Strategy

On timing and rhythm for strategy implementation

We know that time is important – after all, timing is everything! And time is money! If used skilfully, time and timing can be allies in strategising. But, surprisingly (or maybe not-so-surprisingly), getting time right is hard; it involves a complex balancing act. For example, if you push your strategy too much, you overwhelm your team, whereas if you do […]

Smart and simple strategy decisions to minimise regret

We like to think that for our strategy work, we will have plenty of time and resources. Armed with both, out of the 10s or 100s of options we have on the table, we will pick the best one.

In this article, we will make the opposite argument. Not only do we not have much time or resources available to […]

Uncertainties and risks of strategy implementation

In a previous post, we talked about how two major dimensions shape the type of strategy work we need to do: 1) the degree of people impact, i.e., how many people the task at hand affects and how much it affects them; and 2) the degree of uncertainty it faces and subsequently addresses.

With this post, we are going to […]

October 11th, 2018|Strategy series|0 Comments|

The importance of resilience for delivering strategies

You are responsible for the success of your strategic initiatives. Your results will be measured and you will be judged. As long as we have success, we consider this to be perfectly fair. But let’s be honest: your results will depend to a large extent not only on what you do (or not do), but also on events and […]

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    The four types of strategy work you need for the digital revolution

The four types of strategy work you need for the digital revolution

Strategy work is always hard, but particularly so when senior executives know less about emerging trends than the 19-year-old intern that just brought them coffee. Blockchain-based bank accounts, Artificial Intelligence lawyers, smart cities, collaborative robots, autonomous cars and online dating – wherever you look, pervasive digitalisation is turning businesses upside down. “I have been doing this for 50 years” […]

Business relationships boost firms’ performance

In the quest for identifying barriers to firm growth, much attention has been paid to barriers that act at the level of the individual firm. But firms do not operate in a vacuum: business relationships are potentially central. We conducted an intervention in China to measure their importance.

A field experiment with 2,820 firms

In 2013 we invited tens of thousands […]

September 6th, 2018|Management, Strategy|0 Comments|

Ten questions to help you turn strategy into reality

Sustainable growth depends on delivering the right strategies the right way. Yet this is something that organisations appear ill-equipped to do. Our work at the Brightline Initiative is examining what causes the gap between strategy and implementation and how it can be closed. Our research suggests that business leaders need to answer ten key questions for their strategies to more effectively […]

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    Charting a course for investment management in the 4th industrial revolution

Charting a course for investment management in the 4th industrial revolution

The problem with the future is that it is not here yet. Virtually every aspect of our lives is in a state of flux. While change may have always been a constant, several factors come together to make this an industrial revolution of a fundamental kind. Every profession is having to grapple with existential questions as well as questions […]

Digital China is coming to Europe

Often unnoticed by business leaders in Europe, Chinese technology companies are on the move. Hardly a week goes by without news that Alibaba has acquired a company in Southeast Asia, Tencent has invested in an Israeli startup or that Baidu is entering a new industry. Western onlookers may think that this is unlikely to have a direct impact on […]

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    How psychological effects impact cognitive performance in competitive environments

How psychological effects impact cognitive performance in competitive environments

Understanding cognition is important. Several studies establish that cognitive ability is a strong predictor of occupational attainment, wages, and a range of social behaviours in adults. It is also important for predicting the schooling performance of children, adolescents and university students. Further, numerous settings represent competitive situations that involve cognitive performance, ranging from test taking and student competition in […]

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    Naming a firm after its owner is risky, but can pay off handsomely

Naming a firm after its owner is risky, but can pay off handsomely

There’s one choice every business, large and small, must make: what to name itself. It appears that more talented and confident entrepreneurs are more likely to name their firms after themselves, self-selecting into a group taking a risky approach, but one that can pay off handsomely.

We found entrepreneurs who name their firms after themselves are sending a powerful signal […]

Curtailing the market for private prisons: schism or blip?

For nearly 25 years, new prisons built in the UK have predominantly been procured through ‘design, build, finance and operate’ (DBFO) contracts with the private sector. So the opening earlier this year of a new supersized prison to be financed and operated by the public sector – HMP Berwyn in north Wales – puts the future of ‘whole prison’ contracting in […]

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    How multi-agency teams made decisions in a simulated terror attack

How multi-agency teams made decisions in a simulated terror attack

Paris, Brussels, Nice, Berlin, London and Stockholm. If I’d listed these six cities to you a little over 18 months ago, you might wonder if I was considering a weekend away to explore the rich culture, history and tourism that these great European cities have to offer. Today they are synonymously linked as the six cities that were victim to […]

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    Strong consumer data protection can be a disruptive innovation

Strong consumer data protection can be a disruptive innovation

Something regarding big data has recently changed in Brussels which business should take note of. This usually prefaces news of ramping up EU data protection rules, such as the recent Data Protection Regulation, which are not universally welcomed in business circles. In particular, companies coming from the more permissive environment of the US are faced with a sea change […]

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    If Trump’s ‘America First’ takes hold, expect disruptive innovation

If Trump’s ‘America First’ takes hold, expect disruptive innovation

Policymaking often creates unintended consequences. But can disruptive innovation actually be spurred by President Donald Trump’s version of protectionism? Using the language of disruptive innovation, we observe that the long-term negative consequences of isolationism are actually an acceleration of US companies losing their own industries. Perhaps not even protectionism is what it used to be.

When it comes to economic […]

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    The hidden cost of downsizing: demotivating the remaining employees

The hidden cost of downsizing: demotivating the remaining employees

Firms that lay off staff can see a significant reduction in the performance of their remaining workers, according to our experimental study. Our research suggests that firms that decide to ‘downsize’ their workforce should be wary of how the layoff decision is perceived by the remaining (“surviving”) workers. If the surviving staff interpret the decision as a way to boost […]

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    Why are so few companies satisfied with their innovations’ results?

Why are so few companies satisfied with their innovations’ results?

What would happen if a CEO publicly declared that he is against innovation and would never invest a dime on it again? He would probably be fired right away, while the company’s stock plunged! Not to mention, his statement would be quoted in B-schools for decades as an example of business myopia or, in more mundane terms, idiocy. Why? […]

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    What industry incumbents need to know about platform models before it’s too late

What industry incumbents need to know about platform models before it’s too late

Portland cab drivers protest, by Aaron Parecki, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
Amazon, Airbnb, Uber, Facebook have been hogging the news. The headline figures are arresting. Amazingly, Uber has already surpassed BMW’s market capitalization. A seven-year old upstart company with a mere 6,700 employees is valued more highly than a hundred-year old company with one of the world’s best known automotive brands […]

The malling of America may be history

Mall of America interior, James Patterson, under a CC BY 2.0 licence, via Wikimedia Commons
Is the great American suburban shopping mall a dinosaur?

If you visit the site of Northland Center in suburban Detroit, you come away thinking so, because Northland was a trend-setter throughout its life cycle. It was the world’s largest shopping center when it opened in 1954, just as […]

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    If you do not have a unique insight, you do not have a strategy  

If you do not have a unique insight, you do not have a strategy  

008/366 – Einsichten / Insights, by Boris Thaser, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
A famous philosopher once said that if you do not know who the patsy is at a poker table, you are the patsy.  In card games, relying on maximising your winnings when you are dealt good hands and limiting your losses when you are dealt bad ones serves […]