Managing the Paradoxes of CoopetitionManaging the Paradoxes of Coopetition

Business rivalry is rarely pure. Industry growth is often dependent on some level of mutual accommodation amongst key players. But thanks to the digital economy’s overwhelming pressure to be all things to all customers, more rivals are realising that they cannot go it alone. To succeed in a growing service-based digital ecosystem, these firms require a strategy that blends competitive and cooperative approaches – a balancing act that has been dubbed “coopetition”.

The need for coopetition may be clear, but how to manage the tensions it raises isn’t. Managers must clearly define the border between collaborative and combative behaviours, lest the firm ends up engaging in one when the other is called for. At the same time, they must allow enough flexibility for the two-pronged strategy to create maximum value. In a recent special issue of Strategic Management Journal dedicated to the interplay of competition and cooperation, we identify the four main mechanisms by which companies can try to mitigate the tensions of coopetition...Read more

Managing the Modern Supply ChainManaging the Modern Supply Chain

Three major trends have made the job of controlling all the links in the chain for creating and distributing goods increasingly complex.

First, supply chains which were once relatively simple, because commerce was local, now typically extend over multiple global locations, involve numerous logistical and financial transactions with many individuals and organizations, and can often extend over months.

Secondly, customers have become increasingly more demanding and service conscious – because Amazon offers next-day delivery this the new normal...Read more

Open Organizations Vs Digital DisruptionOpen Organizations Vs Digital Disruption

A search for the website of your favourite hotel will find it buried deep below Booking.com, Trivago, etc. – digital disruptors that have captured the customer relationships, and a great portion of the profit margins, that once belonged to hotels.

This familiar example introduces an important new white paper from HEC Paris and Presans that throws light on the dynamics of digital disruption and highlights the characteristics of Open Organizations – organizations with the resilience to resist (or join) the disruptors and the purpose to succeed in the digital future...Read more

Jeffrey Katzenberg: How Failure Makes a Better LeaderJeffrey Katzenberg: How Failure Makes a Better Leader

Getting fired while seemingly at the apogee of a career would faze most executives. But it only took Jeffrey Katzenberg eight days to recover after being shown the door at Disney, where he’d headed its motion picture division for 10 years. In just over a week, he teamed with Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg and David Geffen to launch DreamWorks, where they turned out hits including Saving Private Ryan, Castaway, A Beautiful Mind, and Shrek.

Despite the success of DreamWorks, Comcast pushed Katzenberg out when it bought the production company in 2016, an outcome that left him with a huge payout — and some bruised feelings, Katzenberg said during a recent visit to Stanford Graduate School of Business...Read more

South Asia can become an innovation hub. Here's howSouth Asia can become an innovation hub. Here's how

South Asia has the potential to become a hub of innovation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR): with its young population well connected to new global technological developments; opportunities created by the growth of 4IR technologies; and a large, educated labour market.

The rise of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and autonomous vehicles present interesting opportunities to tackle some of the large-scale systemic challenges in South Asia. But a lack of understanding of the technologies, unreliable existing systems, and the fear of the negative effects of these technologies are stifling their adoption...Read more

Three key questions you will not escape for industry 4.0Three key questions you will not escape for industry 4.0

A recent survey by IMD business school asked supply chain leaders across Europe to select from a diverse list of 20 hot topics what would be their biggest supply chain drivers in 2020. They were also asked to rank their company’s readiness to exploit these drivers.

The top five supply chain drivers for which the implementation gap was the largest touched on Big Data, Digitalization, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, all pillars of Industry 4.0 along with automation, 3D...Read more

5 tips for managing up5 tips for managing up

The process of actively “managing up,” or actively working to further the goals of senior leadership, to mutual benefit, is more than just an occasional tactic or a meeting-room behavior. Managing up is a philosophy by which you frame your actions to make sure that those leading you feel as supported and energized by your efforts as those you are leading. Interested in learning how to put your skills to use and make sure both you and your bosses end up on top? Read on.

1. Know what matters.
To effectively work towards achieving the goals of senior leaders, first you must know what they are striving to accomplish. Understanding what’s important is critical, and it’s not just about the day-to-day...Read more

Building an intrapreneurial organizationBuilding an intrapreneurial organization

Almost 50 participants attended a Discovery Event to gain insights into fostering entrepreneurial thinking across their organization. Being intrapreneurial – that is applying entrepreneurial skills and techniques inside an established organization – is back on the agenda of top management teams. They need to anticipate change and disruption in an agile and entrepreneurial way in order to survive the storm. In a number of hands-on sessions, participants worked on concrete business opportunities for disrupting their own industry and challenged each other, as well as conventional wisdom on innovation, to unleash their inner entrepreneur.

