What Do Your Customers Want in 2023?

What Do Your Customers Want in 2023?

08/02/2023

For many of us, a new year represents a fresh start. New Year’s resolutions offer an annual opportunity to transform our lives for the better, whether that’s by improving our health, relationships, finances, or whatever else we find most important. This mindset can create new opportunities for businesses as well — but shifting needs and […]

How Women on Boards Navigate the “Warmth-Competence” Line

How Women on Boards Navigate the “Warmth-Competence” Line

03/02/2023

The road to gender parity on corporate boards has been a long one, but there are signs of progress. In 2022, for instance, 45% of new Fortune 500 board appointees were women and the percentage of women on these boards had risen to almost 30%. Yet, the point of being a director is not simply […]

How a CEO Can Create Psychological Safety in the Room

How a CEO Can Create Psychological Safety in the Room

01/02/2023

There’s a power dynamic in every room. If you’re the CEO and you’re in the room, you control that dynamic. Positional power is consolidated in your hands, and what you say and do can draw people out or make them recoil with anxiety and fear. In my work with hundreds of CEOs over the past […]

How to Talk with Your Team About the Elephant in the Room

How to Talk with Your Team About the Elephant in the Room

30/01/2023

No one mentions the hostility and blatant conflict between two team members. A colleague softens the data to avoid delaying the launch date of a project. At the Monday team meeting, the leader doesn’t mention the fact that two team members were fired the week before. These situations occur at many organizations, and they are […]

How Boards Can Guide Company Strategy on Social Issues

How Boards Can Guide Company Strategy on Social Issues

23/01/2023

For the past few years, we’ve been fielding calls from CEOs and other C-suite leaders who find themselves under increasing pressure to engage in — and take public positions on — issues that their companies would have considered outside their purviews only a few years ago. Recent research, including Edelman’s Trust Barometer, suggests that this pressure […]

5 Questions for Business Leaders to Ask in Uncertain Times

5 Questions for Business Leaders to Ask in Uncertain Times

18/01/2023

These days, it feels like we are living in the business world’s version of Billy Joel’s 1989 hit, “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Inflation, geopolitical tensions, energy shortages, labor shortages, employees’ evolving expectations, rising interest rates, increasing cyber and data risks, insatiable investor expectations — the list goes on. Just like the song says, today’s […]

Digital transformations: The five talent factors that matter most

Digital transformations: The five talent factors that matter most

17/01/2023

Digital transformations—whether digitalizing an entire company or setting up a digital and advanced-analytics (DnA) start-up within the organization—are a significant challenge. We have frequently seen these transformations stumble along the way, and leaders often have difficulty sustaining any improvements over time. Across the transformation journey, talent and technology are critical to success, from planning and […]

Innovating in Uncertain Times: Lessons from 2022

Innovating in Uncertain Times: Lessons from 2022

16/01/2023

Economic uncertainty, social and political unrest, environmental catastrophe, and global health crises continue to impact people and businesses worldwide. Yet, amidst each of these disruptions, managers must maintain forward momentum to ensure their teams achieve success. This past year we’ve seen tech giants fall due to mismanagement, recklessness, economic turmoil, a lack of innovation, or […]

HR’s new operating model

HR’s new operating model

13/01/2023

The way in which organizations manage people used to be relatively straightforward. For more than two decades, multinational companies generally adopted a combination of HR business partners, centers of excellence, and shared service centers, adjusting these three elements to fit each organization’s unique nature and needs. Today, this approach—introduced by Dave Ulrich in 19961David Ulrich, […]

Taking a skills-based approach to building the future workforce

Taking a skills-based approach to building the future workforce

02/12/2022

As a pro bono contribution to the alliance, we worked in tandem to assess opportunities and actual skills-based job progressions that workers have made. Using these data, the team launched a series of practical tools, including a job progression tool 5 5. Job Progression Tool, McKinsey & Company and Rework America Alliance, accessed October 28, […]

