Tomorrow's Challenges

Thought leadership articles on business issues faced by leaders and executives across industries.

Marketing

Building on unfamiliar turf

By Goutam Challagalla - 15/05/2017

The liberalization of the Indian economy in the 1990s led to a chaotic housing boom in Mumbai. Thousands of real estate developers jostled for space in a sellers’ market, throwing up apartment blocks ...

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Economics

Can we calculate the future?

By Stéphane Garelli - 09/05/2017

The recent death of Kenneth Arrow, one of the greatest economists of our time, is a reminder that most of the Nobel Prize winners in economics were also brilliant mathematicians. In addition, a number ...

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Governance

Why consumers should plan on paying more for medicine

By Ralf Boscheck - 01/05/2017

Healthcare spending, currently projected to grow by 5.8% annually in the U.S. and to represent 20.1% of the total economy by 2025, has made healthcare market reforms a critical and ongoing priority of ...

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Economics

Seven lessons from the digital media revolution

By Stéphane Garelli - 01/05/2017

Business is about change — but no CEO would like to face disruption on the scale seen in the newspaper business over the past 15 years.  I am chairman of the Swiss top tier newspaper, Le Temps . It wa ...

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Innovation

What tech’s survivalist billionaires should be doing instead

By Howard H. Yu - 24/04/2017

Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, recently passed Warren Buffett to become the world’s second-richest person, behind only Bill Gates. And on Wednesday, Bezos revealed that he has been selling about $1 billion ...

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Strategy

How to build an agile beast

By Bettina Büchel - 24/04/2017

The €10 billion food packaging business Tetra Pak once faced a dilemma familiar to most multinational corporations. The company was mired in a classic “strategic-agility conundrum” — it lacked the ...

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Operations

Agile vs. death-by-committee

By Carlos Cordon with Isaak Tsalicoglou. - 17/04/2017

The writing is on the wall: if you want to innovate in the digital world, you must be agile. Four of the top five companies by market cap (Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet and Amazon) use Agile methodologie ...

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Innovation

It’s time for Apple to buy these tech giants

By Michael R. Wade - 10/04/2017

As Apple’s stock climbed to its fifth record in March on Tuesday, and it’s 11 th record this year, it’s a good time to take a serious look at what the tech giant should take on next. Apple is renowned ...

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Strategy

How to learn from the past without getting stuck in it

By Knut Haanaes, Michael Sorell, Øystein D. Fjeldstad - 05/04/2017

Corporate mortality is a hot topic. Scholars and consultants keep cropping up in the news with reports on the decline of the lifespan of major corporations. The BCG Henderson Institute found that the ...

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Political Economy

A revived WTO offers the best defence against Donald Trump’s assault on trade

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 03/04/2017

Though there is some flurry of activity for reviving certain trade initiatives – for example, a modified Trans-Pacific Partnership deal – the global outlook for trade remains stormy. The first thunder ...

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Operations

Digitalization: a fresh idea for the fruit and veg supply chain

By Ralf W. Seifert with Mervegül Kirci. - 27/03/2017

The cost of global food waste and loss is estimated to be $940 billion a year . For businesses, this represents a significant proportion of shrinkage in retail supply chains and it has a direct impact ...

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Marketing

Upstart start-ups and agile disruptors – and what to do about them

By Dominique Turpin - 27/03/2017

Now is the age of market disruptors: of Uber, Deezer, Alipay, Rakuten and many others. These innovative start-ups and nimble brands are crashing into markets traditionally dominated by multinational ...

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Information Technology, Innovation

How disruption is redefining leadership

By Michael R. Wade - 23/03/2017

Imagine that you are an executive overseeing retail banking at a large financial services company. In addition to the normal challenges you face as one of the company’s leaders, you are confronted wit ...

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Economics, Governance

You can’t pay bills with likes on Facebook

By Stéphane Garelli - 17/03/2017

If the post-truth era triumphs, if alternative facts supersede evidence, if polls are so wrong, it is perhaps because the relationship people have with the real world has changed. Throughout time, ...

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Economics, Organizational Design

Tough love – Why Indian execs mustn’t undersell, but must democratize, their companies

By Amit Shankar Mukherjee - 10/03/2017

America has an anti-free-trade populist in the White House. Without rethinking how its companies face the world, India will find it extraordinarily difficult to argue that it creates value, that it is ...

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Economics, Governance

Are people really a company’s most important resource?

By Stéphane Garelli - 10/03/2017

It happens regularly all over the world and in every company. The CEO addresses his collaborators: “You are the most important resource at this company”. He believes it, and he is right. His ...

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Economics, Sales

Digital supply chains – Do you risk falling behind?

By Ralf W. Seifert with Katrin Siebenbürger Hacki. - 02/03/2017

The second edition of the IMD Global Supply Chain Survey examines how organizations rate themselves on 20 important trends in supply chain management. It shows that experts from leading European ...

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Economics, Finance

What private banks need to do to drive the future of wealth management

By Denise H. Kenyon-Rouvinez with Enrica Sighinolfi. - 27/02/2017

The fourth industrial revolution – featuring artificial intelligence, big data, the internet of things and so on – presents many challenges to private banks when it comes to wealth management. They wi ...

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Governance, Strategy

Don’t just start a strategy process without thinking about the options

By Bettina Büchel - 24/02/2017

Once top teams recognize the need to fundamentally revisit their strategy, they need to be critically aware of the key decisions in formulating the strategy process in order to ensure that the strateg ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Team Leadership

Is your team trusting or just polite?

By Ben Bryant - 24/02/2017

Between Samsung explosions and Volkswagen recalls, FIFA’s racketeering and Wells Fargo’s fake accounts, some of the most recent corporate scandals have been mainstream events with far-reaching impact. ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Strategy

How to make your business goals more resilient

By Marco Mancesti - 17/02/2017

How many times have you heard a business goal similar to this: “We will be n°1 in the next 5 years”? Whether you are running a start-up, a department, a much larger organization or a strategic project ...

