosenberg, Stuart

John Bonforte, the owner and president of Monmouth Rubber & Plastics, a small private rubber manufacturing company in Long Branch, New Jersey, needed to decide whether to accept an offer from a potential buyer for the business. Monmouth had been a successful company with a strong family culture since John founded it in 1964, but now in 2008 there were a number of factors that gave him reason for concern and to consider whether it was time to sell. .....more

Cases

The Work of Leadership (HBR Bestseller) (R0111K) NEW
Heifetz, Ronald A.;Laurie, Donald L.

More and more companies today are facing adaptive challenges: Changes in societies, markets, and technologies around the globe constantly force businesses to clarify their values, develop new strategies, and learn new ways to operate. The most important task for leaders in the face of such challenges is mobilizing people throughout their organizations to do adaptive work. In this HBR article from 1997, the authors suggest that the prevailing notion .....more

Cases

End of Corporate Imperialism (HBR Classic) (R0308G) NEW
Prahalad, C.K.;Lieberthal, Kenneth

This article includes a one-page preview that quickly summarizes the key ideas and provides an overview of how the concepts work in practice along with suggestions for further reading. As they search for growth, multinational corporations will have no choice but to compete in the big emerging markets of China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil. Although it is still common to question how such corporations will change life in those markets, Western executives .....more

Cases

Mastering the Management System (R0801D) NEW
Kaplan, Robert S.;Norton, David P.

Companies have always found it hard to balance pressing operational concerns with long-term strategic priorities. The tension is critical: World-class processes won''t lead to success without the right strategic direction, and the best strategy in the world will get nowhere without strong operations to execute it. In this article, Kaplan, of Harvard Business School, and Norton, founder and director of the Palladium Group, explain how to effectively .....more

Cases

What''s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs? (R1012J) NEW
Berry, Leonard L.;Mirabito, Ann M.;Baun, William B.

Employee wellness programs have often been viewed as a nice extra, not a strategic imperative. But the data demonstrate otherwise, according to Berry, of Texas A&M University; Mirabito, of Baylor University; and Baun, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Their research shows that the ROI on comprehensive, well-run employee wellness programs is impressive, sometimes as high as six to one. To achieve those kinds of results, employers .....more

Cases

When One Business Model Isn''t Enough (R1201M) NEW
Casadesus-Masanell, Ramon;Tarzijan, Jorge

Trying to operate two business models at once often causes strategic failure. Yet LAN Airlines, a Chilean carrier, runs three models successfully. Casadesus-Masanell, of Harvard Business School, and Tarzijan, of the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, explore how LAN has integrated a full-service international passenger model with a premium air-cargo business model while separately operating a no-frills passenger model for domestic flights. .....more

Cases

How to Win in Emerging Markets: Lessons from Japan (R1205J) NEW
Ichii, Shigeki;Hattori, Susumu;Michael, David

In the 20th century, Japanese multinationals established themselves as powerhouse exporters in developed markets. Names like Sony, Toyota, and Honda became commonplace. But in this century, growth in developed markets has slowed: Goldman Sachs forecasts that these markets will grow at an average annual rate of 2% until 2020, whereas the BRIC economies are expected to grow at an average annual rate of nearly 7%. To prosper now, Japanese companies must .....more

Cases

Reality Check at the Bottom of the Pyramid (R1206J) NEW
Simanis, Erik

There''s a fatal flaw in the low-price, low-margin, high-volume strategy that multinationals have been pursuing in the bottom of the economic pyramid for the past decade: In order to cover the built-in costs of doing business among low-income customers scattered in rural villages and urban slums, penetration rates must be impractically high--often 30% or more. Erik Simanis of Cornell University''s Johnson School of Management argues that companies .....more

Cases

Finding the Profit in Fairness (R1209J) NEW
Loch, Christoph H.;Sting, Fabian J.;Huchzermeier, Arnd;Decker, Christiane

Contrary to conventional wisdom, banking can be both fair and profitable--in fact, fairness can be a source of competitive advantage. The evidence for this claim comes from a segment of the financial services industry seldom associated with fairness: consumer credit. The reputation of this business--which encompasses credit cards, personal loans, payday advances, and so on--is so questionable that any claims of "fairness" are viewed by customers with .....more

Cases

Execution as Strategy (R1210H) NEW
Guillen, Mauro F.;Garcia-Canal, Esteban

Dozens of multinational companies from emerging markets are roaring out of obscurity to compete head-to-head with the world''s great corporations--without paying much attention to the kind of strategy making that is typically taught in business schools. Unencumbered by complicated or calcified rules about which markets to focus on and how to grow, these firms are achieving success by executing first and analyzing later, pursuing headlong expansion, .....more

Cases

What You Can Learn from Family Business (R1211H) NEW
Kachaner, Nicolas;Stalk, George;Bloch, Alain

Though the term "family business" may call to mind visions of local mom-and-pop firms, family- controlled companies play a huge role on the global stage. Not only do they include sprawling corporations like Walmart and Tata Group, but they account for more than 30% of all companies with sales in excess of $1 billion. And over the long term, their financial performance exceeds that of traditional public companies, according to a new study by BCG and .....more

Cases

What Panasonic Learned in China (R1212J) NEW
Wakayama, Toshiro;Shintaku, Junjiro;Amano, Tomofumi

When Panasonic started selling home appliances in the Chinese market a few decades ago, its only attempt at localization was to offer less expensive versions of developed-market offerings. But as the Chinese middle class began to emerge, Panasonic''s leaders discovered that local competitors such as Haier were quickly outpacing the Japanese company. While the home appliance market in China grew at 20% to 30% annually, Panasonic''s growth in China .....more

Cases

Why IT Fumbles Analytics (R1301H) NEW
Marchand, Donald A.;Peppard, Joe

As managers seek to exploit the tremendous amounts of data now available from internal and external sources, they''re likely to use the approach they use with all their IT projects--that is, they''ll focus on building and deploying technology on time, to plan, and within budget. That works for projects designed to improve business processes and increase efficiency, but when it comes to extracting valuable insights from data and using information to .....more

Cases

The Price of Incivility (R1301J) NEW
Porath, Christine;Pearson, Christine

We''ve all heard of (or experienced) the "boss from hell." But that''s just one form that incivility in the workplace can take. Rudeness on the job is surprisingly common, and it''s on the rise. Whether it involves overt bullying or subtle acts of thoughtlessness, incivility takes a toll. It erodes productivity, chips away at morale, leads employees to quit, and damages customer relationships. Dealing with its aftermath can soak up weeks of managerial .....more

Cases

The Case for Stealth Innovation (R1303G) NEW
Miller, Paddy;Wedell-Wedellsborg, Thomas

You have an idea for an innovative project that could have a significant impact on your business. But you also suspect that your idea will meet internal resistance: If realized, it would upend the status quo, and if you were to send it through the regular process for creating new projects, other parts of the organization would probably try to kill it along the way. So what''s your next step? The conventional answer is to get a mandate from the top. .....more

Cases

Innovation Risk: How to Make Smarter Decisions (R1304B) NEW
Merton, Robert C.

New products and services are created to enable people to do tasks better than they previously could or do things they couldn''t before. But innovations also carry risks. Just how risky an innovation turns out to be depends in great measure on the choices people make in using it. Attempts to gauge the riskiness of an innovation must take into account the limitations of the models--formal and informal--on which people base their decisions about how .....more

Cases

In the Company of Givers and Takers (R1304G) NEW
Grant, Adam M.

