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In conversation with MIT’s Donald Sull, Doerr explains the key advantages of developing OKRs and why companies must turn their focus to setting the right objectives.
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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.
Considering the increasing pace of technological change and volatility in many industries, the need for corporate transformation is rising. Unfortunately, the chance of successfully achieving it is falling.
Organizations often struggle with corporate strategy because executives lack clarity on how the parts of the corporation fit together. Without a shared understanding of the relationships between headquarters and business units, executives risk talking past one another when discussing strategy.
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.
A company’s financial reports can provide critical insights into its strategy — if you know where to look.
Although digitization’s disruptive influence is growing rapidly, there’s surprisingly little empirical evidence on the magnitude of digital disruption — nor any showing how companies are reacting on a broad scale. A new global survey of C-suite executives looks at how digitization unfolds across industries and how incumbents are responding. With some notable exceptions, the answer is: “Not well.”
The business literature is full of references to “agile” processes, but what are they? Agility refers to an organization’s ability to make timely, effective, and sustained changes that maintain superior performance. Agile organizations continuously adjust to changing circumstances by changing product offerings, entering or exiting markets, or building new capabilities. This strategy requires management processes that can support adaptability over time.
The next generation of business executives will face a choice: What kind of companies do they want to lead? Organizations that will treat most employees as costs to be minimized — or ones where both employees and the company prosper together? So-called “high-road” companies begin with different values and assumptions about the workplace. But few MBAs are learning about high-road strategies in their courses, and they don’t learn that they will have distinct choices in how to compete.
In these days of uncertain markets – and an uncertain economy – risk can seem almost omnipresent. But how do you manage risk prudently – yet still grow your company? Harvard Business School professor Robert S. Kaplan began exploring risk management in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, after he saw venerable firms such as Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns collapse – despite having risk management functions. Here are a few of his insights on the topic of risk management.
When one company acquires another, executives have 10 distinct options for the corporate rebranding. Selecting the right strategy can set forth a compelling vision for the combined entity and send important signals to employees and the outside world.
Companies too often vacillate in their commitment to internal corporate venturing activities, leading to less than optimal outcomes. Executives need to better understand — and manage — the factors that drive cyclicality in internal corporate venturing.
For many product-oriented companies, establishing a corporate consultancy can be a good first step toward a more solutions-based orientation. As Ericsson, Shell and AT&T, among others, illustrate, the consulting unit can take a number of forms dictated by its key knowledge base and its relation to the product businesses‘ value chain. The challenge is to determine how similar the consulting unit should be to the parent company in identity, mission and structure.
The more companies outsource, the more they approach virtual organization, with knowledge centers interacting through mutual interest and electronic systems. To mitigate the risks associated with reduced authority, companies must develop “best in world” capabilities, leverage the capabilities of others and innovate constantly. The author shows how to slash innovation cycle times and costs by 60%-90% and develop the full potential of intellectual outsourcing.
Some of the greatest failings of strategic management, the authors say, occur when managers take one point of view too seriously. Ideas and practices that originate from collaborative contacts between organizations, from competition and confrontation, from recasting of the old, and from the sheer creativity of managers are driving the evolution of strategic management today.
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