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Innovation, Strategy

Strategy is dead? Long live strategic thinking!

By Paul Strebel - 17/02/2017

Strategy is a dead concept say Bill Fischer and Michael Wade, two of my colleagues at IMD. The world is moving too fast for strategy. Industry boundaries are blurring, new entrants and technologies ar ...

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Strategy, Team Leadership

What is organizational culture? And why should we care?

By Michael D. Watkins - 10/02/2017

If you want to provoke a vigorous debate, start a conversation on organizational culture. While there is universal agreement that (1) it exists, and (2) that it plays a crucial role in shaping behavio ...

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Economics, Political Economy

Why America would lose a trade war with China

By Winter Nie - 10/02/2017

During his election campaign, President Donald Trump threatened to impose 35% to 45% tariffs on Chinese imports to force China into renegotiating its trade balance with the U.S. The immediate result o ...

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Innovation, Organizational Design

Supply Chain 4.0

By Carlos Cordon - 03/02/2017

In an amazing twist, technology is rendering the old fundamentals of supply chain management obsolete. In Russia, Adidas increased sales in Moscow by double digits in 24 hours, thanks to a supply chai ...

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Ethics, Interpersonal Leadership

Why so many corporate failures?

By Amit Shankar Mukherjee - 03/02/2017

During the past 16 years, businesses have experienced many major, self-inflicted crises. Consider, for example, the malfunction of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (and several other completely different ...

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Information Technology, Marketing

How a small company used big data to increase its sales

By John W. Walsh - 27/01/2017

Narellan Pools, an Australian-based swimming pool builder, leveraged big data to glean customer insights. The resulting marketing campaign generated a ratio of revenue to expenditure of 54:1. Australi ...

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Innovation, Strategy

Standing at the dumb end of our smarter future

By William A. Fischer - 27/01/2017

What could ever be dumb about the fast-arriving internet of things — that seemingly inevitable assemblage of ever more networked devices, products and everything in-between? Dumbness? That would be us ...

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Governance

Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise: Masters of entrepreneurial partnerships

By Benoit F. Leleux with Marta Widz. - 20/01/2017

Receiving one of the most prestigious accolades for "excellence in family business" was a memorable moment for Hans Michael Jebsen and Heinrich Jessen – the two principal shareholders of Jebsen & Jess ...

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Economics

Talent competitiveness and leadership quality

By Arturo Bris with Christos Cabolis, José Caballero. - 18/01/2017

Public policies can strongly influence the quality of leadership capabilities and competencies available in a particular country. For example, policies that increase education expenditure, personal ...

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Strategy, Team Leadership

Embrace digital - make your strategy process more engaging!

By Knut Haanaes - 13/01/2017

A few years back I was involved in an exercise where we observed the strategy processes of a large set of leading global firms. These were all companies you would expect to be exceptionally good at ...

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Governance, Political Economy

From the American challenge to the Chinese challenge?

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 23/12/2016

Next year, 2017, may go down in the annals of history as Year One of the new global order – or, perhaps more accurately, of the new global disorder. The US on the sidelines? The moment that best ...

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Economics, Finance

Why you will probably live longer than most big companies

By Stéphane Garelli - 23/12/2016

The tribulations of Blackberry, Yahoo or Twitter remind us that companies can and do disappear. The large companies of today are not the same as the ones of yesterday. The process of creative destruct ...

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Economics, Innovation

In mobile social networks China’s WeChat shows the way forward for Facebook

By Howard H. Yu - 16/12/2016

Facebook recently launched a new “Instant Games” platform as part of its Messenger app. Instead of downloading yet another game from Apple iTunes or Google Play, users can now play games directly thro ...

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Economics, Innovation

Digital Disruption – Beware of the success trap

By Knut Haanaes, Martin Reeves - 16/12/2016

The hardest type of corporate renewal, by far, is that of transforming the successful firm. Despite the fact that we live in times of fast change and frequent competitive and technological disruption, ...

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Marketing, Operations

Is personalized pricing fair?

By Stefan Michel - 09/12/2016

In Switzerland, one of the country’s largest grocery retailers has recently rolled out personalized discounts based on shopping data collected from customer reward cards. The move has been met with a ...

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Innovation, Strategy

The death of strategy

By William A. Fischer - 09/12/2016

In a world of never-ending change, it’s either one or the other; we can no longer count on having both. As innovation accelerates its assault on what we formerly referred to as “our planning process,” ...

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Governance, Political Economy

Central Asia: the Great Game in the new global disorder of the 21st century

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 09/12/2016

The Great Game was the term coined in the 19 th century popularized in the 1901 novel Kim by Rudyard Kipling, to describe the rivalry between the British and Russian Empires over Afghanistan that ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Team Leadership

Seven transitions good leaders must make

By Michael D. Watkins - 07/12/2016

There's no doubting the significant transitions that leaders go through in taking new roles. And the most challenging transitions occur in moving from being a functional leader to being a general ...

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Strategy, Sustainability

Part 2: What can businesses do if globalization unravels?

By Stéphane J. G. Girod - 02/12/2016

As we discovered in Part 1, globalization may be reaching a tipping point and could be beginning to reverse. Although we live in a semi-globalized world, if the level of globalization we have achieved ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Self-Leadership

Why Tata’s fallen Mistry recalls the legacy of Coke’s Douglas Ivester

By Amit Shankar Mukherjee - 24/11/2016

In his letter to the Board challenging his dismissal, Cyrus Mistry, the erstwhile Chairman of India’s Tata Group, wrote, “To ‘replace’ your Chairman … in a summary manner must be unique in the annals ...

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Finance, Innovation

FinTech done right

By Nuno Fernandes - 24/11/2016

Financial technology (FinTech) is hot. Once a highly regulated industry dominated by large banks, FinTech companies around the world are impacting all areas of financial services. Many industry ...

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Strategy, Sustainability

Part 1: The end of globalization?