While we’ve always lived in a VUCA world – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous – these tendencies are a bit more pronounced than in the...Read more

Top 5 challenges for business transformation: USA vs EuropeTop 5 challenges for business transformation: USA vs Europe

The 2018 State of the Industry Process Excellence Survey which forms part of The PEX Report is the landmark piece of research carried out by PEX Network. With thousands of downloads and tens of thousands of readers, it represents an influential reflection of the industry - and suggests where future trends might lie.

While the data covers different sectors and regions, there are some key differences between demographics. In this paper, we look at some of the differences found between the data from Europe and USA in attitudes towards challenges in the coming months...Read more

Why all businesses should embrace sustainabilityWhy all businesses should embrace sustainability

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 will be in the future.

Simply put, sustainability is a business approach to creating long-term value by taking into consideration how a given organization operates in the ecological, social and economic environment. Sustainability is built on the assumption that developing such strategies foster company longevity...Read more

How to get leadership buy-in for process improvementHow to get leadership buy-in for process improvement

Leaders should be the first to drive process change and champion best practice. But sometimes, getting leadership buy-in can be problematic - and if that's the case, there may be deeper issues to worry about. Where does this resistence come from? How can it be overcome? And how do you know the commitment to genuine, lasting change is real?

Structured around four core questions, this whitepaper uses case studies to show how the advice given plays out in the real world, and how change can be an opportunity for a business to emerge with renewed purpose and aligned goals. A call to action for leaders to lead the charge on change, each stage in the process is broken down into manageable tasks that can be monitored and used to benchmark progress...Read more

Nine Smart Factories Lighting the Way to a Winning Industry 4.0 StrategyNine Smart Factories Lighting the Way to a Winning Industry 4.0 Strategy

The World Economic Forum picked nine plants to serve as beacons of a new hope for Industry 4.0 success.

The future of manufacturing is a dark place, shrouded in the unknown. As wise Master Yoda once said, "Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future."

As in that galaxy far, far away, there are so many variables with which to consider: The skills gap, the aging workforce, trade disputes, complicated and costly new technologies. For executives and other leaders trying to make decisions based on what's right and not due to fear, thinking about it can be downright scary. Or at least give you a bit of heartburn...Read more

Corporate Innovation: How to Fund and Execute the Next Big ThingCorporate Innovation: How to Fund and Execute the Next Big Thing

This is the sequel to last month’s piece on corporate innovation: “Corporate Innovation: How to Find the Next Big Thing,” which explores how corporations can systematically identify innovative new ideas to drive organic growth. Here we’ll walk through funding and executing your innovation ideas.

Funding the Next Big Thing
How do you make sure the next big thing gets enough resources vs. zombie projects that lumber on without delivering?...Read more

Do Big Businesses Die Young? Fact-Checking Jeff BezosDo Big Businesses Die Young? Fact-Checking Jeff Bezos

As one of the world's most valuable brands, it's hard to imagine a time when Amazon may cease to exist.

Jeff Bezos, the company's illustrious CEO and founder, however, sees its extinction as a real possibility.

At an all-hands meeting last Thursday in Seattle, the 54-year-old billionaire asserted, "Amazon is not too big to fail...In fact, I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt."

He continued, "If you look at large companies, their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not a hundred-plus years."...Read more

Big Data Is Giving an Edge to Big CompaniesBig Data Is Giving an Edge to Big Companies

Given all the bromides about small business being the engine of job creation, it may sound jarring to hear that the big growth is increasingly coming from big companies.

Over the past 30 years, however, the broad trend in the United States has been that big companies are growing faster and becoming more dominant. Between 1980 and 2015, the overall share of jobs at firms with more than 1,000 employees increased from about one-quarter to one-third, while the share at companies with fewer than 100 workers declined modestly...Read more

Agile in 3 Easy ChunksAgile in 3 Easy Chunks

If you’re not familiar with agile, it’s basically a set of practices to help teams innovate. Done right, it’s a workhorse for applied innovation, something every corporation wants. The messy part is that if you talk to someone on an actual team at a corporation about the company’s practice of agile, odds are good you’ll hear a lot of grumbling. And not without good reason!