Employees make decisions every day about whether to contribute to others--and their willingness to help is crucial to group and organizational effectiveness. But in a competitive, often zero-sum, world of work, generosity can be a dangerous path. How can leaders foster it without cutting into productivity, undermining fairness, and allowing employees to become doormats? The key, explains Wharton''s Adam Grant, is to help givers reach a more nuanced .....more

Cases

Three Rules for Making a Company Truly Great (R1304J) NEW
Raynor, Michael E.;Ahmed, Mumtaz

Much of the strategy and management advice that business leaders turn to is unreliable or impractical, say the authors, because those who would guide us underestimate the power of chance. Raynor and Ahmed undertook a statistical study of 25,000 companies--those that had traded on U.S. stock exchanges at any time from 1966 to 2010. They measured performance according to return on assets--a metric, they reasoned, that reliably reflects managerial efforts .....more

Cases

Creating the Best Workplace on Earth (R1305H) NEW
Goffee, Rob;Jones, Gareth

No organization can fulfill every hope and desire of its employees, so it helps to know which ones matter most to people. Goffee and Jones have identified the six most essential imperatives for creating an ideal work environment. Their insights come from surveys and interviews of hundreds of executives from all over the world. Few organizations embody all six attributes of the dream organization, many are difficult to achieve, and some even conflict .....more

Cases

Health Care''s Service Fanatics (R1305J) NEW
Merlino, James I.;Raman, Ananth

The Cleveland Clinic has long had a reputation for medical excellence. But in 2009 the CEO acknowledged that patients did not think much of their experience there and decided to act. Since then the Clinic has leaped to the top tier of patient-satisfaction surveys, and it now draws hospital executives from around the world who want to study its practices. The Clinic''s journey also holds lessons for organizations outside health care that must suddenly .....more

Cases

Living in the Futures (R1305K) NEW
Wilkinson, Angela;Kupers, Roland

In 1965, a time when quantitative, computer-driven planning was very much in vogue, Royal Dutch Shell started experimenting with a different way of looking into the future: scenario planning. Shell''s practice has now survived for almost half a century, and has had a huge influence on how businesses, governments, and other organizations think about and plan for the future. The authors interviewed almost every living veteran of the Shell scenario planning .....more

Cases

Tours of Duty: The New Employer-Employee Compact (R1306B) NEW
Hoffman, Reid;Casnocha, Ben;Yeh, Chris

For most of the 20th century, the relationship between employers and employees in the developed world was all about stability and lifetime loyalty. That has recently changed, giving way to a transactional, laissez-faire approach that serves neither party well. A new arrangement is needed, the authors argue--one built on alliance (usually temporary) and reciprocity. The high-tech start-up community of Silicon Valley is pointing the way--and companies .....more

Cases

Transient Advantage (R1306C) NEW
McGrath, Rita Gunther

For decades, the business world has been fixated on achieving sustainable competitive advantage, a position within an industry that allows a company to best its rivals over the long term. Though we can all point to organizations that have succeeded with this approach--think GE and Unilever--in today''s world, the edge of most companies doesn''t last long. The forces at work here are familiar: the digital revolution, disappearing barriers to entry, .....more

Cases

What Is the Theory of Your Firm? (R1306D) NEW
Zenger, Todd

Asked to define strategy, most executives would probably come up with something like this: Strategy involves discovering and targeting attractive markets and then crafting positions that deliver sustained competitive advantage there. This view of strategy as position remains central in business school curricula around the globe. Unfortunately, writes the author, investors don''t reward senior managers for simply occupying and defending market positions. .....more

Cases

The New Dynamics of Competition (R1306E) NEW
Ryall, Michael D.

In 1979 Michael Porter''s five forces model transformed the field of strategy. But the 1996 article "Value-Based Business Strategy," by Adam Brandenburger and Harborne Stuart Jr., may prove to be even more significant, as it applied mathematics to the evaluation of strategic decisions. Ryall, of the University of Toronto''s Rotman School of Management, now introduces a model of competitive strategy that is built on Brandenburger and Stuart''s mathematical .....more

Cases

L''Oreal Masters Multiculturalism (R1306J) NEW
Hong, Hae-Jung;Doz, Yves L.

As the cosmetics company L''Oreal has transformed itself from a very French business into a global leader, it has grappled with the tension that''s at the heart of every global enterprise: Achieving economies of scale and scope requires some uniformity and integration of activities across markets. However, serving regional and national markets requires the adaptation of products, services, and business models to local conditions. Since the late 1990s, .....more

Cases

Building Sustainable Cities (R1307B) NEW
Macomber, John D.

By 2050 the number of people living in cities will have nearly doubled, to 6 billion, and the problems created by this rampant urbanization are among the most important challenges of our time. Of all resource-management issues, the author argues, water, electricity, and transit deserve the greatest focus. Every other service a competitive city provides--functional housing, schools, hospitals, stores, police and fire departments, heating, cooling, .....more

Cases

The Network Secrets of Great Change Agents (R1307D) NEW
Battilana, Julie;Casciaro, Tiziana

Change is hard, especially in a large organization. Yet some leaders succeed--often spectacularly--at transforming their workplaces. What makes them able to exert this sort of influence when the vast majority can''t? The authors tracked 68 change initiatives in the UK''s National Health Service, an organization whose size, complexity, and tradition can make reform difficult. They discovered several predictors of change agents'' success--all of which .....more

Cases

How Experts Gain Influence (R1307E) NEW
Mikes, Anette;Hall, Matthew;Millo, Yuval

In theory, the risk management groups of two British banks--Saxon and Anglo--had the same influence in their organizations. But in practice, they did not: Saxon''s was engaged in critical work throughout the bank, while Anglo''s had little visibility outside its areas of expertise. In their study of these two financial institutions, the authors identified four competencies--trailblazing, toolmaking, teamwork, and translation--that help functional .....more

Cases

The Uses (and Abuses) of Influence (R1307F) NEW
Cialdini, Robert B.;Cliffe, Sarah

The ability to persuade others to contribute to your efforts is a key skill for managers, for team members--for anyone who wants to elevate the probability of success. Research by leading social scientist Robert Cialdini has found that persuasion works by appealing to certain deeply rooted human responses: liking, reciprocity, social proof, commitment and consistency, authority, and scarcity. In this edited interview with HBR''s executive editor, .....more

Cases

How to Drive Value Your Way (R1307H) NEW
Jacobides, Michael G.;MacDuffie, John Paul

The story of the PC industry has been etched in the minds of strategists as a template for how industries evolve in the knowledge economy. In the natural order of things, so the story goes, industries disaggregate as interfaces between various stages of the value chain become open and standardized, allowing value to migrate up or down the value chain. But value migration away from established players doesn''t have to be inevitable, argue authors Michael .....more

Cases

Your Brain at Work (R1307J) NEW
Waytz, Adam;Mason, Malia

Recently, technological advances have led neuroscientists to develop a new and more sophisticated framework. It shifts the focus of study from the activity of specific brain regions to how networks of brain regions activate in concurrent patterns. In this article, two experts in brain science explain important discoveries that have been made about four key networks: the default network, which is engaged in introspection and in imagining a different .....more

Cases

The Truth About Customer Experience (R1309G) NEW
Rawson, Alex;Duncan, Ewan;Jones, Conor

Companies have long emphasized touchpoints--the many critical moments when customers interact with the organization on their way to purchase and after. But this focus can create a distorted picture, suggesting that customers are happier with the company than they actually are. And it distracts from the more important picture: the customer''s end-to-end experience. In their research, the authors--partners at McKinsey--have found that organizations .....more

Cases

Innovating for Shared Value (R1309H) NEW
Pfitzer, Marc;Bockstette, Valerie;Stamp, Mike

At its best, business is about innovating to meet society''s needs and to build a profitable enterprise. But many corporate leaders are struggling to achieve those twin goals. In a study of more than 30 companies that have succeeded in creating so-called shared value, the authors identified five mutually reinforcing elements: (1) Embedding a social purpose. This may involve reemphasizing a firm''s founding mission, as Danone''s CEO did in 2000 to .....more