By Stéphane J. G. Girod - 18/11/2016

Globalization is an ongoing process in which the world appears to be converging economically due to the greater interdependence that the movements of capital, goods, services and people across borders ...

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Economics, Political Economy

Why are companies setting up shop in the most expensive country in the world?

By Arturo Bris - 15/11/2016

Without a doubt, Switzerland has been one of the most successful economies over the past several decades. It sits atop most international rankings in terms of productivity, innovation capacity, life ...

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Human Resources, Interpersonal Leadership

How Hong Kong Broadband Network invested in its people to get to the top

By Shlomo Ben-Hur, Ivy Buche - 14/11/2016

In just ten years, Hong Kong Broadband Network has evolved from being a new entrant to becoming the second-largest broadband operator in Hong Kong. After a public listing in 2015, it set its sights on ...

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Human Resources, Interpersonal Leadership

How to prepare leaders for a VUCA world

By Amit Shankar Mukherjee - 11/11/2016

Suppose a multinational company needs an executive to lead its entry into a country that could experience spectacularly strong economic growth, but could also falter. The market has rough-and-tumble ...

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Marketing, Strategy

Seven trends that will affect the future of marketing

By Dominique Turpin - 04/11/2016

At the recent Chief Marketing Officer Roundtable at IMD, I was asked what I think will define the future of marketing. Trying to predict the future is always a risky thing to do; most of us are terrib ...

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Strategy, Sustainability

Why all businesses should embrace sustainability

By Knut Haanaes - 04/11/2016

Sustainability is becoming more important for all companies, across all industries. 62% of executives consider a sustainability strategy necessary to be competitive today, and another 22% think it wil ...

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Innovation, Team Leadership

Google vs Amazon: How a strong CEO boosts innovation

By Howard H. Yu - 28/10/2016

Recently, Google’s parent company,  Alphabet  Inc., unveiled  Home —its answer to Amazon Echo— making it a player in the growing market of devices connecting the homes of millions. According to estima ...

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Economics, Political Economy

Are we on the brink of war?

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 28/10/2016

There are many signs that the "post-war" period after World War II has finally come to an end and that we are now in a pre-war era. Many of the factors that define the times were present before many o ...

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Finance, Sustainability

From triple towards one bottom-line

By Paul Strebel - 21/10/2016

At the 2016 Annual General Meetings of Exxon and Chevron, institutional investors forced a vote on whether the companies should release detailed climate impact reports, adopt greenhouse gas emission ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Organizational Design

Execs: Not getting enough sleep is nothing to brag about

By Jayanth Narayanan - 14/10/2016

I have often heard executives boast to each other how little sleep they get. People wear their ability to function on very little sleep as a badge of honor. Yet, evidence from sleep research shows it ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Self-Leadership

The impact of coaching in executive education

By Mark Skinner - 14/10/2016

As a coach and facilitator working with some premier European business schools at the beginning of this millennium, it was always pleasantly surprising to meet other coaches pioneering their ...

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Governance, Marketing

Bringing the family back into the business

By Joachim Schwass, Anne-Catrin Glemser - 07/10/2016

Surprisingly, most family businesses do not see the value in communicating about their history, their values and their long-term vision as owners of a company. Of course, it is easier not to put the ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Self-Leadership

To get more feedback, act more coachable

By Jean-François Manzoni - 07/10/2016

It’s hard to say who dreads critical feedback more: the manager giving it or the person receiving it. As the receiver, it can be uncomfortable and stressful to hear that you’re not performing well. An ...

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Innovation, Strategy

Which business models are most affected by digital?

By Knut Haanaes - 30/09/2016

In most industries, the competitive landscape is rapidly changing and as a result, companies speed through their life-cycles at an unprecedented pace (actually twice as fast as 20 years ago, according ...

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Operations, Strategy

For supply chains, faster is not always better

By Carlos Cordon - 30/09/2016

March 2013 was the coldest in decades for much of Europe and the eastern United States. But in March the previous year, the United States had experienced heatwaves. The capriciousness of the weather ...

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Innovation, Strategy

Beware of the Value Vampires

By Michael R. Wade - 23/09/2016

Have you ever wondered how companies like Uber, Amazon and Spotify can offer such low prices, make such low profit margins but still continue to operate? You’re not the only one. In our work at the ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Strategy

Three ways to overcome your power deficit

By Cyril Bouquet, Jean-Louis Barsoux - 23/09/2016

'Power shortage’ is not just a term for the energy industry; executives frequently experience deficits in their power to influence as well. Essentially, there are three power sources that need to be ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Strategy

How breakthrough leadership can defy company death

By Seán Meehan - 14/09/2016

British Home Stores and Woolworths in the UK, Radio Shack and C&J Energy Services in the US, Japan’s Skymark Airlines and Brazil’s fourth largest telecom operator Oi are just a few of the many sizable ...

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Innovation, Strategy

How companies fail – and what they can do about it

By Knut Haanaes - 14/09/2016

Here are two ways your company can fail. Keep doing more of the same. Or, if you’d prefer, start doing only what’s new. You want it to thrive so you need to take the trickier middle way; you need to f ...

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Economics, Strategy

Is Africa the land of business opportunity or pain?

By Leif M. Sjöblom - 07/09/2016

With growth stagnating around much of the world, businesses often look to new markets to find opportunities. BRIC countries were previously thought of as the global El Dorado by many companies but ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Strategy

How good preparation can save your organization in a crisis

By Stefan Michel with Thomas Süssli. - 07/09/2016

The Swiss Armed Forces recently completed a 48-hour intensive crisis simulation exercise. For a change, it didn’t train military staff, but a group of international Executive MBA graduates from IMD. A ...

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Innovation, Strategy

The best companies aren’t afraid to replace their most profitable products

By Howard H. Yu, Thomas W. Malnight - 31/08/2016

For a long time, the Silicon Valley funding model has been hailed as a powerful alternative to the stifling way corporate America works. Many are betting on the new generation of technology firms to ...

