strategy+business Winter 2014

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
clear and foggy paths

Sometimes strategic routes in business are clear and well marked. Each of the three types of companies described in “Proven Paths to Innovation Success” (page 42)—Need Seekers, Market Readers, and Technology Drivers—has its own clear R&D strategy to follow. As it happens, this annual study of the top 1,000 companies in R&D spending (the Strategy& Global Innovation 1000) is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The key finding back in 2004, articulated by founding author Barry Jaruzelski, remains just as true today: The size of R&D investments is not closely correlated with financial performance. (The debut report featured a photo of a plaintive-looking executive wearing a shirt that reads, “We spent $2 billion on R&D and all we got was this lousy T-shirt.”) On page 50, you’ll find another kind of path: so…

7 min
politicians for prosperity

When a country elects a new head of state, business leaders watch carefully. It’s understandable: Any changing of the guard raises questions for their survival. How friendly will the incoming government be to their company, and how supportive will it be of economic growth? For answers, business leaders often look to the policies and beliefs of the political parties that control the government. But the skill and temperament of the leader is generally a better guide. A good example is the election of Narendra Modi as prime minister of India in May 2014. Once poised to rival China, India has seen its development prospects fall behind since 2012. At that time, India’s annual GDP growth topped 7 percent, but today it hovers under 5 percent. Modi was elected because he promised…

7 min
the sharing company

Since the mid-2000s, the so-called sharing economy has grown from almost nothing to a pool of global businesses valued in the billions of dollars. The concept— people using technology to find and purchase one another’s extra resources—represents a triumph of trust and crowdsourcing. Peer-to-peer financial firms such as Lending Club, transportation services such as Uber, and lodging brokerages such as Airbnb have all rapidly taken off, using Internet-based platforms to connect people directly without highly paid intermediaries. It’s no wonder investors are so intrigued, and the rest of us are a little enervated by all the hype. But there’s a less flashy trend emerging from the sharing economy, and even though it’s just beginning to attract media attention, it probably presents a larger opportunity than consumer sharing. It is the open…

7 min
erin meyer can make your global team work

YOUNG PROFS In a multicultural workplace, misunderstandings happen. If your British manager tells you something is “interesting,” does he really mean the opposite? Why do your Dutch coworkers feel so comfortable talking back to the boss? Erin Meyer helps companies navigate these subtle cultural cues. In her new book, The Culture Map: Breaking through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business (Public Affairs, 2014), the affiliate professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD looks at the ways people from different cultures can learn one another’s social cues in professional settings. According to Meyer, multinational companies have spent significant time and energy trying to figure out how to appeal to a wide array of consumers, and not enough time figuring out how to help their own employees work together. It all starts with communication, Meyer says—being…

8 min
the untapped value of overseas experience

YOUNG PROFS Viktor had worked for several years as a programmer for a global software company in Eastern Europe when his manager chose him for a prestigious assignment in the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters. The experience opened his eyes to several operations practices that he knew would be valuable back in his home country. But when he returned a year later, he was surprised to find himself ignored. “There was plenty that I could contribute, but my coworkers—even my supervisor—did not listen.” Viktor’s story is all too common: Many companies that send employees abroad or hire people because they’ve worked overseas are not taking advantage of that global experience—either because the companies are not prepared to learn from the employees or because company leaders have not made an effort to overcome cultural barriers.…

7 min
can media firms become digital video mavens?

Each month, YouTube draws 1 billion unique visitors who watch a combined total of more than 6 billion hours of video. Attracted by this massive user base, which is equal to 40 percent of the worldwide online population, a new breed of company—the multichannel network (MCN)—has emerged in recent years. MCNs aggregate thousands of digital video channels and large communities of content producers, partnering with YouTube to syndicate and monetize their content as well as distributing videos on their own websites. For example, Maker Studios, the largest MCN, has 55,000 channels and more than 5.5 billion video views monthly. About 80 percent of the Maker Studios audience is in the highly desirable 13-to-34 demographic, and half of it originates outside the U.S. These numbers have captured the attention of major media…