Strategy

Don’t Set Your Next CEO Up to Fail

Boards often have only an implicit sense of what they want a new CEO to do — in particular, how much they want the strategic direction and organizational model to change and how they expect it to happen. Clearly defining the mandate and matching it to the CEO’s profile is critical. CEO mandates can be divided into four types: continuation, evolution, transformation, and disruption. They each require different candidate profiles and different approaches to the job.

Why Multinationals Should Consider Geographic Complexity First

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 9 min 

Well-executed international expansions can provide access to new markets, customers, and revenue streams. But many companies underestimate operational complexity and end up with a country portfolio that slowly and subtly erodes profitability. New research offers a framework for managing successful country portfolios and making some key decisions before the next recession hits.

Making It Easier to Manage and Scale Digital Projects

  • Read Time: 10 min 

In studying agile approaches at more than 50 companies, the authors found that the organizations that achieve the most success with digital projects use processes that allow for continuous learning and that support critical business goals. With everyone following the same processes, companies do better at juggling multiple projects and reaping the benefits of scale. One of the companies studied, Johnson & Johnson, shares its approach.

Redefining Work for New Value: The Next Opportunity

Investing in job redesign without first planning for and investing in redefining work narrows future outcomes and limits opportunities for both growth and long-term value creation. Understanding the relationship between these two approaches to work is essential to any strategic effort to compete over the long term.

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Why Large Companies Struggle With Lean

Large corporations have found that applying the principles of lean is more complicated than expected. Large organizations aren’t just bigger versions of startups. To make innovation integral to the organization, there has to be a vision of where new ideas will be incubated and how they will be delivered.

The Five Bestselling MIT SMR Articles of 2019

  • Read Time: 3 min 

This year’s bestselling articles examine perennial challenges for leaders and organizations. From predicting how technology will impact markets and outcomes to creating successful frameworks for strategic decision-making, this collection of articles gives managers practical insights for leading in an age of uncertainty and disruption.

How Digital Changes the Role of Leaders

Digital transformation often starts with leaders identifying a fundamental change in the competitive environment and moving quickly to counter a potential disruption. But as Jeanne Ross explains, even the most forward-looking strategies are bound to fall flat unless leaders themselves evolve — and in some pretty dramatic ways.

Is Deep Learning a Game Changer for Marketing Analytics?

The technology that underpins deep learning is becoming increasingly capable of analyzing big databases for patterns and insights. Before long, companies will be able to integrate a wide array of databases to discern what consumers want, and then leverage that information for market advantage. Deep learning might also be used to design products to meet consumers’ personal needs. Different types of organizations will try to harness the powers of deep learning in their own ways.

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How Vigilant Companies Gain an Edge in Turbulent Times

In fast-changing business environments, companies need to stay vigilant and watch for threats from both internal and external sources. The most vigilant companies use systematic approaches to determine where to look for — and how to explore — potential disruptions.

Every Number Tells a Story

You stand in front of a roomful of decision makers and present an iron-clad case for a compelling, data-backed proposal. The group’s reaction? Tepid, at best. So, what happened? Nancy Duarte would likely tell you that you were missing the story behind the data. In this episode of Three Big Points, Duarte shows us how to bring data to life in a way that will win people over to your idea.

How Companies Can Prepare for Sudden CEO Turnover

  • Read Time: 4 min 

Recent CEO departures have been attention-grabbing but are also part of a larger rising turnover rate for the top job within companies. Chief departures can signal fear and uncertainty within the ranks, and often managers and employees feel a lack of direction for moving forward. To mitigate risk, organizations must take steps to prepare for uncertainty.

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How Will U.S. Companies Respond to Regulation Rollbacks?

This month’s MIT SMR Strategy Forum poll looks at the recent rollbacks from the Trump administration on a wide variety of U.S. regulations pertaining to water, air, land, and public health. We ask our panel of experts to weigh in on whether corporations will decide to adhere to rules that closely resemble original standards, or if they will embrace deregulation.

Winning With AI

AI promises rewards but also comes with risks ― namely, that competitors figure out how to successfully use it before you do. This year’s 2019 MIT SMR-BCG Artificial Intelligence Global Executive Study and Research Report shows early AI winners are focused on organization-wide alignment, investment, and integration.

Why Analytics Don’t Always Pay Off in the Playoffs

Every team has a data-based strategy for regular season play — but the playoffs are a completely different story. In this episode of Counterpoints, we talk with Mike Trudell, a reporter who covers the Los Angeles Lakers for ESPN and other sports news outlets, about the mysterious intangibles that come to the foreground during the playoffs.

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