Adapting Your Sales Approach in a Downturn

Adapting Your Sales Approach in a Downturn

01/12/2022

There has been plenty of debate over whether the U.S. economy is in a recession. Regardless of the technical definitions and economic perspectives, many organizations see challenging headwinds on the horizon. Even if companies aren’t feeling the economic pinch yet, they will be more skittish when it comes to spending when news cycles predict doom […]

How Executive Teams Shape a Company’s Purpose

How Executive Teams Shape a Company’s Purpose

29/11/2022

Company purpose has mainstreamed its way into management vernacular, and with plenty of good reason. Evidence from across industry sectors has proven that genuinely purpose-driven organizations outperform their non-purpose-driven competitors on critical metrics. For example, brands that have a clear commitment to improving their customers’ quality of life outperform the stock market by 120%, and […]

Starting strong: Making your CEO transition a catalyst for renewal

Starting strong: Making your CEO transition a catalyst for renewal

28/11/2022

It is when we are in transition that we are most completely alive. What makes the top job so different from the leadership roles that come before it? To start with, new CEOs discover quickly that they are accountable for everything, that their reporting relationships have changed dramatically, and that the job is extremely lonely. […]

3 Steps to Prepare Your Supply Chain for the Next Crisis

3 Steps to Prepare Your Supply Chain for the Next Crisis

25/11/2022

No one can say they weren’t warned about the likelihood of a global pandemic or a war in Ukraine. And, in the light of President Xi Jinping’s recent comments at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, where he reaffirmed his government’s commitment to take control of Taiwan one day, no one can say that […]

The digital revolution is brewing in the industrials sector

The digital revolution is brewing in the industrials sector

24/11/2022

Over the past 20 years, industrial players have pursued value creation through a focus on product margin optimization, channel sales excellence, and programmatic M&A. These strategies proved fruitful in the prepandemic era. From 2014 to 2019, traditional financial measures of value creation reflected robust sector-level performance: ROIC rose 13 percent—in excess of the typical sector-level […]

Is Your Board Prepared for New Cybersecurity Regulations?

Is Your Board Prepared for New Cybersecurity Regulations?

23/11/2022

Boards are now paying attention to the need to participate in cybersecurity oversight. Not only are the consequences sparking concern, but the new regulations are upping the ante and changing the game. Boards have a particularly important role to ensure appropriate management of cyber risk as part of their fiduciary and oversight role. As cyber […]

6 Ways to Reenergize a Depleted Team

6 Ways to Reenergize a Depleted Team

21/11/2022

A client of Ron’s, “Kelsey,” a division general manager of a large food manufacturer, recently told him, “Everyone on my team seems tired…all the time. I ask them how they’re doing, and they tell me ‘fine.’ If someone asks for time off, I say yes. They get the work done, but it seems like they’re […]

Revenue growth management: Building capabilities to sustain impact

Revenue growth management: Building capabilities to sustain impact

13/10/2022

Key takeaways The growth of online shopping, supply chain constraints, shifts in the channel mix, gross margins strained by rising inflation—these are just a few of the headwinds consumer companies have faced over the past several years. Not surprisingly, revenue growth management (RGM) has emerged as a top priority for consumer leaders in this environment. […]

How Diversity of Thought Can Fit into Your DEI Strategy

How Diversity of Thought Can Fit into Your DEI Strategy

12/10/2022

Nathan Green, known to many as Uncle Nearest, was an enslaved man in the 1850s in Lynchburg, Tennessee. He was known to make whiskey using a special technique he learned when cleaning water back home in West Africa. His method of filtering whiskey through sugar maple tree charcoal became known as the famous “Lincoln method.” […]

Keeping Up with Customers’ Increasingly Dynamic Needs

Keeping Up with Customers’ Increasingly Dynamic Needs

10/10/2022

A mere 20 years ago, a song typically stayed on the Billboard Top 100 charts for 20 weeks. Right now, it’s closer to two weeks. Similarly, the skillset that would once last your whole career now requires a complete refresh every three to five years. Corporate longevity is also rapidly changing: in 2020, the average […]

Is Your Board Inclusive — or Just Diverse?