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Information Technology, Innovation, Strategy

Where is Google placing its bets?

By Michael R. Wade - 31/08/2016

Google is well aware of its vulnerability. More than 90% of the company’s revenues and almost all of its profits come from search-related advertising. As long as people click ads on computers, tablets ...

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Communication, Ethics

How to tell if your colleagues or clients are deceiving you – digitally?

By Jennifer Jordan - 26/08/2016

The average person is lied to an astounding 105 times per day. Many of these are innocuous lies — of the “I like your shirt” or “that airplane meal was good” variety. But as a business executive, some ...

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Strategy

Challenges in going global

By Dominique Turpin, Anand Narasimhan, Margaret Cording - 18/08/2016

Few companies are ready to build and run truly global organizations, despite their ambitions. Globalization may be their goal – it may even form the backbone of their strategy – but only a tiny fracti ...

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Information Technology, Innovation

Making the case for a new Olympic sporting category

By Michael R. Wade with Pierre-Luc Leboeuf. - 10/08/2016

You are probably watching the Olympics this week, supporting your home country and cheering on your favorite athletes. It seems to us, however, that the Olympic games are in need of a refresh. Viewers ...

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Political Economy

With TPP Dead, What's Next For World Trade?

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 03/08/2016

At a major conference on global trade I attended in London this month, officials from the US were extolling the virtues and benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and, in cahoots with officia ...

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Finance, Innovation

Developing Win-Win Strategies for China’s Small Entrepreneurs

By Winter Nie - 27/07/2016

By identifying and overcoming financial hurdles in local business cycles, China’s regional banks are playing an increasingly critical role in moving China’s domestic economy forward. Yilong Xu, in cha ...

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Economics, Political Economy

Defining China: A rising, fragile global power

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 20/07/2016

China is not part of the emerging markets; nor Brics, nor Chindia. China is itself, and has to be understood on its own terms. Among the many daunting questions the planet is facing, the most importan ...

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Strategy

Rethinking out of the box

By Albrecht Enders, Jean-Louis Barsoux with Andreas König. - 12/07/2016

Executives are constantly urged to think out of the box, but given little practical advice on how to do so. A simple tool, already familiar to executives can be leveraged to provide the answer. ...

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Marketing, Strategy

The marketing strategy of industry disruptors

By Dominique Turpin - 07/07/2016

We are all familiar with Uber, Airbnb, Tesla, and Netflix as disruptors. But how many of you know Mediq? It’s a Dutch healthcare company that aims to make traditional pharmacies a thing of the past. M ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Self-Leadership

5 Leadership styles in a nutshell

By George Kohlrieser - 29/06/2016

Daniel Goleman’s work on leadership styles is well-known, and I introduce them in my High Performance Leadership Program for Senior Executives and my online based program Learning Leadership . Here is ...

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Operations, Sustainability

Five capabilities for a greener supply chain

By Ralf W. Seifert - 29/06/2016

As concerns over sustainability rise, corporations are extending their efforts to improve their environmental performance. For more than a decade, standards such as the ISO 14000 series request action ...

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Self-Leadership, Team Leadership

Boosting immunity to team conflict

By Ginka Toegel, Jean-Louis Barsoux - 24/06/2016

Team conflict can add value or destroy it. Good conflict fosters respectful debate and yields mutually agreed-upon solutions that are often far superior to those first offered. Bad conflict occurs whe ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Self-Leadership

What do your words say?

By George Kohlrieser - 24/06/2016

Words have saved my life and the lives of others on more than one occasion. As a hostage negotiator, words are the most essential thing you have to face a weapon . Words – whether a question or a ...

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Finance, Strategy

Beware of activist investors?

By Nuno Fernandes - 16/06/2016

Activist investors are relatively new – but very influential – players in international capital markets. Activist investors are shareholders at publicly traded companies who attempt to affect change i ...

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Strategy, Team Leadership

Reshaping the team you inherit

By Michael D. Watkins - 16/06/2016

Most newly appointed leaders have limited familiarity with their teams at the outset and can’t swap in new people to help grow or transform the business. In this case it is extremely important to figu ...

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Information Technology, Innovation

The only two things that matter for digital companies in China

By Michael R. Wade - 10/06/2016

I recently spent a week visiting companies in China, trying to learn as much as I could about digital transformation and trends in that country. I suspected that there were major differences between h ...

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Human Resources, Team Leadership

The missing piece in changing employee behavior

By Shlomo Ben-Hur, Nik Kinley - 10/06/2016

“I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed.” George Carlin (American comedian) Though it is hardly ever listed in job descriptions, changing employees’ behavior is an important p ...

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Ethics, Sustainability

San Patrignano and the social dimension of sustainability, a systems approach

By Francisco Szekely with Zahir Dossa. - 01/06/2016

Sustainability initiatives often fall short of their desired objective. While previous discussions have cited faults within an organization and/or the process it commits to when pursuing sustainabilit ...

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Information Technology, Innovation

The digital business agility imperative

By Michael R. Wade, Andrew Tarling - 01/06/2016

Digital disruption has the potential to overturn incumbents and reshape markets faster than at any time in history. Many companies will benefit enormously from digitization. Others will not. The real ...

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Economics, Finance

Are the rich just getting richer?

By Arturo Bris - 25/05/2016

The launch of the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking is right around the corner. Every year it uses a wealth of economic and scientific hard data as well as robust surveys of business executives around ...

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Innovation, Organizational Design

The three leadership skills to take your business digital

By Carlos Cordon - 18/05/2016

It would often seem that to succeed in the digital world, you need to be a young manager in a startup born with digital DNA, like Alibaba , Uber or Google . This is not the case. Research I have ...

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Information Technology, Innovation

What is a Smart City anyways?

By Michael R. Wade - 11/05/2016

The term “Smart City” has lately become a buzzword for anyone involved in governing a city, yet it remains opaque and relatively ill-defined. Currently, the term is used as a catch-all for various ...

