This is an article about an exceptional group of companies - publicly traded, with market cap as of 2009 of over $1 Billion USD - who were able to grow their net incomes by at least 5% a year for a total ten-year period. In it, I find that they combine remarkable stability with remarkable change. The first 500 readers to click on the link below will be able to access a free .pdf file of the final published article.
If you missed it, email me and I'll have a hard copy sent to you.
Happy New Year!
- Posted Rita McGrath on January 05, 2012
Gokce Sargut and I are working together on the fascinating subject of how organizations can sensibly and strategically cope with the demands of complex situations. One of the papers from our ongoing research project is out in this months' Harvard Business Review. We offer a perspective on why complexity is so hard to deal with (because it has interactive qualities that make outcomes unpredictable) and offer some suggestions on how you might want to manage differently if you are facing a complex situation.
I will be doing a webinar on this topic on September 28 - more on that later.
For the first 100 readers, HBR has offered the opportunity to download the article for free. You can access the free download here:
If you're too late for the free link, drop me an email and we'll figure out how to get you a copy.
- Posted Rita McGrath on August 26, 2011
A colleague of mine drew to my attention an NPR story about the Federal government's plans to develop green technologies. In many ways, the approach echoes options reasoning:
Many small bets
Substantial upside if the opportunity is successful
Less concern about the rate of failure than the cost of failure
A pretty interesting approach.
- Posted Rita McGrath on June 13, 2011
I was recently fortunate enough to be teaching in a very interesting program for strategy consultants at IBM. One of their senior leaders, an ex-BCG guy, pointed out to me that I really could use a picture to communicate the value of Discovery Driven Growth. Here, therefore is his suggestion! What it basically shows you is how uncertainty is brought down simultaneously with investment increasing so that you tie the level of investment you are making to the level of uncertainty you face. Pretty interesting idea.
- Posted Rita McGrath on July 24, 2010
Every so often, doubtless in a doomed bid to make the whole process of growth and innovation more predictable, some bright spark comes up with the idea of trying to apply six-sigma quality controls to the innovation process. They seem to think that if only innovation could be made more orderly, a more predictable result would ensue. I've said it before, and will say again, six sigma is not the appropriate tool to try to find new things. It's very helpful for optimizing things that already exist, but the parameters that allow it to work properly are totally different in an uncertain and unpredictable world. I was first made aware of the difficulties of using six sigma in this way back when I was doing a fair amount of senior-level executive development at 3M. A new CEO was trying to bring some order into what had become a rather chaotic corporate process, and six sigma was one tool that was being used - as it later turned out - inappropriately, for innovation. I had said it wasn't a good idea at the time. And I guess the company has now caught up. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, CEO George Buckley was quoted as saying: ...it isn't a process. The quality improvement process Six Sigma's worked wonderfully in our factories, but we tried it in our labs and it doesn't work. It's obvious why. The creative process is a discontinuous process. You can't say if I put more money in it I am going to get more out." Well, Bravo for that! Ready to take on stage/gate anyone?
- Posted Rita McGrath on March 29, 2010
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