Cases

Consulting on the Cusp of Disruption (R1310F) NEW
Christensen, Clayton M.;Wang, Dina;van Bever, Derek

Consulting''s fundamental business model has not changed in more than 100 years: Very smart outsiders go into organizations for a finite period of time and recommend solutions for the most difficult problems confronting their clients. But at traditional strategy-consulting firms, the share of work that is classic strategy has sharply declined over the past 30 years, from 60% or 70% to only about 20%. What accounts for this trend? Disruption is coming .....more

Cases

Strategy: The Uniqueness Challenge (R1311B) NEW
Zenger, Todd

CEOs often complain that the financial markets simply don''t understand their companies'' strategy. The author''s recent findings show that they may well have a point. Many good strategies are complex and thus hard to understand. A proper analysis of Monsanto, for example, requires expertise in pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals, and agricultural biotechnology--but on Wall Street those three industries are analyzed separately. Back in 1999 one .....more

Cases

Deciding How to Decide (R1311C) NEW
Courtney, Hugh;Lovallo, Dan;Clarke, Carmina

Most businesses rely on traditional capital-budgeting tools when making strategic decisions such as investing in an innovative technology or entering a new market. These tools assume that decision makers have access to remarkably complete and reliable information--yet most strategic decisions must be made under conditions of great uncertainty. Why are these traditional tools used so often even though their limitations are widely acknowledged? The .....more

Cases

You Can''t Be a Wimp--Make the Tough Calls (R1311D) NEW
Charan, Ram;Merino, Melinda

As one of the world''s preeminent advisers to CEOs, Ram Charan has spent the past 35 years on the road, helping hundreds of executives deal with their toughest challenges. In this edited interview, he shares what he''s learned about decision making over the decades. Getting to the right answer is a lot harder today than it was 10 years ago, Charan points out. Leaders have to contend with more variables and constituencies than ever before. They must .....more

Cases

Beyond the Echo Chamber (R1311E) NEW
Pentland, Alex "Sandy

Though a few superbright people may have the almost magical ability to consistently make good decisions, the rest of us just get by--or so conventional wisdom holds. But new research contradicts that thinking. A recent study by MIT''s Sandy Pentland and his colleagues shows that anyone can become a good decision maker. The key is to constantly conduct "social exploration," or seek out a wide range of new people and ideas. In 2011, Pentland''s team .....more

Cases

What Makes Strategic Decisions Different (R1311F) NEW
Rosenzweig, Phil

The past decade has seen a wealth of research on decision making, yet business executives seem impervious to its lessons. The problem is not that they lack the desire to make better decisions. It''s that the bulk of the research does not apply to the kind of decision that''s most challenging for them. Decisions vary along two dimensions. The first considers whether the decision maker can influence the terms and the outcome. The second addresses whether .....more

Cases

What We''ve Learned from the Financial Crisis (R1311G) NEW
Fox, Justin

For decades, the basic idea that governed economic thinking was that markets work: The right price will always find a buyer and a seller, and millions of buyers and sellers are far better than a few government officials at determining the right price. But then came the Great Recession, when the global financial system seemed on the verge of collapse--as did prevailing notions about how the economic and financial world is supposed to function. The .....more

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Dismantling the Sales Machine (R1311H) NEW
Adamson, Brent;Dixon, Matthew;Toman, Nicholas

Sales leaders have long fixated on process discipline, monitoring reps'' conformance to "optimal" behaviors and their performance of specified activities. Recently, however, this sales machine has stalled. The approaches that once led to predictable progress in a sale do not work with today''s customers, who are empowered with more information than ever before. The new environment favors creative and adaptable sellers who challenge customers with .....more

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Analytics 3.0 (R1312C) NEW
Davenport, Thomas H.

Those who study "data smart" companies believe that we''ve already lived through two eras in the use of analytics--we might think of them as "before big data" and "after big data"--and are entering a third. It represents a far-reaching resolve to apply powerful data gathering and analysis not just to a company''s operations but also to its customer services and products. This strategic change in focus means a new role for analytics. Companies will .....more

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Data''s Credibility Problem (R1312E) NEW
Redman, Thomas C.

Fifty years after the expression "garbage in, garbage out" was coined, we still struggle with data quality. Studies show that knowledge workers waste a significant amount of time looking for data, identifying and correcting errors, and seeking confirmatory sources for data they do not trust. When data are unreliable, managers quickly lose faith in them and fall back on their intuition to make decisions, steer their companies, and implement strategy. .....more

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You May Not Need Big Data After All (R1312F) NEW
Ross, Jeanne W.;Beath, Cynthia M.;Quaadgras, Anne

Why do companies have so little to show for their investments in big data? The biggest reason is that they aren''t doing a good job using the data they already have. They don''t know how to manage the information embedded in their operating systems, analyze it in ways that enhance their understanding, and then make changes in response to new evidence and insights. The few companies that have adopted evidence-based decision making ensure that all decision .....more

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When Marketing Is Strategy (R1312G) NEW
Dawar, Niraj

For decades, businesses have sought competitive advantage in "upstream" activities related to making new products--building bigger factories, finding cheaper raw materials, improving efficiency, and so on. But those easily copied sources of advantage are being irreversibly eroded, and advantage increasingly lies "downstream"--in the marketplace. Today the strategic question that drives business is not "What else can we make?" but "What else can we .....more

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Why Conglomerates Thrive (Outside the U.S.) (R1312H) NEW
Ramachandran, J;Manikandan, K S;Pant, Anirvan

Conglomerates once dominated the U.S. business world. But by the 1980s, they''d been laid low by poor performance, inspiring the belief that focused corporations created more shareholder value. Today conglomerates are largely considered dinosaurs--except, that is, in emerging markets, where diversified business groups, comprising numerous unrelated enterprises, are flourishing. The authors, who studied Indian business groups for five years, believe .....more

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How Emerging Giants Can Take on the World (R1312J) NEW
Jullens, John

Companies in developing countries are often so focused on chasing growth that they fail to invest in improving their innovation, operations, and brand management. So despite enormous reach and revenues in the billions, they''re unprepared when demand growth slows and competition from increasingly savvy developed-world multinationals intensifies. The once high-flying Chinese automakers BYD and Chery have landed hard. In contrast, another automaker, .....more

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Focusing Capital on the Long Term (R1401B) NEW
Barton, Dominic;Wiseman, Mark

Since the financial crisis of 2008, there has been widespread agreement on the need for public companies to build value for the long term. Nonetheless, because of pressure from financial markets, a detrimental focus on short-term performance persists. Reversing this trend, the authors say, depends on the leadership of major asset owners such as pension funds, insurance firms, and mutual funds. They should act by taking four practical, proven steps: .....more

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IDEO''s Culture of Helping (R1401C) NEW
Amabile, Teresa M.;Fisher, Colin M.;Pillemer, Julianna

Leaders can do few things more important than encouraging helping behavior within their organizations. In the highest-performing companies, it is a norm that colleagues support one another''s efforts to do the best work they can. That has always been true for efficiency reasons, but collaborative helping becomes even more vital in an era of knowledge work, when positive business outcomes depend on high creativity in often very complex projects. A .....more

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Building a Game-Changing Talent Strategy (R1401D) NEW
Ready, Douglas A.;Hill, Linda A.;Thomas, Robert J.