Is Your Board Inclusive — or Just Diverse?

06/10/2022

The need for boardroom diversity is well-established. Many European countries have mandated that at least 40% of directors of publicly listed companies must be women, and similar laws have been passed in several U.S. states establishing gender- or race-based quotas. And to be sure, these policies have led to substantial progress: For example, one report […]

Visualizing the Rise of Global Economic Uncertainty

Visualizing the Rise of Global Economic Uncertainty

04/10/2022

Over the last six years, companies have had to grapple with five major “uncertainty shocks”: First it was Brexit in 2016, followed by the U.S. presidential election, China-U.S. trade-tensions, the Covid-19 pandemic, and in 2022 the Ukraine war. These shocks reflect a new normal of greater global turbulence, driven by domestic and international political fragmentation. […]

Keeping Your Team Motivated When the Company Is Struggling

Keeping Your Team Motivated When the Company Is Struggling

15/09/2022

It’s not surprising to learn that employee motivation is flagging these days. Fear of a slowing economy has layoffs up 39% in the second quarter of 2022, bringing the year’s total to more than 133,000. On top of that, the great resignation continues to lead employees to exit toxic workplaces characterized by uncaring leaders and […]

In Uncertain Times, the Best Strategy Is Adaptability

In Uncertain Times, the Best Strategy Is Adaptability

13/09/2022

Senior executives often lament, “If we only had better forecasts, we could devise better plans.” They pressure their teams to come up with more accurate projections for how their markets will evolve, competitors will respond, and consumers will react — thinking that forecast precision is the key to defining winning strategies. But attempting to develop […]

Resilient Organizations Make Psychological Safety a Strategic Priority

Resilient Organizations Make Psychological Safety a Strategic Priority

09/09/2022

The pandemic, geopolitical instability, and unpredictable markets have made organizational resilience like food in the desert: critical for survival, but challenging to grow. By making resilience a strategic priority, leaders ensure that their organizations can stretch and adapt. Much has been written about psychological safety’s role in improving workplace wellness and even in helping stem […]

Managing Shareholders in the Age of Stakeholder Capitalism

Managing Shareholders in the Age of Stakeholder Capitalism

07/09/2022

In 2021, Danone’s board of directors, under pressure from activist Bluebell Capital and Artisan Partners, ousted the company’s CEO Emmanuel Faber — a longtime advocate of stakeholder capitalism. This decision puzzled many observers; in an age where the business community seems to be readily embracing stakeholder capitalism, Faber and Danone were stalwarts. Now Unilever — […]

The Inflation Factor: How Rising Food and Energy Prices Impact the Economy

The Inflation Factor: How Rising Food and Energy Prices Impact the Economy

06/09/2022

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the effects of energy supply disruptions are cascading across everything from food prices to electricity to consumer sentiment. In response to soaring prices, many OECD countries are tapping into their strategic petroleum reserves. In fact, since March, the U.S. has sold a record one million barrels of oil per day […]

Leading with Confidence in Uncertain Times

Leading with Confidence in Uncertain Times

05/09/2022

Serena crunched all the numbers and made the best estimates possible when she was preparing the coming quarter’s sales projections for the product she managed. She used lessons from her graduate studies in statistics and decision science. Informed by historical trends, economic forecasts, and market projections, she estimated a total sales volume of 1,000 units. […]

Digital Transformation Is Changing Supply Chain Relationships

Digital Transformation Is Changing Supply Chain Relationships

12/08/2022

The digital transformation of businesses is creating new products, processes, and services. But to provide these new offerings, companies must share information and assets with each other in ways that were previously off-limits. For example, digitized services may require competitors to share physical assets such as warehouse space. This, in turn, means that companies will […]

