05-Strategy-500

Spring 2004
Volume 45, Issue # 3

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017-Leading-your-team-500

Games Managers Play at Budget Time

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 14 min 

Often companies” budgeting processes don”t result in capital being invested optimally. The reason may be that strong personalities trump even well-designed systems. The authors profile five archetypes of bad behavior that line managers use to subvert logical decision making in order to grab resources. They also show how to counteract such behavior and instill values that lead to better use of investment capital.

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45304-500

Do You Have Too Much IT?

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 11 min 

For managers seeking to abandon follow-the-pack IT investment, the author offers the example of Inditex Group, a clothing manufacturer in northwestern Spain, best known for its Zara stores. Inditex demonstrates that a company can select, adopt and leverage IT while spending very little on it. He lays out five general principles that underlie Inditex”s remarkable success with targeted technology spending.

2-Global-Business-500

Offshoring Without Guilt

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 6 min 

The increasingly common practice of migrating business processes overseas to locales such as India, the Philippines and China is often seen as a negative phenomenon that suppresses domestic job markets. On the contrary, says the author, offshoring is a critical component of next-generation business design, a dynamic process of continually identifying how to deliver superior value to customers and shareholders.

024-Operations-500

Using Supplier Networks To Learn Faster

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 27 min 

Many companies keep their suppliers at arm’s length. But partnering with vendors — sharing valuable knowledge with them through organized networks — can be a sustainable source of competitive advantage.

05-Strategy-500

In Praise of Walls

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 10 min 

A “postcompany” school of experts says information technology is enabling a new world of seamless collaboration among businesses. They recommend that executives tear down the “walls” and merge their companies into amorphous “enterprise networks.” Nick Carr counters that new technologies will never conquer cutthroat competition and shows why managers need to be wary of alliances that foreclose opportunities for advantage.

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barbed-wire-dollar-sign-500

The Hidden Costs of Organizational Dishonesty

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 19 min 

When companies act dishonestly, the psychological costs outweigh any short-term gains. Dishonesty ultimately decreases repeat business and increases worker turnover and employee theft. Degradation of a company's reputation, adverse effects on employee values and increased surveillance of workers through expensive new systems eat at an organization's health. The authors offer proof that honesty is still the best policy.

enterprise-500

Leading at the Enterprise Level

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 20 min 

Many companies have developed strong leaders for business units but have overlooked developing people who act in the interest of the whole organization. Understanding three issues can help: What are the key elements of the enterprise leader‘s job? Why is learning to lead at the enterprise level so challenging? What can companies do to identify and develop enterprise leaders?

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Achieving Deep Customer Focus

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 24 min 

Customer-focused transformation is producing long-term, sustainable growth through a systemic, tested process. The approach gets all employees collaborating to identify the outcomes that customers need — and to help them get there.

9-Social-Business-500

The Innovation Subsidy

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 6 min 

Companies should focus less on marketplace premiums for their innovations and more on opportunistically exploiting subsidies for innovations. Thus Microsoft‘s Windows 95 development effectively garnered a $900 million subsidy by drawing upon a valuable technical population to test and help improve the system. An innovation subsidy, says the author, is individuals‘ and institutions‘ cost-effective bartering of resources to reduce risk.

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11-Leading-your-team-500

When CEOs Step Up To Fail

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 25 min 

Incoming CEOs at major companies are increasingly flaming out early in their tenures. But the blame for these costly and puzzling derailments cannot be placed solely on their shoulders.