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Innovation, Strategy

Four scenarios to stress test your strategy

By Michael R. Wade - 11/05/2016

Change has been relentless since the turn of the millennium, and the pace of change is only expected to accelerate as we move into the next decade. Several factors are contributing to this acceleratio ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Self-Leadership

The right leadership mix to transform organizations

By Robert Hooijberg, Nancy Lane - 04/05/2016

What CEO or board member doesn’t dream of transforming their company? Of course the nuts and bolts of changing an organization from top to bottom are more than daunting. But it makes a huge difference ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Self-Leadership

Don’t fall into a leadership rut

By Ginka Toegel - 28/04/2016

As a leader, your career may have been a bumpy ride so far but you have shown you have what it takes to rise to the top. But if you think you’re done learning, think again. Once executives arrive at a ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Self-Leadership

Top leadership qualities in today’s unpredictable world

By Dominique Turpin - 28/04/2016

For the foreseeable future, the world won’t be a stable or predictable place like it used to be. Think about the countries which were touted a few years ago as the future of growth for global business ...

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Human Resources, Organizational Design

Attracting the right talent isn’t just about the money

By Howard H. Yu - 20/04/2016

It appears that companies operate in two economic realities. In the battle for talent, organizations sometimes feel they have little choice but to make the highest bid to attract the best candidates. ...

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Innovation, Strategy

How HQs can actually add value

By Cyril Bouquet, Jean-Louis Barsoux - 20/04/2016

Executives often mock the contribution of head offices to their subsidiaries. And rightly so. Head offices remain bastions of conservatism, advocating innovation everywhere but at HQ. To add real valu ...

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Innovation, Strategy

The red envelope war

By Michael R. Wade, Jialu Shan - 13/04/2016

In a tradition spanning more than 500 years, Chinese people have been giving each other money in red envelopes, called hongbao , as part of the annual New Year celebrations. These hongbao have now bec ...

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Innovation, Strategy

We are failing at failing

By William A. Fischer - 13/04/2016

We don’t fail enough; we need to fail faster, fail bigger, fail more often; convince our leaders that failure is acceptable. It’s almost as if we are saying that: “if only we were more accomplished ...

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Information Technology, Strategy

What have digital and social media done to your strategy?

By Mikolaj Jan Piskorski, Carlos Cordon - 06/04/2016

Firms today are beginning to understand the importance of social and digital media to their corporate strategies. They have struggled to survive during a period that has greatly threatened their busin ...

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Finance, Political Economy

Cash rich and investment poor?

By Stéphane Garelli - 06/04/2016

Greenwich, Connecticut, is one of the wealthiest communities in the US. There, money earned on Wall Street is spent on lavish houses and luxury cars. But mansions are connected to the electricity and ...

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Innovation, Interpersonal Leadership

How to lead in high turbulence

By Tawfik Jelassi - 30/03/2016

What would you do if you were offered a new job and were told you would be fired after one year but you weren’t allowed to quit during your mandate? That you would be paid peanuts compared to your old ...

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Economics, Finance

Why new policy shifts and corporate direction is needed in china

By Winter Nie - 30/03/2016

It is increasingly clear that China’s “new normal” presents dramatic opportunities and challenges. It follows that senior executives at multinationals working in China as well as policy planners in ...

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Innovation, Strategy

The battle for digital disruption: startups vs incumbents

By Michael R. Wade, Jialu Shan - 23/03/2016

The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation , an IMD and Cisco initiative, surveyed nearly 1000 executives across 15 industries about their attitudes and behaviors towards digital disruption ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Strategy

Global contenders from China: What are their challenges?

By Balaji S. Chakravarthy, David Yau - 23/03/2016

Nearly a third of the companies that make it onto Boston Consulting Group’s annual list of 100 global contenders to watch are from China; hardly a surprising result, given the speed with which that ...

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Human Resources, Interpersonal Leadership

Where are women leaders today?

By Ginka Toegel - 23/03/2016

More than 35 years have passed since Iceland’s Vigdis Finnbogadottir became the world’s first directly elected female head of state. The fact that she was re-elected three times before retiring in 199 ...

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Human Resources, Interpersonal Leadership

See colleagues as they are, not as they were

By Duncan Coombe - 16/03/2016

Is there a colleague with whom you have a strained working relationship? If, by chance, you are some kind of work superhero who just answered “no” to that question, is there at least someone with whom ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Strategy

China: Slowing at home but expanding abroad

By Philip Rosenzweig - 16/03/2016

Despite recent news about China’s slowing growth and tumbling stock markets, the country’s enterprises have also been expanding abroad, both through direct investment and acquisitions. The recent ...

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Human Resources, Team Leadership

The seven biggest traps in the first 90 days…and how to avoid them

By Michael D. Watkins - 09/03/2016

My research shows that leaders who derail or under-perform in their new roles fall into common traps in their First 90 Days. Have you fallen into any of these traps? Have you seen others do so? Trap # ...

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Human Resources, Interpersonal Leadership

Do you have the right implementation team?

By Marco Mancesti - 09/03/2016

So, you’ve got a great idea, the funding is in the bag, and your business model has been well crafted. Success is guaranteed, right? Wrong! According to research by serial entrepreneur Bill Gross, whi ...

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Innovation, Strategy

Beyond the beautiful

By Howard H. Yu - 02/03/2016

In June 2000 Procter & Gamble was in free fall. It had long suffered lackluster performance during the 1990s, followed by a 20% plunge in its share price after investors refused to back its bid for dr ...

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Innovation, Sustainability

Emerging markets’ approach to corporate sustainability

By Francisco Szekely, Victoria Kemanian - 02/03/2016

As explored in the first article of this series, businesses in emerging markets have made quick strides in the field of sustainability by rapidly adopting mainstream practices and even pushing the ...

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Economics, Interpersonal Leadership

Where’s the best country to start a company?