The Great Renegotiation and new talent pools

The Great Renegotiation and new talent pools

11/08/2022

It’s the quitting trend that just won’t quit. People are switching jobs and industries, moving from traditional to nontraditional roles, retiring early, or starting their own businesses. They are taking a time-out to tend to their personal lives or embarking on sabbaticals. The Great Attrition has become the Great Renegotiation. Competition for talent remains fierce. For […]

What Makes Innovation Partnerships Succeed

What Makes Innovation Partnerships Succeed

10/08/2022

Breakthrough innovation introduces novel paradigms and platforms, and it creates new product families and economic opportunities. But it’s never a solo act. Even the largest companies need partners. Innovation partnerships offer many advantages. They offset R&D costs, add expertise and flexibility, and help create new markets. They can also accelerate innovation and commercialization timelines — […]

Organizational Transformation Is an Emotional Journey

Organizational Transformation Is an Emotional Journey

08/08/2022

The road is littered with failed transformation programs that were set up in the traditional way: Leaders define objectives, design a project plan, agree on KPIs, and recruit the right people. As many executives, academics, and consultants can relate to, the rate of failure in transformations is still far too high, and one that organizations […]

How Leaders Can Escape Their Echo Chambers

How Leaders Can Escape Their Echo Chambers

02/08/2022

The higher leaders go, the more likely they are to find themselves in an echo chamber, surrounded by people who think like them and agree with them. This occurs partly because of the affinity bias, which leads us to favor, associate with, and hire the people to whom we feel most similar. This dearth of […]

The power of the operating model in customer experience

The power of the operating model in customer experience

22/07/2022

Transforming the customer experience (CX) isn’t about playing hard and fast. To succeed in the long game, companies need to manage it systematically. Doing it well is a game changer, which is why more than 70 percent of senior executives rank CX as a top priority for the coming years. Indeed, companies that effectively organize […]

When — and How — to Build Hurdles into a Loyalty Program

When — and How — to Build Hurdles into a Loyalty Program

21/07/2022

Have you ever signed up for a rewards program, only to discover several months later that your points expired before you had a chance to use them? If so, you’re not alone. Research shows that loyalty program members lose up to a third of the savings they could have earned from these programs due to […]

Choosing to grow: The leader’s blueprint

Choosing to grow: The leader’s blueprint

18/07/2022

Do you, as a leader, make an explicit choice to grow? Or do you pay lip service to your growth ambitions and let your resolve falter if profit isn’t immediate? When sustainable, inclusive, and profitable growth becomes a conscious, resolute choice, it shapes decision making across every area of the business. Growth becomes the oxygen […]

Adjusting Your Strategy in a Tight Market

Adjusting Your Strategy in a Tight Market

15/07/2022

During the past two decades, corporate scope and priorities were shaped by an abundance of capital. Today the univested capital of private equity funds stands at an all-time staggering high of $3.4 trillion. With such massive liquidity chasing few opportunities, valuations for innovative investments have been high. The prevailing low interest rate environment has only reinforced […]

5 Megatrends Fueling the Rise of Data Storytelling

5 Megatrends Fueling the Rise of Data Storytelling

14/07/2022

Infographic: The Rise of Data Storytelling Humanity is creating more data than ever before, and more of that data is publicly accessible. While “data is the new oil” has almost become a cliché, the impact that data abundance is having on the world is undeniable. All of the world’s most valuable companies are heavily reliant […]

The Pandemic Changed Us. Now Companies Have to Change Too.

The Pandemic Changed Us. Now Companies Have to Change Too.