When most of the world''s financial services giants were stumbling and retrenching in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, the asset management firm BlackRock was busy charting a course for growth. Its revenues, profits, and stock price all performed consistently through this tumultuous period. The authors looked at BlackRock and other game-changing companies--the Mumbai-based global conglomerate Tata Group, and Envision, an entrepreneurial alternative .....more

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How Netflix Reinvented HR (R1401E) NEW
McCord, Patty

When Netflix executives wrote a PowerPoint deck about the organization''s talent management strategies, the document went viral--it''s been viewed more than 5 million times on the web. Now, one of those executives, the company''s longtime chief talent officer, goes beyond the bullet points to paint a detailed picture of how Netflix attracts, retains, and manages stellar employees. The firm draws on five key tenets: (1) Hire, reward, and tolerate only .....more

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The Big Lie of Strategic Planning (R1401F) NEW
Martin, Roger

Strategy making forces executives to confront a future they can only guess at. It''s not surprising, then, that they try to make the task less daunting by preparing a comprehensive plan for how the company will achieve its goal. But good strategy is not the product of endless research and modeling; it''s the result of a simple process of thinking through how to hit a target and whether it''s realistic to try. Discomfort is part of the process. If .....more

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The New Patterns of Innovation (R1401G) NEW
Parmar, Rashik;Mackenzie, Ian W;Cohn, David;Gann, David

The search for new business ideas--and models--is hit-or-miss at most firms. Tackling the problem systematically, of course, will improve your odds of success. Traditional ways of framing this search examine competencies, customer needs, and shifts in the landscape. This article proposes adding a new IT-based framework. It involves asking, How can data and analytic tools be used to create new value? The authors have explored that question with many .....more

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The New Rules of Globalization (R1401J) NEW
Bremmer, Ian

Until 2008 going global seemed to make sense for just about every company in the world. Since then, we''ve entered a different phase, one of "guarded globalization." Governments of developing nations have become wary of opening more industries to multinational companies. They are defining national security more broadly and perceiving more and more sectors to be of strategic importance, taking active steps to deter foreign companies from entering them .....more

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Choosing the Right Customer (R1403B) NEW
Simons, Robert L.

All companies claim that their strategies are customer driven. But when "customer" means any number of entities in a company''s value chain--consumers, suppliers, retailers, even internal units like R&D--managers tend to lose focus, and their firms become vulnerable to competitors who have clearly defined who they serve and how. In this article, Robert Simons of Harvard Business School presents a framework that can help companies develop strategies .....more

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Tiebreaker Selling (R1403G) NEW
Anderson, James C.;Narus, James A.;Wouters, Marc

In B2B markets, suppliers of nonstrategic products and services tend to assume they have only two options for landing sales: stressing their offerings'' unique characteristics and competing on price. The problem is, the features touted often don''t matter to purchasing managers, and neither do price concessions. How, then, do you win their business? The authors'' research with 46 companies points to a solution: After meeting the customer''s basic .....more

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The Boardroom''s Quiet Revolution (R1403H) NEW
Parsons, Richard D.;Feigen, Marc A.

In the past 10 years, under pressure from shareholders, stock exchanges, and state and federal governments, corporate boards have changed dramatically. For example, regulations require that a majority of directors be independent; independent directors regularly meet in executive session without the CEO; shareholders can review decisions by the compensation committee; and directors are required to attend meetings more often. But externally driven reforms .....more

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Who Can You Trust? (R1403K) NEW
DeSteno, David

Success in business unquestionably requires some willingness to cooperate through having faith in others. The question is how much faith and in whom? Decades of scientific research show that people''s accuracy in deciding if another can be trusted tends to be only slightly better than chance. But this isn''t because trustworthiness is completely unpredictable. It''s because the guidelines most of us use to make these predictions are flawed. We place .....more

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Making Business Personal (R1404B) NEW
Kegan, Robert;Lahey, Lisa;Fleming, Andy;Miller, Matthew

Most people expend a lot of energy at work attempting to hide their inadequacies from colleagues. The authors believe that this is the single biggest cause of wasted resources in nearly every company today. When they went in search of firms where people see their mistakes not as vulnerabilities but as prime opportunities for growth, they found only a handful. Two stood out: Bridgewater Associates, an East Coast investment firm, and the Decurion Corporation, .....more

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The Limits of Scale (R1404G) NEW
Halaburda, Hanna;Oberholzer-Gee, Felix

The value of many products and services rises or falls with the number of customers using them; the fewer fax machines in use, the less important it is to have one. These network effects influence consumer decisions and affect companies'' ability to compete. Strategists have developed some well-known rules for navigating business environments with network effects. "Move first" is one, and "get big fast" is another. In a study of dozens of companies, .....more

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Your Scarcest Resource (R1405D) NEW
Mankins, Michael;Brahm, Chris;Caimi, Gregory

Most companies have elaborate procedures for managing capital. They require a compelling business case for any new capital investment. They set hurdle rates. They delegate authority carefully, prescribing spending limits for each level. An organization''s time, by contrast, goes largely unmanaged. Bain & Company, with which all three authors are associated, used innovative people analytics tools to examine the time budgets of 17 large corporations. .....more

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Get Your Team to Do What It Says It''s Going to Do (R1405E) NEW
Grant, Heidi

It''s one thing to set goals--and entirely another to get the people in your organization to actually accomplish them. To make the leap from vision to execution, you can''t just define what needs doing; you also need to spell out the details of getting it done. One motivational tool that enables this is "if-then planning," which helps people express and carry out their intentions. If-then plans work because contingencies are built into our neurological .....more

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How to Outsmart Activist Investors (R1405F) NEW
George, Bill;Lorsch, Jay W.

Since the start of the 21st century, a new breed of shareholder--the activist hedge fund--has frequently played a decisive role in interactions between corporations and markets. The game of these activists is simple: They buy stocks they view as undervalued and pressure management to do things they believe will raise the value, such as giving more cash back to shareholders or shedding divisions that the activists think are driving down the stock price. .....more

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Managing the "Invisibles (R1405G) NEW
Zweig, David

Even in an age of relentless self-promotion, some extremely capable professionals prefer to avoid the spotlight. "Invisibles" work in fields ranging from engineering to interpreting to perfumery, but they have three things in common: They are ambivalent about recognition, seeing any time spent courting fame as time taken away from the work at hand. They are meticulous. And they savor responsibility, viewing even high pressure as an honor and a source .....more

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Right Up the Middle: How Israeli Firms Go Global (R1405J) NEW
Friedrich, Jonathan;Noam, Amit;Ofek, Elie

Small and midsize companies that want to expand abroad often face a daunting task: finding the sweet spot between multinationals, with their extensive resources and economies of scale, and the smaller players in the foreign markets, which have an intimate understanding of local conditions. The more than 75 Israeli companies that have transformed themselves into global players in the past four decades prove that it can be done. Their approach: Focus .....more

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The Capitalist''s Dilemma (R1406C) NEW
Christensen, Clayton M.;van Bever, Derek

Sixty months after the 2008 recession ended, the economy was still sputtering, producing disappointing growth and job numbers. Corporations seemed stuck: Despite low interest rates, they were sitting on massive piles of cash and failing to invest in new initiatives. In this article, a leading innovation expert and his HBS colleague explore the reasons for this sluggishness. The crux of the problem, they say, is that investments in different types .....more

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The Price of Wall Street''s Power (R1406D) NEW
Mukunda, Gautam

Over and over again, executives make decisions that aren''t in their companies'' best interests, in response to pressure from Wall Street. Though many believe this happens because firms have a "fiduciary duty" to maximize shareholder returns, U.S. executives do not, as a matter of law, have any such obligation. Yet it''s hard for them to resist demands from a quarter that has amassed such a huge and disproportionate share of power. In the past few .....more

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Mastering the Intermediaries (R1406F) NEW
Edelman, Benjamin

Almost every retailer looks to Google to refer customers, and it''s rare to find a manufacturer whose products aren''t sold on Amazon. But these platforms can capture a disproportionate share of the value a company creates: Buy an app on iTunes, and Apple takes 30%. The author presents four strategies to help businesses reduce their dependence on powerful platforms: (1) Exploit the platform''s need to be comprehensive. American Airlines'' strong coverage .....more

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Unlocking the Wealth in Rural Markets (R1406J) NEW
Kapur, Mamta;Dawar, Sanjay;Ahuja, Vineet R.