By Arturo Bris - 25/02/2016

Imagine that you could open a business anywhere in the world. Where would you choose? Before you decide, consider these facts: The BRICS have not lived up to their potential - the Shanghai stock marke ...

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Information Technology, Marketing

Four keys to marketing in the digital era

By Dominique Turpin - 25/02/2016

In today’s digital era, consumers have a completely different journey than they used to. What we marketers call the ‘marketing funnel’, where at the top consumers become aware of the product through ...

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Innovation, Sustainability

Sustainability leaders in emerging markets

By Francisco Szekely, Victoria Kemanian - 25/02/2016

Leading domestic firms in emerging markets are advancing the global debate on corporate sustainability by coming up with innovative programs and initiatives that question and reinvent traditional ...

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Innovation, Strategy

Global differences in the digital vortex

By Michael R. Wade, Jialu Shan - 19/02/2016

Digital disruption is a global phenomenon, but that does not mean that it is evenly distributed across the globe. The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation , an IMD and Cisco initiative ...

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Economics, Innovation

Why China is on the way to being a global innovator

By Georges Haour - 16/02/2016

As part of the transformation of the Chinese economy, attested by many elements of the recent news, China is fast transitioning from low cost manufacturing to a higher value innovation-led economy. ...

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Governance, Strategy

When less is more at your organization

By Bettina Büchel - 16/02/2016

Every business wants to improve employee productivity: that’s certain. What is less clear is how often management practices are examined in order to achieve that improvement, and simultaneously reduce ...

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Human Resources, Interpersonal Leadership

Why you shouldn’t be too nice to your new hires

By Michael D. Watkins - 09/02/2016

While speaking recently at an HR forum in Denmark, I learned a Danish word that perfectly captures a common trap that companies fall into when they onboard new hires: bjørnetjenste. The term can be ...

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Innovation, Strategy

How a best-selling author crowdsourced and broke every rule in the book

By Howard H. Yu - 09/02/2016

The idea of crowdsourcing, a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use both external and internal ideas, is nothing new in technology-driven companies. Pharmaceutical firms, defense system ...

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Economics, Finance

China’s “new normal”

By Winter Nie - 09/02/2016

With more news from markets in China, the world seems to be waiting for doom and gloom. And it isn’t the first time. When the Shanghai stock exchange index went into a precipitous dive last summer, ...

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Human Resources, Interpersonal Leadership

What top executives can learn from designers

By Shlomo Ben-Hur, Jean-Louis Barsoux, Joseph Press - 02/02/2016

Leaders at every level of an organization need to mobilize their teams, whether it is a top management team or a front-line sales force. But traditional leadership principles of hierarchy and control ...

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Economics, Political Economy

Moving Asia beyond GDP-ism

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 02/02/2016

The planet is adrift and in a mess. After a year like 2015, this would seem a pretty incontestable statement. For one thing, humanity appears increasingly less human - whether in terms of how we treat ...

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Governance, Strategy

How crowdsourcing can make products better, cheaper and faster

By Howard H. Yu - 28/01/2016

It might sound foolish for an organization or company to outsource highly important projects, especially ones that are related to national security or matters at the heart of a business. But channeled ...

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Finance, Interpersonal Leadership

Dead unicorns on the horizon

By Nuno Fernandes - 28/01/2016

Just as in the Game of Thrones series, the “winter is coming”, and with it, so are huge risks to investors and employees of the so called unicorns. Unicorns are broadly defined as start-ups worth $1 ...

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Economics, Finance

Is China triggering a global crisis?

By Nuno Fernandes - 21/01/2016

The recent steep slides on global stock markets have been a long time in the making. As early as two years ago, it was becoming obvious that in addition to the contraction of global demand, as well as ...

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Innovation

Innovation lessons from Coca Cola

By Cyril Bouquet - 21/01/2016

In the popular imagination, the phrase “disruptive innovation” is so closely linked with Silicon Valley that it’s tempting to think non-IT companies have stood still since the 1990s. Some people tell ...

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Marketing

3 ways to engage your customers to improve your products and services

By Dominique Turpin - 21/01/2016

In the old days marketing gurus used to say that the customer is king. Those days are over. The customer is now god. With online platforms making it easier and easier for consumers to communicate thei ...

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Operations, Strategy

New Markets, New Customers and New Supply Chain Problems

By Ralf W. Seifert, Philipp U. Moser - 14/01/2016

Micro marketing, social media and big data are powerful tools in identifying new consumer segments and capturing new market trends. Used well, this information can help companies optimize product ...

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Organizational Design, Strategy

The trouble with being SMART

By Amit Shankar Mukherjee - 14/01/2016

2016 is here. Worldwide, managers are setting SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely) goals, expecting these to make this ‘the year’ to revitalize or transform their businesses ...

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Economics, Finance

Game of unknowns for business in 2016

By Nuno Fernandes - 07/01/2016

As Game of Thrones fans know, “winter is coming” in the new episodes slated for 2016, and with it a season of uncertainty. The outlook for the show’s Seven Kingdoms of Westeros is very similar to that ...

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Human Resources

Family values

By Denise H. Kenyon-Rouvinez - 27/10/2015

Family businesses are fascinating – 70% of businesses worldwide are private or family owned; they are the oldest form of business in the world, and in the UK, for instance, they provide 9.2 million jo ...

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Strategy

The essence of strategy

By Albrecht Enders with Andreas König. - 23/09/2015

What is strategy? While executives talk a lot about it, and while it is widely acknowledged that it is of critical importance, there is a remarkable lack of clarity about what strategy actually is? Th ...

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Organizational Design

To implement change you must rewire your organization

By Michael D. Watkins - 17/09/2015

Why do organizational change efforts fail? Most often because leaders didn't give sufficient attention to the implementation phase of the process. When companies undertake major change initiatives, su ...

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Governance

Preparing to be at the wheel – why family business education matters!

