Journey to Global Agility

The quest to become more strategically or operationally agile, notably by reducing complexity.

TOMORROW'S CHALLENGES

STRIVING FOR STRATEGIC NIMBLENESS

Companies must work to improve their vigilance, versatility and velocity - the 3Vs to success

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 and remote competitors, game-changing technologies and sudden shifts in market conditions, being able to reinvent the core business has become critical to maintaining competitive advantage.

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FT CASE STUDY

ONE OF EUROPE'S OLDEST FAMILY-OWNED BEER PRODUCERS

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 western European markets matured and the global industry consolidated, the need to focus more on marketing was clear.

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PERSPECTIVES FOR MANAGERS

ANCHORED AGILITY: THE HOLY GRAIL OF COMPETITIVENESS

Many large organizations face a central dilemma: How to balance local flexibility and global efficiency. Professors Bettina Buechel and Michael Wade's research, which is based on interviews with senior executives at twelve multinational organizations with combined revenue of US$750 billion, has uncovered a new approach for reaching the correct equilibrium: we call it anchored agility. They will describe how some firms have achieved anchored agility by implementing strategies that are both locally agile and globally efficient.

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TOMORROW'S CHALLENGES

FROM BLIND SPOTS TO STRATEGIC INTELLIGENCE

Ensuring growth options are exploited

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 become victims of their own success: they achieved enormous growth by introducing new products - the Polaroid camera, the Sony Walkman - but as the marketplace matured this growth slowed and they were left looking for alternative paths.

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FT CASE STUDY

A LOW-COST CARRIER IN BRAZIL

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 country. However, he had a strong record in the US and Canada, including founding New York-based airline JetBlue and co-founding WestJet, based in Calgary. Thus, he was confident in starting Azul, a low-cost carrier, in a country he knew well. He spoke Portuguese after working in Brazil during his 20s, and had citizenship rights having been born there while his American father was on a journalist posting.

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TOMORROW'S CHALLENGES

BALANCING LOCAL FLEXIBILITY WITH GLOBAL EFFICIENCY

Five steps for competing in highly dynamic markets

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 and functional silos, and gain the desired economies of scope or scale. More recently, we have started to hear a different story. Spurred on by enterprise IT initiatives and process standardization programs, many firms are now feeling leaner and more efficient, but these benefits have come at the expense of local flexibility and agility.

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TOMORROW'S CHALLENGES

REINVENTING THE MANAGERIAL MINDSET

Keys to surviving and thriving in volatile times

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. We live in a world of great volatility and surprise, as evidenced by the current financial crisis that is impacting markets around the world. At such times, I believe we need to reconsider the very core elements of the managerial mindset.

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Discover the book

IMD's professors identify and address the seven transformation journeys that are reshaping corporations today.

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Professor William A. Fischer on moving to where the ideas are flowing

Extract from a Wednesday Webcast: "Mini-Series (Part 4) - Agility: Idea Flow is Critical," interviewed by Paul Hunter. This webcast is part of the virtual services available exclusive to members of the Corporate Learning Network (CLN).

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Professor Pasha Mahmood on responding to emerging customer needs

Extract from a Wednesday Webcast: "Frugal Innovations," interviewed by Paul Hunter. This webcast is part of the virtual services available exclusive to members of the Corporate Learning Network (CLN).

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