13/07/2022

It may sound obvious, but facing our collective mortality for the last two years changed us. Of course, many of us had confronted big challenges in our pre-pandemic lives, but this shared experience was uniquely difficult. One area of our lives that was dramatically altered was our collective perspective related to work. Working under the […]

Customer service excellence in 2022

Customer service excellence in 2022

12/07/2022

The stakes couldn’t be higher as teams try to adapt to a postpandemic era of customer care. Over the past two years, leaders have had to quickly adapt systems and ways of working to accommodate the shift to working from home—up to 85 percent of their workforces, in some cases. Contact center employees are harder […]

Your Corporate Purpose Changed. Has Your Strategy Kept Up?

Your Corporate Purpose Changed. Has Your Strategy Kept Up?

11/07/2022

The key question for leaders tasked with setting corporate strategy is, “What is this company’s ultimate purpose?” Fortunately, the basic approach to answering that question has been clearly articulated by the U.S. Business Roundtable. In August 2019 it issued the “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation,” signed by 181 CEOs from Apple to Walmart. […]

Why AI Customer Journeys Need More Friction

Why AI Customer Journeys Need More Friction

01/07/2022

In marketing circles, friction has become synonymous with “pain point.” Eradicating it, conventional wisdom goes, is crucial to building a customer-centric strategy that yields competitive advantage. Taking a cue from policy applications of behavioral economics, marketers seek to “nudge” people along the customer journey and remove friction in the battle against “sludge.” At many firms, […]

Future supply chains: resilience, agility, sustainability

Future supply chains: resilience, agility, sustainability

30/06/2022

Supply chains matter. The plumbing of global commerce has rarely been a topic of much discussion in newsrooms or boardrooms, but the past two years have pushed the subject to the top of the agenda. The COVID-19 crisis, postpandemic economic effects, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine have exposed the vulnerabilities of today’s global supply chains. […]

How to Make Strategic Trade-Offs

How to Make Strategic Trade-Offs

24/06/2022

When CEOs lay out multiple high-level objectives, like increasing market share, entering new markets, and pursuing innovation — all at the same time — they enthusiastically tout the advantages of each. They set ambitious numerical targets. They rally the troops behind the vision. But they rarely talk explicitly about how much value they are willing […]

Capture a digital transformation's value today

Capture a digital transformation’s value today

23/06/2022

While some of the obstacles to digital-transformation success are well known, McKinsey Global Survey on digital strategy and investments asked business leaders about the evolution of these challenges, digital tech’s role in their businesses, and companies’ strategic responses. 2 2. The online survey was in the field from January 25 to February 4, 2022, and garnered […]

Using Fiction to Find Your Strategy

Using Fiction to Find Your Strategy

22/06/2022

Trying to predict what the future will look like is doomed to fail. Yet this is what most executives do when they strategize. They — we — do this because we have been trained and educated to use trends and statistics to predict what is likely to happen and prepare accordingly. As a result, companies […]

CEOs, Here’s How to Lead in an Era of Constant Change

CEOs, Here’s How to Lead in an Era of Constant Change

22/06/2022

Every year I have the privilege to meet with many CEOs and leadership teams to discuss their business. In the past year, nearly every leadership team I’ve sat down with is grappling with the need to make changes and drive transformation. Inflation, geopolitics, supply-chain issues, labour costs, divisiveness, unsettled equity markets, and stakeholder expectations seem […]

What Leaders Get Wrong About Resilience

What Leaders Get Wrong About Resilience

20/06/2022

Resilience, or the continued pursuit of goals despite adversity, is an important issue for organizations, because adversity is inevitable in people’s lives and careers. We all face personal adversities, ranging from the daily stresses of balancing work and home roles to experiences of job loss or the death of a loved one, as well as […]

4 Steps to Creating a Strategy in an Uncertain World

4 Steps to Creating a Strategy in an Uncertain World

16/06/2022

It hardly needs to be said, but we live in uncertain times. The Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the reshuffling of supply chains and capital structures — the past few years have seen unprecedented disruptions, and the turmoil shows little sign of letting up any time soon. Challenges abound, and companies are finding it […]