By Denise H. Kenyon-Rouvinez with Anne-Catrin Glemser. - 30/06/2015

All over the world, families are looking for recipes to well prepare their next generations as potential successors for operational or board roles with businesses and family organizations. Educating t ...

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Marketing

How Coke, Apple and others use marketing doctrine

By Goutam Challagalla with Brian Murtha, Bernard Jaworski. - 17/06/2015

A number of the world's leading-edge marketing firms – Merck, Coke, Apple, Cisco – have adopted a firm-specific set of marketing principles – which we refer to as Marketing Doctrine – to guide the ...

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Economics

Don’t settle for just any MBA…

By Ralf Boscheck - 29/05/2015

Running an MBA program comes with its share of challenges. But the biggest among them seem to be in coming to grips with shifting MBA market dynamics and going against preconceived notions. With the ...

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Strategy

The family office: helping families preserve their wealth over generations

By Denise H. Kenyon-Rouvinez - 30/04/2015

Wealth is volatile; it can be lost as quickly as it is created. It needs to be nurtured with care and strong values.  One of the first decisions families need to make about wealth is whether they will ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Strategy

Is VUCA the end of strategy and leadership?

By Marco Mancesti - 18/03/2015

We’ve all been in meetings during which two parties were arguing about whether they should spend their time discussing strategy or focus on organizing immediate action. This kind of debate is likely t ...

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Strategy

BLUEPRINT FOR AZUL UPDATED FOR BRAZIL

By J. Stewart Black - 01/10/2014

  The story With two airlines controlling an estimated 80 per cent of domestic air travel in Brazil in 2008, David Neeleman was picking a potentially lopsided fight by launching an airline in the ...

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Sustainability

Escaping the compliance trap

By Jean-Louis Barsoux, Daina Mazutis - 31/07/2014

When social and environmental concerns first made their way onto the corporate agenda in the 1980s, it was primarily driven by the desire to avoid accidents or scandals – often in hard-to-monitor dist ...

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Strategy, Team Leadership

GOLI VADA PAV STORY

By Anand Narasimhan, Aparna Dogra - 01/05/2014

The story When Venkatesh Iyer co-founded Goli Vada Pav with Shiv Menon in 2004, he saw a big opportunity in selling affordable, clean, ethnic fast food to lower-income customers in India.  Mr Venkates ...

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Strategy

Striving for strategic nimbleness

By Bettina Büchel, Jean-Louis Barsoux - 10/04/2014

The misfortunes of giants such as Kodak and Nokia have shown that deep pockets and cutting-edge research count for little unless allied to strategic nimbleness. With companies now exposed to unknown a ...

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Innovation

The co-innovation sweet spot

By Howard H. Yu, Jean-Louis Barsoux - 20/03/2014

Shifting industry boundaries mean that change is happening faster and coming at us from all directions. It is becoming harder to keep up by innovating alone. According to Caroline Firstbrook, managing ...

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Marketing, Strategy

OPTING FOR EXCLUSIVITY

By Dominique Turpin - 03/03/2014

The story   An Argentine of Italian origin, Lando Simonetti built a career in the US fashion industry before returning to Argentina in 1985 and founding La Martina. A keen polo player in his youth, Mr ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Strategy

Betting on leadership development: three false paths

By Shlomo Ben-Hur, Jean-Louis Barsoux - 29/01/2014

Over the past couple of decades, companies have come to see leadership development as an organizational capability, not just a top-level succession necessity. More and more companies are expanding the ...

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Strategy

Selling solutions is no easy answer

By Wolfgang Ulaga, Jean-Louis Barsoux - 19/12/2013

Companies trying to differentiate themselves from their competitors are urged to become "solution providers," not just sellers of products and services. But selling solutions is no easy answer. Jumpin ...

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Economics

Global delusions

By Cyril Bouquet, Jean-Louis Barsoux - 06/12/2013

Many companies are described as global. Some even claim to be "born global". But few are truly global. Global is the new International   When the term "global company" first gained currency – with the ...

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Governance, Innovation, Strategy, Team Leadership

INSULAR TAKEDA ADOPTS A GLOBAL OUTLOOK

By Anand Narasimhan, Jean-Louis Barsoux - 01/11/2013

The story . When Yasuchika Hasegawa took over as president of Takeda in 2003, the Japanese pharmaceutical company was experiencing sluggish domestic growth and facing a drop in revenue as lucrative ...

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Strategy

Would you trust Mickey Mouse to teach your kid English?

By Stefan Michel, Howard H. Yu - 26/09/2013

Most of us grew up with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. We learned some elements of romance from Lady and the Tramp and we were terrified about lying thanks to Pinocchio. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs told ...

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Human Resources, Interpersonal Leadership

Maybe kindness really is its own reward

By Ginka Toegel - 05/09/2013

The idea that colleagues should help each other deal with problems both within and beyond the workplace was first fostered by trade unions. For a time the emphasis on community, family and caring ...

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Strategy

Diversification key to global expansion

By Allen J. Morrison - 03/05/2013

Emerging market economies, and especially the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China), continue to experience impressive growth.  Yet despite the progress they have made, the economic growth they have ...

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Governance, Innovation

BAVARIA'S MIX OF TRADITION AND INNOVATION

By Benoit F. Leleux, Jan Van der Kaaij - 01/05/2013

  The story  Founded in 1680, Netherlands-based Bavaria is one of Europe's oldest family-owned beer producers. It has a reputation for operating efficiency and brewing knowhow but by 2007, as its main ...

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Self-Leadership, Team Leadership

Cut out to lead?

By Ginka Toegel with Jean-Louis Barsoux. - 12/04/2013

When executives identify admirable leaders, they often underestimate their struggle with certain elements of their personality. In truth, the majority of effective leaderseven "naturals" like Richard ...

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Human Resources, Interpersonal Leadership

Fast trackers, specialists and unsung heroes

By Preston C. Bottger, Jean-Louis Barsoux - 28/03/2013

When executives talk about talent they usually mean their company's emerging or established leaders: highly-trained people with MBAs or an equivalent level of streets smarts, and a track record of ...