In India and other large emerging economies, rural markets hold great promise for boosting corporate earnings. Companies that sell in the countryside, however, face poor infrastructure, widely dispersed customers, and other challenges. To better understand the obstacles and how to overcome them, the authors--researchers with Accenture--conducted extensive surveys and interviews with Indian business leaders in multiple industries. Their three-year .....more

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Four Paths to Business Model Innovation (R1407H) NEW
Girotra, Karan;Netessine, Serguei

Drawing on the idea that any business model is essentially a set of key decisions that collectively determine how a business earns its revenue, incurs its costs, and manages its risks, the authors view innovations to the model as changes to those decisions: What mix of products or services should you offer? When should you make your key decisions? Who are your best decision makers? and Why do key decision makers choose as they do? In this article .....more

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Profits Without Prosperity (R1409B) NEW
Lazonick, William

Though corporate profits are high, and the stock market is booming, most Americans are not sharing in the economic recovery. While the top 0.1% of income recipients reap almost all the income gains, good jobs keep disappearing, and new ones tend to be insecure and underpaid. One of the major causes: Instead of investing their profits in growth opportunities, corporations are using them for stock repurchases. Take the 449 firms in the S&P 500 that .....more

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Digital-Physical Mashups (R1409F) NEW
Rigby, Darrell K.

A quarter century into the digital revolution, many companies still agonize over whether to invest significant resources in digital capabilities. Meanwhile, customers--who are used to weaving their digital and physical worlds tightly together--wonder why companies haven''t done the same. The author and his colleagues at Bain have worked with and studied hundreds of companies around the globe that are trying to cope with the swiftly changing marketplace. .....more

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The Danger from Within (R1409G) NEW
Upton, David M.;Creese, Sadie

The 2013 cyberattack on Target is just one recent example of a growing phenomenon: attacks involving connected companies or direct employees. According to various estimates, at least 80 million of these attacks occur in the United States each year--but the number may be much higher, because they often go unreported. Upton and Creese head an international research project whose goal is to aid organizations in detecting and neutralizing threats from .....more

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The Rise (and Likely Fall) of the Talent Economy (R1410B) NEW
Martin, Roger

Since 1960 the U.S. economy has moved from largely financing the exploitation of natural resources to making the most of talent. The rewards to executives and financiers have skyrocketed as a result. But over the past two decades or so, the author argues, it has become increasingly clear that much of this talent is trading value rather than creating it: The fastest-growing group on the Forbes 400 list is hedge fund managers. What''s more, stock-based .....more

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The Transparency Trap (R1410D) NEW
Bernstein, Ethan S.

To promote accountability, productivity, and shared learning, many organizations create open work environments and gather reams of data on how individuals spend their time. A few years ago, HBS professor Ethan Bernstein set out to find empirical evidence that such approaches improve organizational performance. What he discovered is that this kind of transparency often has an unintended consequence: It can leave employees feeling vulnerable and exposed. .....more

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Capture More Value (R1410F) NEW
Michel, Stefan

Businesses constantly innovate to create new value--but unless they also focus on how they capture value, they won''t realize maximum benefit from their breakthroughs. And even avid innovators often have a blind spot when it comes to value capture. Managers need to think about value capture more imaginatively and as a matter of course. A new framework developed by IMD business school''s Stefan Michel can help them do so. Michel details 15 value-capture .....more

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Profits at the Bottom of the Pyramid (R1410G) NEW
Simanis, Erik;Duke, Duncan

The best way for companies to improve the lives of the world''s poorest people--those at the bottom of the pyramid--is to focus first on doing good business, not just on doing good. That''s the contention of the authors, who say that a steady flow of profits from manageable ventures will pave the way for later investments in more-ambitious socially beneficial projects. The authors cite two main challenges in selling profitably to the bottom of the .....more

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How Smart, Connected Products Are Transforming Competition (R1411C) NEW
Porter, Michael E.;Heppelmann, James

Information technology is revolutionizing products, from appliances to cars to mining equipment. Products once composed solely of mechanical and electrical parts have become complex systems combining hardware, sensors, electronics, and software that connect through the internet in myriad ways. These "smart, connected products" offer exponentially expanding opportunities for new functionality, far greater reliability, and capabilities that cut across .....more

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Digital Ubiquity: How Connections, Sensors, and Data Are Revolutionizing Business (R1411D) NEW
Iansiti, Marco;Lakhani, Karim R.

When Google bought Nest, a digital thermostat and smoke detector company, for $3.2 billion just a few months ago, it was a clear indication that digital transformation and connection are reaching critical mass, spreading across even the most traditional industrial segments and creating a staggering array of business opportunities and threats. The digitization of tasks and processes has become essential to competition. General Electric, for example, .....more

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With Big Data Comes Big Responsibility (R1411E) NEW
Pentland, Alex "Sandy";Berinato, Scott

Big data and the "internet of things" promise revolutionary change to management and society. But their success rests on the assumption that all the data being generated by internet companies and devices scattered across the planet belongs to the organizations collecting it. Pentland suggests that companies don''t own the data, and that without rules defining who does, consumers will revolt, regulators will swoop down, and the internet of things will .....more

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Turn Your Science into a Business (R1411F) NEW
Kotha, Reddi;Kim, Phillip H.;Alexy, Oliver

Commercial success with a new technology usually depends on the exclusive ownership of a critical asset or capability. But to create the technology, an innovator draws on knowledge from many different sources. Inventors who mismanage that tension often fail to successfully commercialize their innovations. To understand how to manage the tension, the authors carried out a comprehensive analysis of more than 1,000 inventions from the University of Wisconsin''s .....more

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Understanding "New Power (R1412B) NEW
Heimans, Jeremy;Timms, Henry

Power clearly isn''t what it used to be. We see Goliaths being toppled by Davids all around us, from the networked drivers of Uber to the crowdfunded creatives of Kickstarter. But it''s difficult to understand what power actually is in this changed world, and how to gain more of it. Two fresh voices to HBR--Jeremy Heimans, cofounder of Purpose and Avaaz, and Henry Timms, director of the 92nd Street Y in New York--offer a framework for organizations .....more

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Making Dumb Groups Smarter (R1412F) NEW
Sunstein, Cass R.;Hastie, Reid

All too often, groups fail to achieve the storied wisdom of crowds. In recent years, behavioral research has begun to identify precisely where groups go wrong. But so far this academic work has yet to have a noticeable effect on actual practice. The two main reasons for error are "informational signals" (some group members receive incorrect signals from other members) and "reputational pressures" (people silence themselves or change their views to .....more

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The Truth About CSR (R1501B) NEW
Rangan, V. Kasturi;Chase, Lisa A.;Karim, Sohel

Despite the widely accepted ideal of "shared value," research led by Harvard Business School''s Kasturi Rangan suggests that this is not the norm--and that''s OK. Most companies practice a multifaceted version of CSR that spans theaters ranging from pure philanthropy to environmental sustainability to the explicitly strategic. To maximize their impact, companies must ensure that initiatives in the various theaters form a unified platform. Four steps .....more

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Managing Your Mission-Critical Knowledge (R1501F) NEW
Ihrig, Martin;MacMillan, Ian

Big data is proving difficult to translate into useful knowledge, the authors write. That''s in part because a company''s knowledge assets involve so much more: core competencies, areas of expertise, intellectual property, and deep pools of talent. Large-scale, sustainable growth is generally made possible when people take insights from one knowledge domain and apply them in another--when deep technical expertise in one business unit is applied in .....more

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Where Boards Fall Short (R1501H) NEW
Barton, Dominic;Wiseman, Mark