Driving sustainable, enterprise-wide performance acceleration

Driving sustainable, enterprise-wide performance acceleration

15/06/2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a disruptor of historic proportions across industries, economies, and lives. In the global pharmaceutical industry, it has caused problems in short-term cash flow and threatened supply reliability. But even before the pandemic, the industry had been facing several hurdles, including the declining value of new launches, challenges to growth in […]

What To Do When the Devil Wears (Your Brand)

What To Do When the Devil Wears (Your Brand)

14/06/2022

Protecting a brand’s equity and value should be one of an executive’s key responsibilities. Companies buy protection software and use blacklists to stop questionable publishers and endorsers from negatively portraying their brand, for example. But what happens when the brand is displayed unfavorably in an environment that the marketer can’t control? This is exactly what […]

What Leaders Need to Know Before Trying a 4-Day Work Week

What Leaders Need to Know Before Trying a 4-Day Work Week

10/06/2022

Despite the gains workers have made through the Covid pandemic in increasing flexibility in where they work, bigger workloads have meant that there is little slack in the system for people to take time out and recover. The effects are obvious. In 2020, 62% of people reported that they had experienced burnout “often” or “extremely […]

The Data Storytelling Toolbox: Data Management, Digital Transformation, and Master Data

The Data Storytelling Toolbox: Data Management, Digital Transformation, and Master Data

09/06/2022

Scott Taylor believes in data storytelling. More to the point, he believes that telling a “data story” leads to Data Governance success. Taylor is a consultant and “Data Whisperer” at MetaMeta Consulting, and author of the book, Telling Your Data Story.  In his presentation “Data Storytelling for Data Management” at DATAVERSITY®’s Enterprise Data World Conference, […]

What Leadership Development Should Look Like in the Hybrid Era

What Leadership Development Should Look Like in the Hybrid Era

08/06/2022

As organizations and individuals around the world settle into a blend of in-person and virtual work, we’re learning more about the opportunities and risks hybrid brings. One key concern is leadership development. We know that some of the vital ways in which executives learn on the job — such as serendipitous interactions and informal feedback […]

Flexible work and the innovative organization

Flexible work and the innovative organization

06/06/2022

Despite the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic—and partly because of it—innovation and digitization have been happening at a record-breaking pace. A McKinsey survey of top executives around the world found that companies accelerated their digitization of customer, supply chain, and internal operations by an average of three years. Indeed, over the past two years, countries […]

The next frontier in consumer goods: Digitally enabled innovation

The next frontier in consumer goods: Digitally enabled innovation

27/05/2022

With digitally enabled innovation, our work has shown that consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies can bring new products to market 50 percent faster, at a third lower cost, and with double the return on investment. While the industry has embraced new technologies in many parts of the business, from manufacturing to marketing, most organizations are […]

The Key to Retaining Young Workers? Better Onboarding.

The Key to Retaining Young Workers? Better Onboarding.

24/05/2022

It is no news that hiring right now is incredibly difficult. Labor shortages are widespread, young workers are expecting higher starting wages, and after employers hire and train a new employee, the risk that they will jump ship for a better paying job is rising fast. The cost of turnover is high, but it has […]

Why CEOs should care about service operations

Why CEOs should care about service operations

23/05/2022

As a CEO, you have a lot of ground to cover, and the way your organization defines, designs, and delivers services has a significant impact on almost all of it. Services matter in every industry, both as a direct source of value and as an enabler of value creation. For some businesses, services are the […]

3 Questions Investors Ask Themselves When Evaluating a CEO

3 Questions Investors Ask Themselves When Evaluating a CEO

20/05/2022

Market volatility is back. Corporate valuations are under the microscope. Today’s leaders need to demonstrate they can manage through uncertainty and remain agile in the face of one black swan event after another. When it comes to proving valuation, companies tend to focus on the tangibles like revenue growth, market share, and profitability. While these […]