How Do You Know When You’re Agile?
Across my experience as a founder, a manager, an adviser, an investor and a faculty member, I’ve seen agile practiced a lot of different ways. On one end of the spectrum, you’ll find folks who tell you the important thing is the principles. These...Read more

How Jeff Bezos Makes DecisionsHow Jeff Bezos Makes Decisions

In the course of your reporting, what did you observe about Bezos’s decision-making style?
Two factors come to mind. The first is an observation made by Rick Dalzell, his right hand guy. He says that Jeff does two things better than anyone else. One is that he tries to find the best truth at the time. That may sound obvious, but Rick says that while a lot of people know what the truth is, they don’t engage their thinking about how the truth may change. Second, Rick says that Jeff refuses to accept the conventional wisdom about the way things are typically done. He thinks about reinventing everything—even small things. Two weeks ago, for instance, Amazon introduced the new Kindle Fire tablets. Ordinarily when tech...Read more


4 Ways to Improve Your Strategic Thinking Skills4 Ways to Improve Your Strategic Thinking Skills

4 Ways to Improve Your Strategic Thinking Skills - mainClick to zoomIf you’ve ever received feedback that you “need to be more strategic,” you know how frustrating it can feel. To add insult to injury, the feedback rarely comes with any concrete guidance on what to do about it. One of my coaching clients, Lisa, a vice president of HR, was in this situation and explains, “I was just told to think bigger picture and to be more strategic. It felt like I had been given the definition of a word by using the same word. It just wasn’t helpful.”

So what specific steps can you take to be more strategic in your current role?
Start by changing your mindset. If you believe that strategic thinking is only for senior executives, think again. It can, and must, happen at every level of the organization; it’s one of those unwritten parts of all job descriptions. Ignore this fact and you risk getting passed over for a promotion, or having your budget cut because your department’s strategic contribution is unclear...Read more

Treading the line: why feedback is important for successful change

Change can be baffling, but the approaches to change can be just as much of a minefield: there's no 'one size fits all' because each organization has its own culture and what works in one place won't always work everywhere. Yamir Lopez of Novartis tells host Seth Adler that change has to be carried out according to the landscape that people are already working within. Are you making progress, or veering off in the wrong direction? The only way of knowing is to listen!...Read more

Mobile Robots Are the New Soldiers on Factory FloorsMobile Robots Are the New Soldiers on Factory Floors

OYSTER BAY, NEW YORK — The industrial robotics sector is seeing robust growth as manufacturers increasingly embark on the journey of automation.

The revenues of commercial robots in manufacturing are forecasted to grow from $166 million in 2018 to $22 billion by 2027, according to ABI Research, a market research firm. The newest trend is complementary robotics technologies that put mobile robots on the factory floor. Made up of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), these robots will complement existing robotic arms in factories that are increasingly becoming more autonomous and smarter...Read more

If Your Innovation Effort Isn’t Working, Look at Who’s on the TeamIf Your Innovation Effort Isn’t Working, Look at Who’s on the Team

An all-star team is making headway with a new initiative that could alter the future of the organization. Spirits are optimistic and the team is successfully maneuvering through new, yet very promising, territory. Then, the results begin taking longer than anticipated to prove, and after too much time spent outside of their comfort zones, the team of high-achieving employees can’t seem to execute within the uncertain environment.

The team’s outlook shifts and it becomes clear that the group will not be able to weather the storm of uncertainty needed to realize this new organizational opportunity...Read more

How Nokia bounced backHow Nokia bounced back

Nokia’s mobile-phone downfall – from a 40 percent market share to near bankruptcy in just a few years – has become a familiar cautionary parable on the perils of industry disruption. Less well-known is the equally instructive tale of how Nokia clawed its way back from the edge of destruction. Indeed, since touching bottom in 2012, its market capitalisation, while not at the level of its pre-smartphone heyday, has increased more than five-fold.

Nokia’s recovery was due to a wholesale strategic shift towards telecommunications networks, culminating in the US$16.6 billion acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, a deal completed in 2016. Rarely has any large company...Read more

Research: Self-Disruption Can Hurt the Companies That Need It the MostResearch: Self-Disruption Can Hurt the Companies That Need It the Most

When innovations threaten to disrupt an industry by replacing an old business model with a new one, incumbents need to invest in that model in order to survive. That’s the conventional wisdom, and it’s given rise to popular mantra “Disrupt or Be Disrupted.”

