Management Processes

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Julian Birkinshaw

Rethinking Management

Julian Birkinshaw, professor of strategic and international management at London Business School

Most executives spend a reasonable amount of time thinking about the business model for their organization.

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Courtesy of SAP.

How to Manage Virtual Teams

Based on an investigation of the performance of 80 software development projects with varying levels of dispersion — members in different cities, countries or continents — this article asserts that virtual teams offer tremendous opportunities despite their greater managerial challenges.

In fact, dispersed teams outperformed their colocated counterparts when they had the appropriate processes in place. Those processes can be classified in two categories: task-related and socio-emotional.

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Surfing the Edge of Chaos

Every decade or two, a big idea in management thinking takes hold and becomes widely accepted. The next big idea must enable businesses to improve the hit rate of strategic initiatives and attain the level of renewal necessary for successful execution. Scientific research on complex adaptive systems has identified principles that apply to living things, from amoebae to organizations. Four principles relevant to strategic work at Royal Dutch/Shell are outlined.

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The Delta Model: Adaptive Management for a Changing World

On the basis of research into 100 enterprises, the authors developed a helpful strategic tool, the Delta Model. Companies using the framework define strategic positions that reflect new sources of profitability, align the strategic options with their activities, and establish processes that adapt well to change. The researchers outline practical mechanisms for obtaining feedback from the adaptive processes, and they offer critical metrics to track performance.

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