strategy+business Summer 2015

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
sharp-edged professionals

Many business leaders resist the idea that management, like medicine, law, or education, is a profession. They regard professionals as insular academics, and businesspeople as freewheeling entrepreneurs who do whatever it takes to attract and hold customers. Nonetheless, management expertise doesn’t come easily. As an executive, you may be naturally sharp-edged, pragmatic, and down to earth. But like any pro you have to learn your counterintuitive skills through years of apprenticeship and practice. For evidence that management is a profession, see the cover story on succession planning, by Ken Favaro, Per-Ola Karlsson, and Gary L. Neilson (“The $112 Billion CEO Succession Problem,” page 42). Companies that pay attention to developing their top executive talent achieve better financial performance, on average, than other companies, and they avoid the messy, expensive fire drill…

8 min
the right track for connected cars

It’s the Daytona 500 of vehicle manufacturing: the race to bring connected cars, light trucks, and SUVs to market. Unprecedented safety, driver assistance, and infotainment features promise to revolutionize the driving experience. Still, few industry executives are confident that their current connected vehicle initiatives are on the right track. Their uncertainty is understandable. For automakers, getting “connected” requires joining forces with the high-tech consumer electronics industry — an unlikely partnership, for several reasons. Vehicle manufacturers have intricate organizational structures and supply chains that have evolved over decades. They have long design and development horizons, and stringent regulatory and safety mandates. High-tech companies have simpler structures and supply chains that can shift more swiftly with consumer demand. They have much shorter development cycles and an “act now, apologize later” mind-set that isn’t…

9 min
kristin behfar on how we fight at work, and why it matters

You know the types. There’s the office yeller, intimidating others with vitriolic rants. There’s the passive-aggressive underminer, nodding assent but then dragging her feet. There’s the colleague who gets angry over a perceived slight, but then quickly shifts tone. Conflict in the workplace is pervasive and unavoidable. And it isn’t always a bad thing. A healthy debate can ensure that diverse perspectives are considered, clarify a dilemma, or light the fire a team needs to move from a stalemate to a creative solution. But when they turn ugly, conflicts are distressing and divisive. As they escalate, they strain relationships and put teams at risk. Academic research has long focused on understanding conflict in hopes of enabling faster resolution — or better yet, avoiding conflict in the first place. It’s been a…

7 min
boost your innovation confidence

Consumers are incredibly poor predictors of the next big thing. Their knee-jerk reaction to new technology is almost always to say they don’t need it and will never use it. For many company leaders, this creates a significant business challenge: They know they must drive change to stay competitive, yet they have no way to determine with confidence which moves will be successful. They bring in experts to provide vision, they do market research until they’ve exhausted the deviations three sigmas from the mean, and they analyze and plan — only to find themselves no more certain about which direction to pursue than when they started. The answer is often hiding in plain sight. Most executives know their customers better than they realize, and in some cases better than their customers…

8 min
brands and retailers should team up in emerging markets

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies and retailers are natural allies. They have many of the same objectives — increased sales, cost savings, optimized processes and systems, and happy customers — and already work together in many parts of the world. But in emerging economies, such collaboration has yet to take off. In a recent survey of 500 leading CPG firms and retailers in India, Strategy& and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry found that although 91 percent of respondents had participated in at least one collaboration initiative, most of these ventures were one-offs rather than sustained relationships. Only 15 to 20 percent of respondents reported that these collaborative projects had met their objectives. It’s a huge lost opportunity. Across Asia, Latin America, and, increasingly, Africa, sales channels are…

7 min
agility is within reach

Many corporate leaders think their companies are agile. Surely, they assume, we possess that combination of speed, flexibility, nimbleness, and responsiveness that will enable us to turn on a dime as circumstances warrant. It often comes as a surprise, then, when a significant opportunity or challenge arises and the company can’t deliver. What these leaders realize too late is that they are thinking about agility in a counterproductive way. In their view, agility is an end in itself, instead of a means to a more important end: sustainable competitive advantage. At one extreme of the agility spectrum are startups and other high-growth companies. They can, in effect, be too agile, chasing every potential opportunity without clear strategic goals. At the other end are large, incumbent companies, slowed by lethargic or timid corporate…