strategy+business Spring 2018

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
analog nostalgia

Last night, I dreamed I went to Tower Records again. I drove up in my coppercolored vinyl-top 1977 Mercury Cougar, blaring Blondie’s Parallel Lines on the cassette player. I picked up a Newsweek to read in the line at the bank teller; I had to get cash so I could rent a James Bond movie on VHS at the video store. It felt so serene, so natural, to be there that when the sleep-tracking app on my smartphone woke me, I barely recognized the ringtone. And I realized what editing this quarter’s strategy+business had done to me: It had awakened my yearning to go back to the days before digital. If you are a senior executive in a major company, you may feel the same way. Several articles in this issue…

7 min
why fair pay is a potent weapon in the war for talent

Talent — having people with the right skills, temperaments, and motivations on the payroll — is one of the biggest issues on the minds of business leaders today. And for good reason: The labor markets are extremely tight in the U.S., with an unemployment rate hovering at 4.1 percent and nearly 6.1 million open positions. In PwC’s 21st CEO Survey, 80 percent of CEOs said they are somewhat or extremely concerned about the availability of key skills. And the challenge of finding the right person for the job is only going to get more difficult as technology evolves and businesses need increasingly specialized skills, such as advanced coding knowledge or the ability to design and train robots for automation. Companies are scrambling to find new ways to attract and develop this…

4 min
reimagining effective cross-functional teams

In today’s globally interconnected, fast-paced business environment, nearly every important initiative — whether it’s revenue growth, cost reduction, or new product innovation — requires insights and actions from people working across an organization. The most popular “human technology” for gathering an organization’s best thinking and expertise on a complex topic is the cross-functional team. Here, executives assemble small groups of employees from different functions — such as marketing, finance, and operations — and ask them to devote a certain amount of energy to a particular problem, usually specifying a set of goals and a time frame in which the project will be completed and the team will disband. Although they are a common solution, cross-functional teams have a checkered reputation. A recent survey by Strategy&, the strategy consulting business of PwC, found…

9 min
the problem of virtuous leadership

Among the most difficult challenges leaders face are those involving their own moral and ethical limits. They face fierce short-term demands, tough competition, regulations, and political pressures. But they also have a personal and professional mandate to be virtuous: to avoid corruption and abuse of their subordinates, and to be honest and trustworthy to their customers and investors. We have seen all too many examples lately of leaders (and companies) failing to live up to this level of virtue. What, then, does it take to succeed? For Ryan Patrick Hanley, the Mellon Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Marquette University in Milwaukee, the answer to this daunting question can be found in the writings of Adam Smith. Hanley is a scholar of Smith, who is widely recognized as the first modern…

9 min
is your china strategy ready for anything?

In his opening speech at China’s 19th Party Congress, held in Beijing in October 2017, President Xi Jinping outlined his vision of China’s reemergence as a fully developed nation. China’s leaders would continue to pursue economic liberalization, provide support for multilateral trade and globalization, and combat corruption. Xi also emphasized the importance of China’s global role as the country seeks to strengthen its relationships and influence abroad. (See “A Strategist’s Guide to China’s Belt and Road Initiative,” by David Wijeratne, Mark Rathbone, and Gabriel Wong, page 104.) It was a speech reflecting China’s current economic and political reality. When Xi came to power in 2012, the growth engine that had fueled China’s spectacular development over several decades was beginning to sputter. The slowdown created a sense of urgency for the…

8 min
the best management is less management

On February 27, 2010, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Chile. It was the fifth-strongest earthquake ever recorded; NASA estimated that it changed the tilt of the Earth’s axis by three inches. Schools, hospitals, roads, homes, and businesses across a huge swath of Chile’s midsection were left devastated, paralyzing the country for weeks. The recovery effort cost Chile the equivalent of 18 percent of its GDP. Chile’s newly elected president, Sebastián Piñera, was inaugurated shortly after the earthquake. He quickly mobilized his cabinet ministers to help the injured and bury the dead, and then to repair hospitals and rebuild homes. He instructed his ministers to fully restore damaged buildings and infrastructure on a demanding time line. But he offered scant guidance on how to do so, leaving it to his trusted team…