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Strategy

  • Using Scenario Planning to Reshape Strategy

    Rather than trying to predict the future, organizations need to strengthen their abilities to cope with uncertainty. A new approach to scenario planning can help companies reframe their long-term strategies by developing several plausible scenarios.

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  • What You Need to Know Before Starting a Platform Business

    There’s a great deal of enthusiasm about platform strategies these days. Entrepreneurs pitch their startups as the next Uber, the next Facebook, or the next Airbnb, while executives in established companies are retooling their strategies around platforms to drive growth and compete digitally. But creating a successful platform business is not easy — as economists Richard Schmalensee and David S. Evans explain in this MIT Sloan Management Review interview.

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  • The Best Response to Digital Disruption

    Few executives would argue that digitization's disruptive influence is growing rapidly. But surprisingly little empirical evidence has captured either the magnitude of digital disruption or how incumbents are reacting on a broad scale. In a bid to help address that gap, McKinsey undertook a global survey of C-suite executives to capture how digitization unfolds across industries and how incumbents are responding. With some notable and important exceptions, the answer is “not well.”

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  • Harnessing the Secret Structure of Innovation

    Innovation, much like marketing and human resources, can be made less reliant on artful intuition by using information in new ways. But this requires a change in perspective: We need to view innovation not as the product of luck or extraordinary vision but as the result of a deliberate search process.

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  • The Big Squeeze: How Compression Threatens Old Industries

    Accelerating compression of both revenues and profits may rapidly prove fatal to traditional businesses. Consider the accelerating decline of voice calls as a means of communicating via mobile telephone: From 2013 to 2015, average mobile voice revenue per user declined globally by 19%, and a further decline of 26% is expected through 2020. To stave off disaster, incumbents must transform and renew their core operations — while also growing into new businesses and industries.

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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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  • Building a More Intelligent Enterprise

    The authors examine how managers can combine a sophisticated understanding of human decision making with technology-enabled insights to make smarter choices in the face of uncertainty and complexity. Integrating the two streams of knowledge is not easy, but once management teams learn how to blend them, the advantages can be substantial.

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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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  • Why Can't We Have More Than One Digital Strategy

    A recent MIT Sloan Management Review article argued that companies need to choose whether to focus their digital strategy on customer engagement or digitized solutions. But several readers wondered why they needed to choose one option over the other.

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  • Embracing a Strategic Paradox

    If handled well, conflicting demands in a business can be sources of creativity and opportunity.

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