Though it''s been over a decade since the first wave of post-Enron governance reforms, boards are still failing to provide strong oversight and strategic support for management''s efforts to create long-term value. Consider these damning results from a recent McKinsey survey: A mere 34% of directors believe that the boards they serve on fully comprehend their companies'' strategies, and just 16% think that their boards have a strong understanding .....more

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Reaching the Rich World''s Poorest Consumers (R1503B) NEW
Yunus, Muhammad;Dalsace, Frederic;Menasce, David;Faivre-Tavignot, Benedicte

Almost 120 million people in the European Union are classified as at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Although many companies offer low-cost products and services, they have largely ignored the needs of these consumers. In this article the founder of Grameen Bank and his coauthors describe how five leading companies, working through the not-for-profit Action Tank, have developed "social business" models to serve the bottom of the pyramid in France. .....more

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Red Ocean Traps (R1503D) NEW
Kim, W. Chan;Mauborgne, Renee

As established markets become less profitable, companies increasingly need to find ways to create and capture new markets. Despite much investment and commitment, most firms struggle to do this. What, exactly, is getting in their way? The authors of the best-selling book "Blue Ocean Strategy" have spent over a decade exploring that question. They have seen that the trouble lies in managers'' mental models--ingrained assumptions and theories about .....more

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Corporate Governance 2.0 (R1503G) NEW
Subramanian, Guhan

Achieving best practices in corporate governance has been hindered, the author writes, by a patchwork system of regulation, a mix of public and private policy makers, and no accepted metric for determining what constitutes success. He proposes Corporate Governance 2.0: not quite a clean-sheet redesign, but a back-to-basics reconceptualization built on three core principles. They are: (1) Boards should have the right to manage the company for the long .....more

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Making the Consensus Sale (R1503H) NEW
Schmidt, Karl;Adamson, Brent;Bird, Anna

Sales reps have long been taught to seek out a senior executive who can single-handedly approve a deal, but unilateral decision makers are now rare. Today most purchases are made by groups of individuals, all with different roles and priorities, and all with veto power. As a result, getting deals done has become an increasingly painful and protracted process. But innovative suppliers are finding ways to drive consensus in diverse buying groups, say .....more

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Reinventing Performance Management (R1504B) NEW
Buckingham, Marcus;Goodall, Ashley

Like many other companies, Deloitte realized that its system for evaluating the work of employees--and then training them, promoting them, and paying them accordingly--was increasingly out of step with its objectives. It searched for something nimbler, real-time, and more individualized--something squarely focused on fueling performance in the future rather than assessing it in the past. The new system will have no cascading objectives, no once-a-year .....more

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How to Really Motivate Salespeople (R1504C) NEW
Chung, Doug J.

Much of what we believe about the best ways to compensate and motivate the sales force is based on theory and lab experiments. But in the past decade, researchers have been moving out of the lab and into the field, analyzing companies'' sales and pay data, and conducting experiments involving actual salespeople. The findings from this new wave of research support some current compensation practices but call others into question. For example, studies .....more

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Who''s Your Most Valuable Salesperson? (R1504D) NEW
Kumar, V;Sunder, Sarang;Leone, Robert P.

U.S. businesses spend $800 billion annually on sales force compensation and another $15 billion on sales training. Yet the backward-looking metrics they rely on (such as revenue generated) to gauge the impact of this spending provide limited insight into how a salesperson will do going forward and what types of training and incentives will be most effective. As a result, many companies misallocate sales force investments. The authors worked with data .....more

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The Right Way to Use Compensation (R1504E) NEW
Roberge, Mark

When Mark Roberge joined HubSpot as its fourth employee, he had no sales experience but still was charged with building the sales team. His background proved to be an advantage, however: With his engineering training, Roberge brought an analytic rigor to the task. And he quickly realized that the sales compensation plan could motivate salespeople not only to sell more but also to behave in ways that advanced the start-up''s evolving strategy. Each .....more

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The 3-D Printing Revolution (R1505B) NEW
D''Aveni, Richard A.

The use of 3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has moved well beyond prototyping, rapid tooling, trinkets, and toys. Companies such as GE, Lockheed Martin, and BMW are switching to it for industrial production at scale. More companies will follow as the range of printable materials continues to expand. Already available are basic plastics, photosensitive resins, ceramics, cement, glass, numerous metals, thermoplastic composites (some .....more

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Leaders as Decision Architects (R1505C) NEW
Beshears, John;Gino, Francesca

Everyone from CEOs to frontline workers commit preventable mistakes--from underestimating how long it will take to finish a project to focusing too much on information that supports their current view. It is extraordinarily difficult to rewire the human brain to undo the patterns that lead to such mistakes. But there is another approach: Alter the environment in ways that encourage people to make decisions that lead to good outcomes. Leaders can do .....more

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Outsmart Your Own Biases (R1505D) NEW
Soll, Jack;Milkman, Katherine L.;Payne, John W.

When making decisions, we all rely too heavily on intuition and use flawed reasoning. But it''s possible to fight these pernicious sources of bias by learning to spot them and using the techniques presented in this article, gleaned from the latest research. They''ll open up your thinking about possible outcomes, objectives, and options and lead to better choices. To broaden your perspective on the future, the authors suggest, you can use proven tactics .....more

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Fooled by Experience (R1505E) NEW
Soyer, Emre;Hogarth, Robin M.

We interpret the past--what we''ve experienced and what we''ve been told--to chart a course for the future. It seems like a reasonable approach, but it could be a mistake. The problem is that we view the past through filters that distort reality. One filter is the business environment, which focuses on outcomes rather than the processes that lead to them and celebrates successes while ignoring failures, thus making it hard for us to learn from mistakes. .....more

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From "Economic Man" to Behavioral Economics (R1505F) NEW
Fox, Justin

When we make decisions, we make mistakes. We all know this from personal experience, of course. But in case we didn''t, a stream of experimental evidence in recent years has documented the human penchant for error. This line of research is probably best known for its offshoot, behavioral economics. Its practitioners have played a major role in business, government, and financial markets. But that isn''t the only useful way to think about making decisions. .....more

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The Great Decoupling (R1506D) NEW
Brynjolfsson, Erik;McAfee, Andrew;Raman, Anand P.

Today''s digital innovations are doing for brainpower what the steam engine, and related, technologies did for muscle power during the Industrial Revolution. They''re allowing us to rapidly overcome limitations and open up new frontiers, say Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, who have studied the impact of technologies on economies for years. The two MIT professors believe this transformation will create abundance. But they warn that there may be .....more

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The Self-Tuning Enterprise (R1506E) NEW
Reeves, Martin;Zeng, Ming;Venjara, Amin

Wouldn''t it be great if there were an algorithm that could tell you when to develop a new business model or enter an emerging market? Unfortunately, one doesn''t exist. However, it is possible to use the principles behind algorithms to continually retune your strategy and your organization. In online enterprises, algorithms constantly readjust the products and content shown to customers. They do this by operating three learning loops: experimentation, .....more

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When Your Boss Wears Metal Pants (R1506F) NEW
Frick, Walter

As machines evolve from tools to teammates, the author writes, accepting them will be more than a matter of simply adopting some new technology. The first challenge will be recognizing when computers know more than we do. "Algorithm avoidance," for instance, makes people prefer human judgment over that of machines and can lead to worse decisions, from diagnosing patients to predicting political outcomes. The message for managers is that helping humans .....more

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Why We Love to Hate HR...and What HR Can Do About It (R1507C) NEW
Cappelli, Peter

Complaints against HR, which are nothing new, have a cyclical quality. They''re driven largely by the business context. When companies are struggling with labor issues, HR is seen as a valued leadership partner. When things are smoother all around, managers wonder what the function is doing for them. This is a moment of enormous opportunity for HR leaders to separate the valuable from the worthless and secure huge payoffs for their organizations. .....more

