strategy+business Spring 2017

Experience the ideas and stories that raise the game for management, written and expounded clearly enough to provide the basis for thoughtful action. Through in-depth feature stories, thought leader interviews, and strategic commentaries, each issue of strategy+business provides an informed global perspective for decision makers in organizations around the world.

United States
PwC Strategy& LLC
6,65 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
13,31 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
4 Numéros

dans ce numéro

2 min
tests of a company’s prowess

Reducing expenses without a loss of confidence among employees is one of the greatest challenges a company can face. Having lived through a few major cost reduction exercises myself, I know firsthand how difficult and demoralizing they can be. But as Vinay Couto, Deniz Caglar, and John Plansky show in their cover story, “Building Trust while Cutting Costs” (page 64), it is possible to downsize and streamline and simultaneously increase the commitment and entrepreneurial spirit of your employees. It takes a very high level of candor, engagement, and attention, but a company that can pull it off becomes a much stronger competitor. Companies are also tested when they try to close the gap between strategy and execution: to link all day-to-day activities consistently to the purpose and direction of the overall…

8 min
banking’s biggest hurdle: its own strategy

The conventional wisdom within the banking industry about its troubles since the recent global financial crisis goes something like this: Rightly or wrongly, regulators imposed new rules that forced banks, particularly in the U.S. and Europe, to adopt new, less risky (and less rewarding) business strategies. The challenges of enforced constraint were exacerbated by macroeconomic developments, lack of customer trust, new digital technologies, and upstart financial technology–oriented competition — in other words, by external factors the banks had little ability to influence. But the most critical factor constraining banks after the financial crisis was not external at all. It was the banks’ own strategy. When they took steps to become coherent, they began to recover and thrive. A study conducted by Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting group, analyzed banking performance during and after…

8 min
microsoft starts up

At the Microsoft Accelerator in Beijing, engineers are developing new technologies that could transform industries as diverse as automobiles, mobile telephony, and e-commerce. They are doing so under Microsoft’s wing, housed within the company’s Asia-Pacific R&D facility. But they aren’t limited to using Microsoft products: One of the more striking features of the facility is the presence of Apple computers on the desks of some of the roughly dozen startups working there. Microsoft is providing a coworking space, technical and business mentoring, and connections to prospective customers, partners, and collaborators, in hopes that if a startup’s innovation comes to fruition, it will be a boon for both parties. The Beijing Accelerator and others like it around the world represent the culmination of a strategy that Microsoft has pursued for about a…

7 min
the ceo as activist

When news breaks, people expect public figures to respond. Company leaders are now often included in this category, as social media connects them with their customers in unprecedented ways. What’s a CEO to do? How much does a chief executive risk by speaking up about social or political controversy — or is staying silent a worse offense? These questions loom particularly large amid contentious elections that involve many polarizing issues. Aaron Chatterji, an associate professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, believes business leaders should play a more meaningful role in public policy and solving social problems than most do. Chatterji has been studying the confluence of the private and public sectors throughout his career, and has had a foothold in both worlds himself. Before earning a Ph.D. from the…

8 min
who will insure self-driving cars?

If you are an executive of an auto insurance company, pay attention — you may not have a business in 20 years. You can blame the fundamental shifts in auto safety and data mining that connected car and autonomous vehicle technologies will bring. Robot drivers will outnumber humans behind the wheel. The remaining human drivers will be safer, thanks to collision-preventing sensors and analytics on board. Insurance claims will be rare, losses will be reduced, premiums will decline, and insurance companies will probably lose control of the data that makes their pricing models possible. Car owners might no longer purchase insurance directly. Instead, automakers would bundle insurance into each new car purchase, much as they do satellite radio and roadside service contracts today. These types of structural business model changes don’t…

8 min
changing ladders at a high rung

If you’re a CIA officer contemplating a new career, how do you go about assessing and describing your skills to a potential employer? Keep in mind that you are prohibited from talking about what you do, what you have learned, and who you know. Indeed, anonymity is built into the job. In the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va., employees’ offices are marked only by a simple number, not by name or title. This was one of many unusual problems facing a group of around 20 senior women seeking to make a career transition who gathered in an elegant Manhattan apartment for a weekend retreat early last fall. There was the recently retired CIA agent. Plus seven generals, colonels, and lieutenant colonels from various U.S. service branches — women who had run…