If you’re dealing with innovations that have led to a dominant new business model in your industry, that advice is sound, as the leaders of Netflix and Blockbuster can tell you. But what if an innovation poses a threat, and you can’t yet tell whether it has genuinely transformative potential? What are the costs and benefits of self-disruption at that uncertain stage?...Read more

Breakthroughs and characteristics of Teal Organizations

The Teal paradigm refers to the next stage in the evolution of human consciousness.[1] When applied to organizations, this paradigm views the organization as an independent force with its own purpose, and not merely as a vehicle for achieving management's objectives. Teal organizations are characterized by self-organization and self-management. The hierarchical "predict and control" pyramid of Orange is replaced with a decentralized structure consisting of small teams that take responsibility for their own governance and for how they interact with other parts of the organization. Assigned positions and job descriptions are replaced with a multiplicity of roles, often self-selected and fluid. People’s actions are guided not by orders from someone up the chain of command but by ‘listening’ to the organization’s purpose. Unlike the...Read more

The difference between tactics and strategyThe difference between tactics and strategy

In my experience with grooming both mid-level managers and senior-level executives, one difference I notice in people between these levels is their ability to adapt to tactical versus strategic.

What does it mean to be tactical? Tactics refer to the skill of dealing with or handling difficult situations, to achieve a specific goal. On the other hand, a strategy is defined as a comprehensive high-level, long-term plan. Being tactical focuses on tasks, concrete smaller steps, best practices, specific procedures, and resources. Meanwhile, a strategy is tied to purpose, goals, and vision...Read more

What Does Wise Leadership Mean?What Does Wise Leadership Mean?

Over a number of years I have been discussing with business friends the nature of wisdom and leadership. During 2010-2012, we conducted an enquiry into the nature of wisdom from a managerial perspective. We had a number of questions to ask, including: what does wisdom really mean? Our survey involved 88 executives in Western countries and 94 Chinese executives – most of our survey respondents worked in commercial organisations at the most senior levels.

Management has often been regarded as a fact-based scientific approach and managerial decision-making requires knowledge (technical expertise, data, facts) and a rational approach. We asked our respondents if, in...Read more

Every innovation needs a storyEvery innovation needs a story

At its heart, innovation is a profoundly social phenomenon. More often than not, it is the story that makes the innovation, rather than the other way around. Want to be successful at innovation? You need to convince others to buy into your idea. If you are an aspiring innovator, or a project leader, you need to be able to tell your story in a manner that captures the imagination of investors or business unit leaders. If you are an investor, or business unit leader, you need to know what...Read more


Organization Design: A Vehicle to Embed SustainabilityOrganization Design: A Vehicle to Embed Sustainability

Over the past decade, the way many enterprises have viewed sustainability has changed. For many, sustainability was initiated as a compliance effort; others pursued it as a promising management idea, and fewer still because it was the “right” thing to do. Today, as businesses still work to recover from one of the biggest recessions since the Great Depression, many leading enterprises are recognizing that sustainability, as an embedded capacity and normal way of working, is the key to future prosperity. OTM’s organization design methodology is a vehicle...Read more

How Speech Recognition Is Set to DisruptHow Speech Recognition Is Set to Disrupt

Back in 2012, only 10 percent of web pages were accessed via mobile devices. Who would have thought that less than six years later, this would be more than 50 percent and we would be consuming news and video en masse on our smartphones?

The digital world is characterised by seismic shifts – great leaps in innovation that deeply impact the digital ecosystem and recalibrate user behaviour. And all the signs are that we’re approaching a new tipping point: voice control....Read more

Can the family that does business together, stay together?Can the family that does business together, stay together?

Family businesses change with time. So do families. And it is important to expect change, and be prepared for it. The family business must take all the family members along, have mutual respect and understanding and also accommodate each others’ ambitions and aspirations. Let me try to explain this through a story.

There were two brothers who started a business. We pick up this story at the beginning, when the sense of enterprise, shared ownership and bonds of brotherhood were the strongest. The two brothers were Suraj, 24, an engineer and Chander, 22, who was a commerce graduate. If the two are asked to comment...Read more

The Role of a Manager Has to Change in 5 Key WaysThe Role of a Manager Has to Change in 5 Key Ways

“First, let’s fire all the managers” said Gary Hamel almost seven years ago in Harvard Business Review. “Think of the countless hours that team leaders, department heads, and vice presidents devote to supervising the work of others.”

Today, we believe that the problem in most organizations isn’t simply that management is inefficient, it’s that the role and purpose of a “manager” haven’t kept pace with what’s needed...Read more

The Cultural Attributes of the Most Innovative CompaniesThe Cultural Attributes of the Most Innovative Companies

Innovation is the number-one priority of today’s CEOs. They correctly perceive that the fast-turning treadmill of disruption topple organisations that stand still. The only sure-fire way to stay on top is to consistently introduce products and services that provide unique superior value and defy expectations.

So why are there so few consistently innovative organisations? And when the innovative spark does appear, why does it so often fail to ignite and sustain itself?...Read more