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Operations

  • Winning with Open Process Innovation

    Managers in manufacturing companies often keep process innovation activities tightly under wraps. Some companies have good reasons for keeping process innovations concealed. However, the authors’ research suggests that for most manufacturers, such defensiveness deprives companies of a valuable source of ideas for productivity improvement. Many manufacturers, they argue, can benefit from sharing process innovations rather than keeping them secret.

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  • Five Rules for Managing Large, Complex Projects

    Large-scale, long-term projects are notoriously difficult to manage. But recent research on megaprojects — defined as projects costing more than $1 billion — reveals five lessons that can help executives manage any big, complex project more effectively.

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  • The Subtle Sources of Sampling Bias Hiding in Your Data

    Plummeting data acquisition costs have been a big part of the surge in business analytics. We have much richer samples of data to use for insight. But more data doesn’t inherently remove sampling bias; in fact, it may make it worse.

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  • Unleashing the Potential of Supply Chain Analytics

    To gain competitive advantage from supply chain analytics, many companies need to reduce the time it takes to act on the insights those analytics generate.

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  • The End of Corporate Culture As We Know It

    We are evolving toward an age of networked enterprises, in which the traditional hierarchies of the corporation will be supplanted by self-organizing systems collaborating on digital platforms.

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  • Supply Chains Built for Speed and Customization

    Thanks to emerging technologies like 3-D printing, manufacturers can offer consumers customized products and do so with unprecedented speed. Intrigued by a new product you saw in a YouTube video? Well, someday soon you may be able to personalize it, order it via the company’s website, and have it in your hands in a matter of days. But to enable this phenomenon at scale, an entirely new model of supply chain is required.

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  • Choosing Scope Over Focus

    Digital technology has already upended the media and information sectors. It’s about to do the same to the manufacturing economy, and pave the way for what can be called the “pan-industrial” strategy.

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  • Saving Money through Structured Problem Solving

    As busy as they are, leaders need to find ways to observe fundamental work processes in their organizations. When they do, they usually discover that there are gaps between theory and reality in how works get done. Michael Morales’ experience — in which identifying and addressing such gaps led to his company saving $50,000 in just 60 days — is a case in point.

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  • The Flare and Focus of Successful Futurists

    Any organization intent on surviving and thriving into the future must follow a disciplined approach to “flaring” and “focusing,” as it alternates between broadly imagining and vigorously challenging the possibilities.

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  • The Most Underrated Skill in Management

    Few questions in business are more powerful than “What problem are you trying to solve?” Leaders who can formulate clear problem statements get more done with less effort and move more rapidly than their less-focused counterparts. But stopping to ask this question doesn’t come naturally — managers must put conscious effort into learning a structured approach.

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