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Strategy

Balancing local flexibility with global efficiency

By Bettina Büchel, Michael R. Wade - 15/03/2013

Over the years, we have heard countless stories of multinationals struggling to take advantage of their global scale. However hard they try, they never quite manage move away from the business unit an ...

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Sustainability

Innovation for sustainability

By Aileen Ionescu-Somers, Francisco Szekely - 15/03/2013

This is the third in a series of three articles about innovation for sustainability. The first, which examines the business context and drivers, can be found here , while the second, which looks at ...

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Human Resources, Interpersonal Leadership

Women leaders

By Ginka Toegel with Jean-Louis Barsoux. - 22/02/2013

Some female executives assume they need to act like men to get ahead. But according to recent research, the situation is far more of a balancing act between the widely accepted expectations for leader ...

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Economics

Global (non)competitiveness

By Dominique Turpin - 09/01/2013

Japan's economy has a lot of things working in its favor. For example, it is one of China's nearest neighbors, which creates great export potential, as well as the ability to achieve economies of scal ...

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Economics

The fragile state of talent management

By Shlomo Ben-Hur - 05/10/2012

Globalization offers business immense possibilities: bigger markets, more sources of innovation, and – in theory, at least – a wider, deeper pool of talent. That's the good news.   The bad news, thoug ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Organizational Design

It shouldn't be lonely at the top

By George Kohlrieser - 31/08/2012

The traditional image of business leaders positions them at the top of an organizational pyramid. They are visionaries who create distance between themselves and others, experts who are isolated from ...

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Team Leadership

10 "people" mistakes leaders make

By George Kohlrieser - 22/06/2012

Much of today's leadership writing focuses on what high performing leaders should do. Certainly, that material helps from a theoretical and aspirational point of view. Yet what really haunts leaders o ...

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Sustainability

Have ecolabels had their day?

By Ralf W. Seifert with Joana M. Comas Marti. - 03/05/2012

More than three decades after the first ecolabeling program was introduced, what is the verdict on their effectiveness? To find out we asked managers and sustainability practitioners – over a thousand ...

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Sustainability

Sustainability is actually good news

By Francisco Szekely with Heidi Strebel. - 27/04/2012

Perhaps the biggest challenge for the 21st century is how to build a sustainable society. Overcoming this challenge means letting go of the rather negative vision of sustainability that concentrates ...

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Sustainability

What's stopping your sustainability schemes?

By Aileen Ionescu-Somers - 23/03/2012

Lack of interest from investors is a key factor. So too is inconsistent customer demand. But some of the biggest barriers facing companies that are trying to roll out sustainability strategies come no ...

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Marketing

Managing the connected consumer

By John W. Walsh - 06/01/2012

Companies have often grappled with the “ownership” of their brands. Ultimately, the brand is simply what it represents in the minds of consumers. Strong brands generate strong emotions and consumers c ...

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Strategy

Rethinking strategy to escape commoditization

By Howard H. Yu - 12/12/2011

Look at almost any industry and you will see companies struggling to differentiate what they have to offer from everything else in the marketplace. So it’s hardly surprising that one of the most commo ...

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Operations

Leverage the supply chain to improve your company's bottom line

By Carlos Cordon, Winter Nie - 24/10/2011

Scarcity of raw materials and soaring prices for commodities, the financial crisis and the increasing intensity of natural catastrophes have created a paradigm shift that requires a fresh analysis of ...

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Sustainability

Going forward with tomorrow's sustainability approach

By Michael Yaziji - 10/06/2011

The notion of sustainability-as-less –fewer people, resources and production together with less consumption and pollution – is actually not enough. On one hand, we absolutely need to do all of these ...

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Innovation

Still waiting for the "eureka moment?"

By Cyril Bouquet with Jean-Louis Barsoux. - 27/05/2011

Innovation ain’t what it was. It was once the province of a department, with a clear remit: new product development. Today, it’s everywhere. It concerns not only products and services, but also ...

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Interpersonal Leadership

Leading for the future

By Ben Bryant - 21/05/2010

Leadership is in demand. The complex challenges that face teams, organizations and societies are demanding new ways of thinking about and shaping the future. In spite of decades of leadership research ...

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Strategy

From producer to service provider

By Stefan Michel - 16/04/2010

Industrial companies are increasingly defining themselves as “service providers” and offering customers “one-stop solutions”. They promise “total customer solutions” thanks to “integrated value chains ...

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Strategy

From blind spots to strategic intelligence

By Bettina Büchel - 16/04/2010

Nothing breeds success like success, at least according to the old proverb. However, this is not always the case when it comes to business growth. Many organizations, from Polaroid to Sony, have becom ...

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Finance

The value of the long-term view

By Nuno Fernandes - 27/10/2009

Who should come first in managers’ minds: shareholders or stakeholders? According to one fundamental principle, the answer is clear – executives’ primary objective should always be to create value for ...

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Strategy

Fear of failure

By Bettina Büchel - 05/05/2009

Despite a continued corporate call for business schools to objectively prove the impact of their executive education programs, the use of activities to ensure and measure such impact remains limited. ...

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Innovation

Reinventing the managerial mindset

By William A. Fischer - 12/03/2009

Big change in an organization’s environment requires big, thoughtful, responses. The bigger the change, the more we need a willingness to reconsider every attribute of an organization’s business model ...

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Interpersonal Leadership

Cross-cultural leadership

By Ben Bryant with Karsten Jonsen. - 01/10/2008

In an ever more globalized business environment, how can culturally diverse teams learn to work together? In this Tomorrow’s Challenge, Professor Ben Bryant and Research Fellow Karsten Jonsen, explain ...

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Innovation

What is the next big innovation in innovation?

By John Stuart Read, David C. Robertson - 08/09/2008

Engaging users is among the many secrets that underlie successful innovation. The newest innovation in innovation is the use of rich media and online interactivity to involve broad audiences in the ...

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