- Research Feature
- Read Time: 21 min
Many companies have filled their corner offices with mediocre executives. A set of basic practices can help organizations avoid such a crucial mistake.
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Recent research holds lessons for any company doing business in China: In a land where Confucianism originated over 2,000 years ago yet still exerts a major ethical and philosophical impact on the prevailing culture, managers who actively offer employees clear goals and rewards can strengthen organizational loyalty.
The corporation has emerged as perhaps the most powerful social and economic institution of modern society. Yet, corporations and their managers suffer from a profound social ambivalence. Believing this to be symptomatic of the unrealistically pessimistic assumptions that underlie current management doctrine, Ghoshal et al. encourage managers to replace the narrow economic assumptions of the past.
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.
I come from an environment where, if you see a snake, you kill it. At GM, if you see a snake, the first thing you do is go hire a consultant on snakes. Then you get a committee on snakes, and then you discuss it for a couple of years.
How can companies combat the overconfidence and tunnel vision common to so much decision making? By first identifying basic trends and uncertainties and then using them to construct a variety of future scenarios. The author shows how two major companies got a richer picture of the possible future through scenarios — and dramatically improved their strategic planning.
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