What to Read Next
“Strategy, at its heart, is about choice,” write the authors of “Turning Strategy Into Results,” an article featured below, which takes a keen look at how leaders translate the complexity of strategy into guidelines that are simple and flexible enough to execute.
A winning strategy for an organization is not based on an individual choice but an expansive, countless number of decisions happening every day across all parts of a business — product, customers, technology capabilities, and more.
In this collection of a dozen of the most popular MIT Sloan Management Review articles on strategy, renowned researchers and academic voices examine the critical choices managers make in companies every day. From insights on goal setting and communicating strategic priorities effectively, to testing and scaling new business models, these articles will help leaders sharpen their strategic thinking to face new challenges.
Donald Sull and Charles Sull
The conventional wisdom of goal setting is so deeply ingrained that managers rarely stop to ask if it works. The traditional approach to goals — the annual cycle, privately set and reviewed goals, and a strong linkage to incentives — can actually undermine the alignment, coordination, and agility that’s needed for a company to execute its strategy.
Research Updates From MIT SMR
Get weekly updates on how global companies are managing in a changing world.
Please enter a valid email address
Thank you for signing up
Daniel Kahneman, Dan Lovallo, and Olivier Sibony
Reducing errors in judgment requires a disciplined process. The authors provide leaders with a framework that is easy to learn, involves little additional work, and (within limits) leaves room for the leaders’ intuition.
H. Jeff Smith
An age-old question has never been more relevant than it is today: Should companies seek only to maximize shareholder value or strive to serve the often-conflicting interests of all stakeholders?
Donald Sull, Stefano Turconi, Charles Sull, and James Yoder
Businesses develop strategies to address complex, multilayered business environments and challenges — but to execute a strategy in a meaningful way, they must produce a set of specific priorities focused on achieving clear goals. Rather than trying to boil the strategy down to a pithy statement, it’s better to develop a small set of priorities that everyone gets behind to produce results.
Martin Reeves, Lars Fæste, Kevin Whitaker, and Fabien Hassan
Analysis reveals that conventional wisdom about big, risky change initiatives is often wrong. In this article, the authors provide a number of factors that can help large companies beat the odds.
Robert C. Wolcott and Michael J. Lippitz
Companies have four ways of building businesses from within their organizations. Each approach provides certain benefits — and raises specific challenges.
Paul J.H. Schoemaker
Among the many tools a manager can use for strategic planning, scenario planning stands out for its ability to capture a whole range of possibilities in rich detail. By identifying basic trends and uncertainties, a manager can construct a series of scenarios that will help to compensate for the usual errors in decision-making — overconfidence and tunnel vision.
Martin Reeves, Lars Fæste, Daniel Friedman, and Hen Lotan
While M&A deals and turnarounds are individually hard to pull off, combining the two can be even more challenging. Yet an analysis of roughly 1,400 M&A-based turnarounds showed that six management actions can help acquiring companies improve their odds of success.
Some of the fastest-growing businesses in recent decades — companies such as Facebook, eBay, and LinkedIn — are multisided platforms that enable interactions between two or more sets of participants. But the spectacular success of many of these companies isn’t easy to duplicate. Building a multisided platform business requires savvy decisions on everything from design to governance to pricing.
10. The End of Scale
Hemant Taneja with Kevin Maney
For more than a century, economies of scale made the corporation an ideal engine of business. But now, a flurry of important new technologies, accelerated by AI, is turning economies of scale inside out. Business in the century ahead will be driven by economies of unscale, in which the traditional competitive advantages of size are turned on their head.
With new technologies entering the market every day, it can be exciting to look to what’s next for AI, robots, and the internet of things, but the focus on technology can steer the conversation in a dangerous direction. In various industries, including banking, paint, and shipbuilding, digital leaders are finding that technology’s value comes from doing business differently because technology makes it possible.
Donald Sull, Stefano Turconi, and Charles Sull
Leaders can signal their commitment to a strategy by clearly communicating their strategic priorities to external stakeholders. Clear, credible priorities linked to explicit metrics offer a framework for assessing progress toward the company’s goals.