- Research Feature
- Read Time: 25 min
Successful strategy emerges from a decision process in which executives develop collective intuition, accelerate constructive conflict, maintain decision pacing, and avoid politics.
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How Toyota’s product design and development process helps find the best solutions and develop successful products.
Strategy in many companies seems to have gone astray, and the author has identified the reason: Managers are focusing on it in isolation instead of establishing the preconditions to successful strategy innovation. Only those companies that are constantly able to reinvent themselves will survive. The author shows how to improve strategy making and create wealth through a pluralistic process, collaboration across industries and market experimentation.
Scholars and observers from disciplines as disparate as sociology, economics, and management science agree that a transformation has occurred — knowledge is at center stage.1 Knowledge is information combined with experience, context, interpretation, and reflection.
Three forces are changing the customary rules of distribution channel management: proliferating customer needs, shifts in the balance of power in channels and changing strategic priorities. The authors propose a strategic approach to planning for future channel configurations, control of the channel and resource commitment.
How can a company successfully attack an established market leader? How can it find new ways to compete that everyone else has missed? By breaking the rules of the game in its industry to find new sources of innovation, says this author. In a study of thirty successful attackers, he identified five ways that they think about and develop a new game plan.
The failure to integrate a product strategy, a well-planned portfolio, and a facilitating organization structure with clearly identified customer needs, a well-defined product concept, and a project plan can severely hamper new product development. An examination of eleven companies aims at improving the effectiveness of the front-end process.
In an overview of the future role of the IT organization, the authors examine the business and technological changes that are effecting change in many IT units. They cite eight imperatives in which IT organizations must excel in order to succeed. Additionally, they examine the evolving key of IT managers: ensuring that all line managers understand the potential of IT and how it can be used to implement business strategies effectively.
A revolution is now underway. Most innovation occurs first in software.1 And software is the primary element in all aspects of innovation from basic research through product introduction:Software provides the critical mechanism through which managers can lower the costs, compress the time cycles, and increase the value of innovations.
A firm decided to redesign its research and development process. Because the effort was critical to its success, the firm applied two parallel approaches to the process. One was a classical reengineering effort in which a small group of managers and consultants designed a radically different way to do research.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. We can apply this Newtonian principle to the vertical supply chain: for every part outsourced by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), there is an equal and opposite opportunity for a parts supplier to furnish that part.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. — French expressionThey don’t make much money, but they sure make a lot of stuff. — Down East Maine expressionRumors of my demise have been much exaggerated. —Mark TwainAfter years of observing U.S. industry under siege from foreign competitors, U.S.
Much has been written in recent years about flexible factories and flexible manufacturing systems (FMS), but the literature has been largely theoretical; managers who are interested in making their factories more flexible have little empirical research on which to base their decisions.
What can the plant manager at a Japanese soy sauce producer teach us about reengineering? In this case study, the authors describe Toshio Okuno’s five techniques for managing major changes in his company. By focusing first on changing people’s attitudes toward change and encouraging them to be creative, Okuno brought about significant improvements in processes and results. And the managers and workers, rather than reengineering consultants, began to propose ideas for change. Okuno’s techniques work as an integrated system that allow his company to innovate continuously and present many lessons for making change fun.
During the past decade, Japan’s major source of competitive advantage in the global automotive industry has been its ability to bring new, high-quality products rapidly to market.
The authors track a strategic decision in a Fortune 500 corporation, identify political obstacles that overshadowed the process, and highlight turning points in the strategy’s direction. The unfolding Techno story provides a close look at the implications for organizing team-based processes and managing the politics of technological change.
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