Developing Strategy

Showing 1-20 of 144

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.

Digital Is About Speed — But It Takes a Long Time

  • Column

  • Column
  • Read Time: 6 min 

The ability of digital technologies to accelerate business is giving rise to new value propositions — new ways to eliminate hassles and create solutions. But research from MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research suggests that while business leaders need to start redesigning their existing systems and roles to better solve customers’ problems, they will not be able to do so quickly. Case in point: The slow and steady digital transformation of Dutch technology company Royal Philips.

The Risk of Machine-Learning Bias (and How to Prevent It)

Machine-learning algorithms enable companies to realize new efficiencies for tasks from evaluating credit for loan applications to scanning legal contracts for errors. But they are as susceptible as any system to the “garbage in, garbage out” syndrome when it comes to biased data. Left unchecked, feeding biased data to self-learning systems can lead to unintended and sometimes dangerous outcomes.

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.

advertisement

Tangled Webs and Executive Naïveté

  • Column

  • Column
  • Read Time: 6 min 

Leaders in a digital world have to navigate more complexity than ever before, where a problem that arises in one node of such network work can spread easily, with widespread adverse impact. But complexity-induced problems often have similar fundamental causes — and similar solutions. Leaders can ameliorate the effects of complexity by developing broader, not just deeper, perspectives; learning to think in terms of scenarios; and being clear about strategic intent.

Using AI to Help the World Thrive

  • Column

  • Column
  • Read Time: 5 min 

It’s possible that humankind has created complex, systemic problems that exceed our human capacity to solve them. Some companies, particularly the tech giants, are recognizing this possibility and looking to AI as a tool for solving environmental and social problems. One of these companies is Microsoft. In December 2017, it committed $50 million to its new “AI for Earth” program to fund innovators who are making progress in four critical areas — climate change, water, agriculture, and biodiversity.

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.

advertisement

We Must Rescue ‘Win-Win’ From Its Buzzword Status

  • Column

  • Column
  • Read Time: 6 min 

Companies tend to compete not as individual entities, but as members of networks — which makes collaboration a strategic necessity, not merely a tactical choice. But while many executives say they want win-win solutions, in reality, they usually seek victories that don’t excessively annoy their counterparts. In other words, “win/no-lose” is a more accurate description.

What Sets Breakthrough Strategies Apart

Composing valuable strategies requires seeing the world in new and unique ways. It requires asking novel questions that prompt fresh insight. Even the most sophisticated, deep learning-enhanced computers or algorithms simply cannot generate such an outlook. Innovative strategies depend more on novel, well-reasoned theories than on well-crunched numbers.

Surviving in an Increasingly Digital Ecosystem

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 5 min 

Companies today will have to reinvent themselves to survive, and every large and ambitious company should be trying to figure out how to become a destination for its customers. Consumers are voting with their mobile devices and choosing from a handful of dominant “ecosystem drivers”— businesses such as Amazon and WeChat, which become destinations for their customers’ needs by offering complementary or sometimes competing services — for each domain in their lives.

advertisement

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.

Four Logics of Corporate Strategy

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.

Don’t Get Caught in the Middle

There was once a time when middlemen were indispensable. Intermediaries facilitated transactions between makers and buyers; they closed the gaps between disconnected entities that required one another for survival; and, within organizations, they interpreted high-level corporate strategy and connected it to front-line execution. But one by one, such intermediaries are being made obsolete by technology.

Focusing on What 90% of Businesses Do Now Is a Big Mistake

It’s not smart to base any part of your strategy on what you see in the rear-view mirror — and that’s particularly true when you develop strategies for navigating modern, thorny environmental and social challenges. The norms and expectations about how companies manage sustainability issues are shifting fast: Just six years ago, only 20% of the S&P 500 companies produced sustainability reports, while by 2016, 82% did. Change is coming to business — and executives need to adjust.

Your Company Doesn’t Need a Digital Strategy

As sexy as it is to speculate about new technologies such as AI, robots, and the internet of things, the focus on technology can steer the conversation in a dangerous direction. Because when it comes to digital transformation, digital is not the answer. Transformation is. 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.

Showing 1-20 of 144