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People Before Strategy: A New Role for the CHRO (R1507D) NEW
Charan, Ram;Barton, Dominic;Carey, Dennis

Although people drive every organization''s success, research shows that most CEOs undervalue their HR function and their chief human resources officer (CHRO). No wonder, then, that managing human capital is a top challenge for companies. To address it, say the authors, CEOs must redefine and elevate the CHRO role. They should spell out their expectations in a new written contract, focusing on three contributions that the CHRO, as an expert on talent .....more

Cases

Bright, Shiny Objects and the Future of HR (R1507E) NEW
Boudreau, John W.;Rice, Steven

This article relates how the HR team at Juniper Networks answered top management''s call for a renewed focus on values and culture as a differentiator. Early on it launched a program of "trio tours" in which senior executives met with local talent at various company locations to discuss Juniper''s culture. One young engineer in Bangalore pointed out that the company''s forced performance rankings were demoralizing and clashed with Juniper''s espoused .....more

Cases

Break Your Industry''s Bottlenecks (R1507H) NEW
Ersek, Barrett;Weisenbach Keller, Eileen;Mullins, John

If you want to create a really successful business, you have to do more than win your share of customers or control costs--you have to break the rules and overturn the received wisdom about how things work in your industry. For example, high-priced landing fees are just a cost of business in the airline industry, aren''t they? Ryanair didn''t think so, and it turned Europe''s unused World War II landing strips into very low-cost airports. To be a .....more

Cases

The Organizational Apology (R1509B) NEW
Schweitzer, Maurice E.;Brooks, Alison Wood;Galinsky, Adam D.

At some point, every company makes a mistake that requires an apology--to an individual; a group of customers, employees, or business partners; or the public at large. And more often than not, companies and their leaders fail to apologize effectively, if at all, which can severely damage their reputations and their relationships with stakeholders. Companies need clearer guidelines for determining whether a mistake merits an apology and, when it does, .....more

Cases

Design for Action (R1509C) NEW
Brown, Tim;Martin, Roger

Ever since it became clear that smart design led to the success of many products, companies have been employing it in other areas, from customer experiences, to strategy, to business ecosystems. But as design is used in increasingly complex contexts, a new hurdle has emerged: gaining acceptance of the "designed artifact" into the status quo. In fact, the more innovative a new design is, the more resistance it''s likely to meet. The solution, say the .....more

Cases

Design Thinking Comes of Age (R1509D) NEW
Kolko, Jon

In large organizations, design is moving closer to the center of the enterprise. This shift isn''t about aesthetics and product development, however. It''s about imparting the principles of design--collectively known as "design thinking"--throughout the organization. The approach is in large part a response to the complexity of many products, services, and processes. People need help--they need their interactions with technologies and other complicated .....more

Cases

How Indra Nooyi Turned Design Thinking Into Strategy: An Interview with PepsiCo''s CEO (R1509F) NEW
Nooyi, Indra;Ignatius, Adi

PepsiCo''s CEO Indra Nooyi believes that each PepsiCo product must engage customers so directly and personally that they fall in love with it. So in 2012 she hired renowned designer Mauro Porcini as PepsiCo''s first chief design officer. What Nooyi calls "design thinking" now informs nearly everything the company does, from product creation, to the look on the shelf, to how consumers interact with a product after they buy it. HBR Editor in Chief Adi .....more

Cases

Cybersecurity''s Human Factor: Lessons from the Pentagon (R1509G) NEW
Winnefeld, James A. Sandy;Kirchhoff, Christopher;Upton, David M.

With cyberattacks soaring, corporations must step up efforts to protect their IT networks. Most firms could learn from the U.S. military, which has been tightening its cyberdefenses for the past six years. In the past year alone, it adroitly repelled more than 30 million intrusions. A focus on reducing human error is core to the military''s heightened security. As is true in the private sector, mistakes by administrators and users open the door to .....more

Cases

The Future and How to Survive It (R1510B) NEW
Dobbs, Richard;Koller, Tim;Ramaswamy, Sree

Since 1980 global corporate profits have grown at an unprecedented pace, increasing their share of global GDP by 30%. North American and Western European multinationals have been the biggest beneficiaries, capturing more than half of corporate profits by leveraging their scale and exploiting unprecedented opportunities for reducing costs. This remarkable era is now coming to an end. Growth is slowing, costs are rising, and new rivals from emerging .....more

Cases

Why Organizations Don''t Learn (R1511G) NEW
Gino, Francesca;Staats, Bradley R.

For any enterprise to be competitive, continuous learning and improvement are key--but not always easy to achieve. After a decade of research, the authors have concluded that four biases stand in the way: We focus too heavily on success, are too quick to act, try too hard to fit in, and rely too much on experts. Each of these biases raises challenges, but each can be curbed with particular strategies. A preoccupation with success, for example, leads .....more

Cases

What Is Disruptive Innovation? (R1512B) NEW
Christensen, Clayton M.;Raynor, Michael E.;McDonald, Rory

For the past 20 years, the theory of disruptive innovation has been enormously influential in business circles and a powerful tool for predicting which industry entrants will succeed. Unfortunately, the theory has also been widely misunderstood, and the "disruptive" label has been applied too carelessly anytime a market newcomer shakes up well-established incumbents. In this article, the architect of disruption theory, Clayton M. Christensen, and .....more

Cases

Emotion and the Art of Negotiation (R1512C) NEW
Brooks, Alison Wood

Negotiations can be fraught with emotion, but it''s only recently that researchers have examined how particular feelings influence what happens during deal making. Here the author shares some key findings and advice. (1) Anxiety leads to poor outcomes. You will be less nervous about negotiating, however, if you repeatedly practice and rehearse. You can also avoid anxiety by asking an outside expert to represent you at the bargaining table. (2) Anger .....more

Cases

Control the Negotiation Before It Begins (R1512D) NEW
Malhotra, Deepak

Countless books and articles offer advice on avoiding missteps at the bargaining table. But some of the costliest mistakes take place before negotiators sit down to discuss the substance of the deal. That''s because they often take for granted that if they bring a lot of value to the table and have sufficient leverage, they''ll be able to strike a great deal. While negotiating from a position of strength is certainly important, many other factors .....more

Cases

Getting to Si, Ja, Oui, Hai, and Da (R1512E) NEW
Meyer, Erin

To be effective, a negotiator must take stock of the subtle messages being passed around the table. In international negotiations, however, you may not know how to interpret your counterpart''s communication accurately, especially when it takes the form of unspoken signals. The author identifies five rules of thumb for negotiating in other cultures: (1) Adapt the way you express disagreement. In some cultures it''s OK to say "I totally disagree." .....more

Cases

Knowing When to Reinvent (R1512G) NEW
Bertolini, Mark;Duncan, David;Waldeck, Andrew

No business survives over the long term without reinventing itself. But knowing when to undertake strategic transformation--when to change a company''s core products or business model because of impending industry disruption--may be the hardest decision a leader faces. Five interrelated "fault lines" can indicate that the ground beneath a company is unstable and that it''s time for radical change. The authors'' fault line framework addresses basic .....more

Cases

The Overvaluation Trap (R1512H) NEW
Martin, Roger;Kemper, Alison

In 2007, Chuck Prince, then the CEO of Citigroup, made a notorious comment about the subprime mortgage market: "As long as the music''s playing, you''ve got to get up and dance. We''re still dancing." Soon after, the financial system crashed, and that remark came to be seen as a cavalier justification for excessive risk taking by the bank. But authors Martin and Kemper raise another possibility: Prince may have been painted into a corner, because .....more

Cases

Manage Your Emotional Culture (R1601C) NEW
Barsade, Sigal;O''Neill, Olivia A.

