Business Priorities

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What Would Happen if Baseball Outlawed the Shift?

Baseball teams routinely use analytics to shift fielders’ positions so they can be placed where a hitter is most likely to hit the ball. This works well for preventing the opposing team from hitting and scoring — but it’s not so great for the game, which relies on base hits and scored runs to keep fans excited and engaged. Should “shifting” be banned for the sake of the fans?

Critical Questions Live: Is It up to Business to Save the Planet?

  • Video | Runtime: 0:59:42

  • Read Time: 6 min 

Climate change is the existential threat of our time, but the U.S. government is abdicating its responsibility to address it. So, should business be taking the lead? Andrew Winston, author of The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World, and Yossi Sheffi, Elisha Gray II Professor of Engineering Systems at MIT and Director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, take on the question.

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With Goals, FAST Beats SMART

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.

Developing a Strategy for Execution

  • Video | Runtime: 1:00:34

In this webinar by MIT Sloan’s Donald Sull, participants learn the fundamentals of strategy development. A good strategy is one that offers concrete guidance for identifying and reaching strategic priorities while retaining flexibility so the company can respond to unexpected opportunities and challenges.

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When SMART Goals Are Not So Smart

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 6 min 

The traditional “SMART” approach to goal setting may no longer offer companies the best path forward. In a continually changing competitive environment, companies should develop their goals in the context of current conditions.

No One Knows Your Strategy — Not Even Your Top Leaders

Research shows that most organizations fall far short when it comes to strategic alignment. The authors’ analysis of 124 organizations revealed that only 28% of executives and middle managers responsible for executing strategy could list three of their company’s strategic priorities. How do leaders close this dangerous strategic-alignment gap?

Six Steps to Communicating Strategic Priorities Effectively

It’s common practice to develop a handful of strategic priorities to focus strategy — but formulated correctly, they’re also useful communication tools for both internal and external stakeholders. Clear, credible priorities linked to explicit metrics offer a framework for assessing progress toward the company’s goals, in a way that abstractions like vision or mission cannot.

How Effective Leaders Drive Digital Change

Success in managing digital transformation starts with clarification of priorities, effective feedback, open development communications, and a willingness to take risks. These four behaviors, which allow employees to share ideas more freely and embrace taking risks, can lead to higher-performing teams during digital transformation.

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How to Develop Strategy for Execution

When developing strategy for execution, managers often want to start by setting their strategic priorities, but that’s a mistake. Management teams should start by identifying the corporate vision and critical vulnerabilities — both of which help clarify and shape priorities.

Turning Strategy Into Results

Businesses develop strategies to address complex, multi-layered business environments and challenges — but to execute a strategy in a meaningful way, it must produce a set of specific priorities focused on achieving clear goals. Rather than trying to boil the strategy down to a pithy statement, executives will get better results if they develop a small set of actions that everyone gets behind.

Showing 1-19 of 19