If you need the best practices and ideas for unleashing technology's strategic potential--but don't have time to find them--this book is for you. Here are eight inspiring and useful perspectives, all in one place. This collection of HBR articles will help you:
- Clarify corporate strategy with your IT department
- Fund only IT projects that support your strategy
- Transform IT investments into profits
- Build one technology platform for your entire organization
- Adopt new technologies only when their best
practices are established
- Use analytics to make smart decisions at all levels
of your company
- Integrate social media into your business
For more than forty years, The Boston Consulting Group has been shaping strategic thinking in business. The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy offers a broad and up-to-date selection of the firm's best ideas on strategy with fresh ideas, insights, and practical lessons for managers, executives, and entrepreneurs in every industry. Here's a sampling of the provocative thinking you'll find inside:
"You have to be the scientist of your own life and be astonished four times:at what is, what always has been, what once was, and what could be."
"The majority of products in most companies are cash traps . . . .[They] are not only worthless, but a perpetual drain on corporate resources."
"Use more debt than your competition or get out of the business."
"When information flows freely, reputation, more than reciprocity,becomes the basis for trust."
"As a strategic weapon, time is the equivalent of money, productivity,quality, even innovation."
"When brands become business systems, brand management becomes far too important to leave to the marketing department."
"The winning organization of the future will look more like a collection ofjazz ensembles than a symphony orchestra."
"Most of our organizations today derive from a model whose original purpose was to control creativity."
"Rather than being an obstacle, uncertainty is the very engine of transformation in a business, a continuous source of new opportunities."
"IP assets lack clear property lines. Every bit of intellectual property you can own comes with connections to other valuable innovations."
The book stresses problem identification, which executives frequently ignore because of their preoccupation with problem solving. It looks at the need to avoid viewing solutions as remedies achieved at predetermined milestones. It examines options other than solutions, such as accommodation and coping, and it looks at the executive environment associated with outcomes along a spectrum ranging from perfection, to progress, to failure. The author argues that executives should abandon the attempt to predetermine objectives over time and adopt a Problem Exchange Ratio (PER) concept. The executive then compares the status of problems over time, creating a ratio. The PER approach considers the problems that solutions themselves trigger. It then allows executives to see where they stand and suggests ways of ameliorating unwanted conditions. The author provides illustrative cases and episodes from both the public and private sectors. Combining theory and practical aspects of executive decisionmaking, this book gives the reader a fuller understanding of the link between decisions and problems.
Webne-Behrman points out that a facilitator is actually a manager of a group within an organization--an important and diversified role. Not only do facilitators lead work teams in solving complex business problems, but in the public sector, they help resolve problems that may have rendered communities inoperative. They also manage interpersonal disputes to improve working relationships, and help build consensus on contentious social and political issues so as to help legislators create sound public policy. Webne-Behrman explains, The book will serve as a companion to the practitioner at times of greatest urgency. Included are outlines of the stages of effective meetings, strategies for managing conflict, ways to build consensus, and other specific advice on how to approach and solve problems.