Most companies don''t realize how central emotions are to building the right culture. They tend to focus on "cognitive culture": the shared intellectual values, norms, artifacts, and assumptions that set the overall tone for how employees think and behave at work. Though that''s incredibly important, the authors'' research shows that it''s only part of the story. The other critical part is the "emotional culture," which governs which feelings people .....more

Cases

The Limits of Empathy (R1601D) NEW
Waytz, Adam

Empathy is all the rage pretty much everywhere. It''s touted as a critical leadership skill, one that helps you influence others in your organization, anticipate stakeholders'' concerns, respond to social media followers, and even run better meetings. But it has its limits. Empathy taxes us mentally and emotionally, and can even impair our ethical judgment. It''s also a finite resource: The more we spend on one person or group, the less we have left .....more

Cases

Can Your Employees Really Speak Freely? (R1601F) NEW
Detert, James R.;Burris, Ethan R.

No matter how approachable you may be as a manager, chances are good that your employees are withholding valuable intelligence from you. Research shows that many people are more likely to keep mum than to raise important questions or suggest new ideas. Companies use a variety of tactics to get people to open up, like "climate" surveys and all-staff feedback sessions. But they usually fall short for two key reasons: a fear of consequences and a sense .....more

Cases

Algorithms Need Managers, Too (R1601H) NEW
Luca, Michael;Kleinberg, Jon;Mullainathan, Sendhil

Algorithms tend to be myopic. They focus on the data at hand--which often pertains just to short-term outcomes. Algorithms are powerful predictive tools, but they can run amok when not applied properly. Consider what often happens with social media sites. Today many use algorithms to decide which ads and links to show users. But when these algorithms focus too narrowly on maximizing click-throughs, sites quickly become choked with low-quality content. .....more

Cases

Lean Strategy (R1603E) NEW
Collis, David J.

Strategy and entrepreneurship are often seen as polar opposites. Strategy means rigorously defining and pursuing one clear path, while entrepreneurship involves continually changing direction to take advantage of new opportunities. Yet the two desperately need each other: Strategy without entrepreneurship is central planning; entrepreneurship without strategy leads to chaos. There is a way to reconcile the two, through the "lean strategy process." .....more

Cases

How to Build a Culture of Originality (R1603H) NEW
Grant, Adam M.

Fresh, innovative thinking is essential for business growth, and most people--not just a few gifted "visionaries"--are capable of it. So says the Wharton School''s Adam Grant, whose research shows that you can develop this skill in your organization by creating a culture of nonconformity. Start by giving employees license to let their imaginations run wild: A large quantity of diverse ideas will ultimately yield the highest-quality ones. To help people .....more

Cases

Pipelines, Platforms, and the New Rules of Strategy (R1604C) NEW
Van Alstyne, Marshall W.;Parker, Geoffrey;Choudary, Sangeet Paul

For decades, the five-forces model of competition has dominated the thinking about strategy. But it describes competition among traditional "pipeline" businesses, which succeed by optimizing the activities in their value chains--most of which they own or control. "Platform" businesses that bring together consumers and producers, as Uber, Alibaba, and Airbnb do, require a different approach to strategy. The critical asset of a platform is external--the .....more

Cases

Products to Platforms: Making the Leap (R1604E) NEW
Zhu, Feng;Furr, Nathan R.

Following the path of companies such as Apple and Amazon, more and more firms are trying to become not just product purveyors but also platform providers, facilitating direct connections between customers and other groups. Although launching a platform can generate new revenue, success is not automatic. After studying more than 20 companies that have tried to move from products to platforms, the authors point to four practices that can separate winners .....more

Cases

Spontaneous Deregulation (R1604F) NEW
Edelman, Benjamin;Geradin, Damien

Platform businesses such as Airbnb and Uber have risen to success partly by sidestepping laws and regulations that encumber their traditional competitors. Such rule flouting is what the authors call "spontaneous private deregulation," and it''s happening in a growing number of industries. The authors explain that businesses are most vulnerable to spontaneous deregulation when certain conditions hold. One, for example, is when regulations are excessive .....more

Cases

Culture Is Not the Culprit (R1604H) NEW
Lorsch, Jay W.;McTague, Emily

When organizations get into big trouble, fixing the culture is usually the prescription. That''s what most everyone said GM needed to do after its 2014 recall crisis. Cultural reform has likewise been proposed as the solution to the corrosive bureaucracy at the Veterans'' Administration, unethical behavior in banks, and the excessive use of force by police. But interviews with successful change makers, conducted by Harvard Business School''s Jay W. .....more

Cases

Embracing Agile (R1605B) NEW
Rigby, Darrell K.;Sutherland, Jeff;Takeuchi, Hirotaka

Over the past 25 to 30 years, agile innovation methods have greatly increased success rates in software development, improved quality and speed to market, and boosted the motivation and productivity of IT teams. Now those methods are spreading across a broad range of industries and functions and even reaching into the C-suite. But many executives don''t understand how to promote and benefit from agile; often they manage in ways that run counter to .....more

Cases

Increase Your Return on Failure (R1605G) NEW
Birkinshaw, Julian;Haas, Martine

Although many companies claim to embrace failure as an integral part of the innovation process, near-zero tolerance for it blocks them from pursuing new ideas. Corporate budgeting, resource allocation, and risk control are all designed to promote predictability and efficiency, and even when people understand that they can and should fail, they do everything possible to avoid missteps. There''s a way to resolve this conundrum, however: Increase your .....more

Cases

M&A: The One Thing You Need to Get Right (R1606B) NEW
Martin, Roger

The financial world set a record in 2015 for mergers and acquisitions. It''s too soon to have data on how those deals will work out, but the signs are not promising. Last year Microsoft wrote off 96% of the value of the handset business it had acquired from Nokia in 2014 for $7.9 billion. The rule, confirmed by nearly all studies, remains true: M&A is a mug''s game, in which some 70% to 90% of acquisitions are abysmal failures. The author has an explanation .....more

Cases

Managing the High-Intensity Workplace (R1606G) NEW
Reid, Erin;Ramarajan, Lakshmi

People today are under intense pressure to be "ideal workers"--totally committed to their jobs and always on call. But after interviewing hundreds of professionals in many fields, the authors have concluded that selfless dedication to work is often unnecessary and harmful. It has dysfunctional consequences not only for individuals but also for their organizations. The authors discuss three typical strategies for coping with demanding workplaces, and .....more

Video

Circus Oz, (Video) DVD (SI69V) NEW
Phills, James

Circus Oz was Australia''s premier international circus. It was founded in 1977 on four principles: collective ownership and creation, gender equity, a uniquely Australian experience, and team-work. The A segment of the videocase mirrors the written case (SI-69) in exploring the Australia Council''s offer to fund a development officer position for two years, largely as a way of increasing income from corporate sponsorships and reducing reliance on .....more

Case

The Rise and Fall of BlackBerry (TB0485) NEW
Himsel, Deborah;Inkpen, Andrew C.

The launch of BlackBerry by Research in Motion (RIM) in 1999 laid the foundation for the development of smartphones. The next decade was a period of spectacular growth for RIM, making its two co-CEOs billionaires. At the end of 2007 the company had a market capitalization of more than $60 billion. Sales peaked at almost $20 billion in 2011. In 2016, sales were $2.2 billion and the company had lost money for four straight years. With the market capitalization .....more

Case

Amazon as an Employer (W16106) NEW
Bhatnagar, Jyotsna;Jaiswal, Shweta

Amazon was the biggest Internet-based retailer in the United States and had frequently been featured on lists of the most admired companies. In 2015, The New York Times published an article that portrayed Amazon as a ruthless employer with brutal human resource management practices and a toxic work atmosphere. Employees were divided in their opinions; some found the culture invigorating and others found it hard to survive in. Leaders in the industry .....more

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