The board’s role in cloud

The board’s role in cloud

19/05/2022

Few companies are unaware of the potential benefits of cloud. Far fewer, however, have captured them at scale. For companies looking to increase their speed of innovation, the efficiency of their IT, and the business value their technology generates, finding the formula to unlock cloud’s value is paramount. Boards have an important role to play […]

Balancing Autonomy and Structure for Remote Employees

Balancing Autonomy and Structure for Remote Employees

18/05/2022

As major companies like Google and Apple have begun mandating a return of all employees to the office for a certain number of days per week, the debate about flexibility and autonomy continues to develop. More organizations are taking a firm stance on where they feel their employees should work, once again casting the spotlight […]

Getting strategy wrong--and how to do it right instead

Getting strategy wrong–and how to do it right instead

18/05/2022

The word “strategy” means an approach to dealing with a difficult challenge, especially that of competing with a clever opponent. To have a strategy is to have an approach to overcoming critical obstacles and difficulties. However, through many years of working with companies, government agencies, and the military, we have too often seen strategies that […]

How to Map Out Your Digital Transformation

How to Map Out Your Digital Transformation

10/05/2022

At the start of the pandemic, businesses around the globe found themselves exposed to an unexpected boost in digitalization. Those who promised to keep the wheels turning were given carte blanche to do whatever it took to keep a company running. But as many now return to the office, they also realize that the digitalization […]

How procurement leaders can fight inflation

How procurement leaders can fight inflation

09/05/2022

In the years before the pandemic, rising productivity and declining costs for many inputs—achieved through lean and just-in-time strategies and the globalization of supply chains, among other factors—had allowed many procurement organizations to operate successfully. But now the inflationary surge and frequent scarcity of critical supplies have made shortcomings of the traditional operating model increasingly […]

Four steps for managing risk at the CEO level

Four steps for managing risk at the CEO level

06/05/2022

Adapting to a fast-changing risk landscape has become a priority for most organizations, a necessity made more evident by the global pandemic and recent geopolitical events. At the same time, chief executives are under more pressure than ever to reconcile agendas from multiple stakeholders affecting their organization. The convergence of these two trends means that […]

3 Obstacles to Globalizing a Digital Platform

3 Obstacles to Globalizing a Digital Platform

05/05/2022

As technology progresses, it has become increasingly easy for digital platform companies to reach customers around the globe. This ease of access can make scaling up seem effortless — after all, virtual marketplaces are borderless by nature, and so it can be tempting for these businesses to view the entire world as their target market […]

Navigating inflation: A new playbook for CEOs

Navigating inflation: A new playbook for CEOs

22/04/2022

Last year, policy makers, economists, and financial-market participants fiercely debated the higher inflation then under way. Was it a transitory problem, caused by dislocations from the COVID-19 pandemic that would inevitably fade, or was it a more fundamental and potentially permanent shift? CEOs told us that they viewed this debate as detached from the business […]

Talking to Your Customers About Prices

Talking to Your Customers About Prices

11/04/2022

A simple take on prices is that they are an obstacle toward the purchase of a desired product or service. Companies, therefore, see a legitimate need to reduce “friction” in the transaction, which they accomplish by reaching into a seemingly bottomless bag of tricks, ranging from the subtle to the egregious. Some companies, for example, […]

Where We Go Wrong with Collaboration

Where We Go Wrong with Collaboration

07/04/2022

Practically everything we do at work is a collaboration. Pre-pandemic, many people spent 85% or more of their time each week in collaborative work — answering emails, instant messaging, in meetings, and using other team collaboration tools and spaces. This number has only grown throughout the pandemic, with no end in sight as we move […]

Six customer experience pitfalls to avoid

Six customer experience pitfalls to avoid

01/04/2022

In recent years, organizations across sectors have been forced to overhaul many of their processes as the importance of CX has taken center stage. Largely due to the rise in “CX native” companies, customers’ expectations across areas like getting immediate help, maintaining control, and personalization have grown. Meanwhile, privacy concerns have increased, social media has […]

How Much Autonomy Should You Give Your Global Teams?

