If you want to know why so many organizations sink into chaos, look no further than their leaders' mouths. Over and over, leaders present grand, overarching - yet fuzzy - notions of where they think the company is going. The result is often sloppy behavior and misalignment that can cost a company dearly. Effective communication is a leader's most critical tool for doing the essential job of leadership.
"Great insight, right to the point"
For generations, Procter & Gamble generated most of its growth by innovating from within - building global research facilities and hiring the best talent in the world. Back when companies were smaller and the world was less competitive, that model worked just fine. But in 2000, newly appointed CEO A.G. Lafley saw that P&G couldn't meet its growth objectives by spending greater and greater amounts on R&D for smaller and smaller payoffs. So he embraced a "connect and develop" model.
In the complex sport of American football, teams rely on thick playbooks. But when it comes to creating innovative growth businesses - which is at least as complicated as professional football - most companies have not developed detailed game plans. The authors believe that companies can penetrate that fog by developing growth strategies based on disruptive innovations, as defined by Clayton Christensen.
Usually, individuals and organizations go to great lengths to avoid errors. Companies are designed for optimum performance rather than for learning, and mistakes are seen as defects. But as an example from Bell System shows, making mistakes - correctly - is a powerful way to accelerate learning and increase competitiveness.
If you want to know why so many organizations sink into chaos, look no further than their leaders' mouths. Over and over, leaders present grand, overarching - yet fuzzy - notions of where they think the company is going.
When corporate leaders or the organizations they represent mess up, they face the difficult decision of whether to apologize publicly. A public apology is a risky move. It's highly political, and every word matters. Refusal to apologize can be smart, or it can be suicidal. Readiness to apologize can be seen as a sign of character or one of weakness. Because the stakes are so high, Barbara Kellerman says, leaders should not extend public apologies often or lightly.
"Exemplary Work by Kellerman, Apology & Leadership"
Sales departments tend to believe that marketers are out of touch with what's really going on in the marketplace. Marketing people, in turn, believe the sales force is myopic - too focused on individual customer experiences, insufficiently aware of the larger market, and blind to the future. In short, each group undervalues the other's contributions. Yet, few firms seem to make serious overtures toward analyzing and enhancing the relationship between these two critical functions.
For organizations like General Electric, Proctor & Gamble, and Visa, management innovation is the secret to success. But what is management innovation? Why is it so important? And how can other companies learn to become management innovators?
You depend on your mid-career employees. They make up more than half your workforce and work longer hours than anyone else in your company. But, many of these solid performers between the ages of 35 and 55 are not happy. In fact, they're burned out, bored, and bottlenecked, new research reveals. Welcome to middlescence. Like adolescence, it can be a time of frustration, confusion, and alienation. But it can also be a time of self-discovery, new direction, and fresh beginnings.
Advertising has always targeted a powerful consumer alter ego: that hip, attractive, incredibly popular person just waiting to emerge from an all-too-normal self. Now, in cyberspace, consumers are taking the initiative and adopting alter egos that are anything but under wraps. These online personae, called avatars, represent a huge population of "shadow" customers who can be analyzed, segmented, and targeted.
This month's issue includes three complete articles. From "Forethought," Ian Bremmer and Fareed Zakaria explain how to hedge your political risk in China. Then, in "Innovation, The Classic Traps," Rosabeth Moss Kanter offers practical tips on how to keep your creative team from getting bogged down. The third article, by Michael Useem, explores "How Well Run Boards Make Decisions."
This month's issue includes three complete articles. Paul Hemp asks, "Are You Ready for E-Tailing 2.0?' Then, Clay Christensen goes over the "Tools of Cooperation and Change." In the third article, Gary Pisano looks at the business end of biotech to see if the sector lives up its hype. Plus, you'll hear OnPoint summaries of three more articles: "Emerging Giants," "Strategies for Two Sided Markets," and "Meeting the Challenge of Corporate Entrepreneurship."
This month's issue includes three complete articles: ""The Wisdom of Deliberate Mistakes," "Avatar Based Marketing," and "Profiting from the Long Tail." Plus, you'll hear OnPoint summaries of three articles: "Eager Sellers and Stony Buyers: Understanding the Psychology of New Product Adoption," "Leadership Run Amok: The Destructive Potential of Overachievers," and "Off Sites That Work." Finally, there are Executive Summaries of the three remaining articles.
In a short article from "Forethought", Daniel Goldstein offers some advice on getting an unrecognized brand to be known. Then, there are two full-length articles that take a look at specific management challenges. In "Leading Clever People", authors Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones offer some tips on how to lead your most creative employees, especially when they're the types who don't want to be lead.
This month's issue includes three complete articles. From "Forethought", Cass Sunstein explores what happens "When Crowds Aren't Wise". Then, Alfred Rappaport outlines "10 Ways to Create Shareholder Value" and George Stalk offers some advice on fooling your competitors "Curveball". Plus, you'll hear OnPoint summaries of three more articles: "Rethinking Political Correctness"; "With Friends Like These: The Art of Managing Complementors"; and "How to Keep A Players Productive".
This month's lead article is a must-hear, "Connect and Develop: Inside Procter & Gamble's New Model for Innovation." Two top P&G executives describe how the consumer products giant has successfully broken the R&D mold. Also, in "Managing Middlescence," three leading consultants - Ken Dychtwald, Robert Morison, and Tamara Erickson - offer great advice on managing mid-career employees. This edition also contains two OnPoint summaries.
This month's issue includes two complete articles: "When Should a Leader Apologize and When Not?" and "Your Loyalty Program is Betraying You." Plus, you'll hear OnPoint summaries of three more articles: "Home Depot's Blueprint for Culture Change;" "Match Your Innovation Strategy to Your Innovation Ecosystem;" and "Localization: The Revolution in Consumer Markets." And you'll get Executive Summaries of two additional articles, along with special commentary by HBR Senior Editor Gardiner Morse.