strategy+business Fall 2020

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
4 Issues

in this issue

3 min
taking the long view

This marks the 100th issue of strategy+business. Given the laws of nature, the rigors of the market, and the power of disruption, reaching the century mark is an impressive achievement for people, for companies, for institutions of all types, and for publications. It is tempting to use the milestone as an excuse to look back, spin some of the greatest hits, and take it easy. And we are certainly proud of our legacy. On many days, “10 Principles of Change Management,” which appeared in 2004 (issue 35), is the most highly trafficked article on our website. And “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid,” by C.K. Prahalad and Stuart Hart, which appeared in 2002 (issue 26), was developed into the eponymous epochdefining book. But when you’re in the business of…

9 min
deals will reshape industries in the time of covid-19

Relationships matter, which is why the deals world revolves as much around chance conversations as it does scheduled meetings and planned strategic maneuvers. COVID-19 has changed those serendipitous encounters and the get-togethers that help dealmakers build trust. That said, the dealmaking machinery is far from idle. Despite a lack of physical meetings, deals are still going ahead. Ten-hour videoconferences aren’t unusual. Site visits are a challenge, but drone technology presents a reasonable solution. Cosmetics firm Coty, which was looking for buyers, said it was considering the use of drones for due diligence; in May 2020, it sold its Wella and Clairol brands to U.S. investment giant KKR in a deal worth US$4.3 billon. The strategic rationale for seeking a deal hasn’t changed and everything companies have always needed to complete a…

7 min
companies will have to get creative to advance sustainability amid crisis

Before COVID-19, people all over the world had been more focused than ever before on the issue of sustainability. Coordinated climate strikes, beginning in the spring of 2019 and continuing through the end of that year, conveyed the growing environmental concerns of global citizens. Employees and customers had increasingly expressed an interest in businesses taking action on sustainability. And consumer data showed rising sales of products with sustainability features. Fast-forward to today: The pandemic has exposed the fragility of the world and heightened people’s appreciation of sustainability. How many of us have appreciated cleaner air and paid more attention to labor conditions, given essential workers’ greater virus exposure? Consumer insights reflect this sensitivity. More than half of respondents to a recent survey conducted by management consulting firm Kearney said that as…

11 min
the hidden value in getting compliance right

For organizations managing through a crisis, trust is paramount. Employees and customers need to know that leaders are able to guide them through uncertainty and make the best decisions possible, and leaders need to know that the people executing their decisions are doing so in earnest, to the letter of the law. Of course, organizations must also look ahead to the post-crisis world, in which trust remains critical, but they’ll also need to identify efficiencies to support recovery. The good news is that there is a part of the organizational structure that can help build trust and drive efficiency: compliance. The importance of compliance itself isn’t news. In a trust-based world, the brands, products, and services perceived as trustworthy are highly effective at attracting and retaining customers. Many leaders have also…

5 min
why managing uncertainty is a key leadership skill

In early 2020, Wafels & Dinges, a popular Belgian waffle truck fleet, was in major expansion mode. It was planning to add brick-and-mortar restaurants in some markets, including in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., and American Dream in the Meadowlands of New Jersey, where it would peddle espressos and cranberry-rosemary waffles. But when the COVID-19 national emergency was declared on March 13, owners Thomas de Geest and Rossanna Figuera realized they had exactly enough cash on hand to give their work ers two weeks’ severance pay. Tearfully, they said goodbye and emptied their bank account. Once they made the painful decision to let their employees go, the couple made arrangements with creditors and landlords. Then they focused on what they could do to help others. They found the answer…

9 min
spark and sustain growth by focusing on company culture

As companies all over the world reel from the effects of the novel coronavirus, a multitude of challenges, including slower growth, seem inevitable. Although taking care of employees and customers is paramount, prudent leaders must also pull themselves out of crisis mode and think about the future. Focusing on culture should be a priority, because a company’s culture can either support or derail its progress. By identifying the critical behaviors that must be embedded in your organization to bring that growth-enhancing culture to life, you can help your company weather these turbulent times and come out of them even stronger than before. Proof that culture matters At PwC, we believe companies must align their strategy, operating model, and culture. Too often, organizations focus only on their strategy and operating model because they…