How Much Autonomy Should You Give Your Global Teams?

31/03/2022

When expanding into international markets, how much autonomy should home-office leaders give local teams? Maintaining excessively tight control over your overseas divisions can get in the way of their ability to operate efficiently and make decisions effectively — but giving them too much autonomy can also backfire, leading to quality issues, inconsistencies, duplicated work, and […]

Building new supply-chain management skills for a digital age

Building new supply-chain management skills for a digital age

30/03/2022

What expertise will your next generation of warehouse managers require? Computer programming? Data analytics? Advanced robotics? Maybe all those things and more. If you are like the 71 global companies that responded to a 2021 supply chain survey, you probably accelerated your investments in digital technology as your supply chain grappled with COVID-19 challenges. What’s […]

Supporting Women Leaders, Beyond the Crisis

Supporting Women Leaders, Beyond the Crisis

21/03/2022

The pandemic’s negative impact on women in the workforce will not be reversed for a very long time. In the first year of the pandemic alone, 54 million women around the world left the workforce, almost 90 percent of whom exited the labor force completely. The participation rate for women in the global labor force […]

3 Practices That Set Resilient Teams Apart

3 Practices That Set Resilient Teams Apart

18/03/2022

Keeping a team’s energy dialed up through tough times has always been a challenging task — but sustaining resilience in a pandemic? Nobody has written a playbook for that. As Gallup asked in its end of 2021 report: “How can managers be expected to improve the engagement and wellbeing of your workforce if they, themselves, […]

What Stops Leaders from Looking to Other Industries for Inspiration

What Stops Leaders from Looking to Other Industries for Inspiration

17/03/2022

As business scrambles to recover from the pandemic, I’ve seen one famous piece of advice doing the rounds: leaders are told to look to other industries for fresh ideas. The classic example is Henry Ford’s invention of the assembly line, an idea he stole from the meat industry. Abbatoirs used a “dissembly line” to shunt […]

How to Make Sense of Conflicting Feedback on Your Leadership

How to Make Sense of Conflicting Feedback on Your Leadership

10/03/2022

I recently sat with an executive, we’ll call him Mark, to review his comprehensive feedback report, which comprised nearly 25 interviews with critical stakeholders. While most feedback contains some contradictory data, in his case, the differences were extreme. Some people described him as supportive and kind while others described him as self-serving and mean-spirited. He […]

A better way to brainstorm

A better way to brainstorm

09/03/2022

The dilemma The regional CEO of a large US cosmetics company has invited all the business unit leaders to brainstorm about M&A priorities and potential opportunities in the new year. Everyone knows that digital acquisitions have been a pet project for the senior-leadership team. But some business unit heads believe the company should look at […]

How Brands Can Enter the Metaverse

How Brands Can Enter the Metaverse

08/03/2022

There are quite a few people who believe that the latest paradigm shift for the internet is already well underway: the metaverse, they say, is almost here. When companies investing in a space and the media declare a moment, it’s reasonable to take a beat and see whether the reality can live up to the […]

Using a Mantra to Be a More Inclusive Leader

Using a Mantra to Be a More Inclusive Leader

04/03/2022

Cohesive teams are critical for organizational success, innovation, and fostering a sense of belonging. Yet one of the greatest challenges facing leaders today is creating a culture of inclusiveness, where all members are treated equitably and feel equally valued. In teaching hundreds of executives and students about leading diverse teams, we’ve found that, although most […]

What Is the Purpose of Your Purpose?

What Is the Purpose of Your Purpose?

03/03/2022

Despite its sudden elevation in corporate life, “purpose” remains a confusing concept. Finding the right one involves identifying an authentic and motivating basis for alignment among key stakeholder groups. Why It Exists Purpose is used in three distinct senses: competence, as in “the function that our product serves”; culture, as in “the intent with which […]