Fall 2007
Volume 49, Issue # 1

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Issues archive

Avoiding the Alignment Trap in IT

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 25 min 

Information technology remains a terrible bottleneck to growth in most companies, mainly because executives focus on the wrong remedy for their IT problems

How to Plan E-Business Initiatives in Established Companies

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 28 min 

Many large and mature firms — which still form most of the economy — have difficulty analyzing the opportunities and difficulties created by the Internet. Here is a planning process, validated at several established companies, that puts e-business into perspective and helps make it manageable. “Using our e-business planning process,” write the authors, “senior management in established companies can identify attractive e-business initiatives, analyze their functional scope and assess the sustainability of the benefits.”

Intuitive Decision Making

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 9 min 

Despite the welter of data and analytics at their disposal, experienced managers often need to rely on gut instinct to make complex decisions under duress.

Breakthroughs and the 'Long Tail' of Innovation

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 18 min 

To understand how breakthroughs in creativity occur, managers must understand how most collaborations work. “Managers first need to understand that invention is essentially a process of recombinant search,” writes Lee Fleming. “That is, I adopt the classic definition of invention as a new combination of components, ideas or processes.” Fleming adds that “Almost all inventions are useless; a few are of moderate value; and only a very, very few are breakthroughs. Those breakthroughs constitute the ‘long tail’ of innovation.”


Designing the Right Product Offerings

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 24 min 

Companies create product versions from multiple components. The big challenge is how to take the available components and combine them into the product versions and product lines that will maximize profits.