Business Model Erosion and Innovation to combat this phenomenon is very much a topic of concern for strategists and innovators. In this free half-hour webinar sponsored by Columbia Business School Executive Education, I reflect on some of the ways in which companies need to become alert to the potential erosion of a business model. Have a look! Feedback always welcome.
- Posted Rita McGrath on April 29, 2011
A LinkedIn exchange that was forwarded to me by a colleague:
What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave the company?"
CEO answers, 'What happens if we don't, and they stay?"
Now there is food for thought!
- Posted Rita McGrath on April 28, 2011
Join me in an on-line discussion of the recent HBR article, "Failing By Design." The webinar will help attendees understand the concept of intelligent failure, in which when inevitably, things don't go as you expect, you can benefit from these mishaps and gain valuable learning. Indeed, often failing quickly is the only way to discover opportunities that others who haven't tried and failed might miss.
This is a topic that we take up in my Columbia Executive Education course, Leading Strategic Growth and Change. Among the points we make in the course is that if executives want their people to take intelligent risks and become more entrepreneurial that they need to spell out what kinds of failures are tolerable and which are not.
During this 30-minute event, I'll highlight seven key ways to benefit from a failed experience, and suggest how you can incorporate these ideas into your management style to improve your organizational learning and speed up decision-making.
- Posted Rita McGrath on April 12, 2011
In a recent Business Week article entitled The Coming Fight for Executive Talent, Claudio Fernandez-Araoz of search firm Egon Zehnder argues that the number of managers in the right age bracket for leadership roles will drop by 30% in just six years.
Indeed, he suggests, the average corporation will be left with half the critical talent it needs by 2015.
For those who are paying attention to such early warning signs, now is the time to start thinking about your leadership pipeline. I like the concept of the pipeline which was made popular by writers such as Ram Charan and Peter Cairo. But the basic message is that you need to develop leaders in a bit of a sequence - it’s very hard for them to skip steps. And that means that your leaders in five to ten years are highly likely to be somewhere in your pipeline today, unless you’re just going to admit defeat and hire from outside, which is both expensive and competitively often not successful (remember Bob Nardelli and Home Depot, anyone?).
So what should be done?
First, analyze where your company is. Do you have a good approach to creating future talent and growing people who can step in?
If you think there are some problems, consider how you will start developing your cadre of future leaders. What experiences do they need? What courses should they go to? Who should they be? And remember, as our customers become more diverse, our leaders need to be diverse as well. We at Columbia strongly believe in the power of life-long leadership development experiences that combine learning with practical application and challenge people’s world views. For instance, my course on growth helps people think through real strategic growth challenges and apply the learning immediately. I’ve heard from many previous participants that it has really changed how they work and benefitted their organizations.
It’s also worth considering rejecting some old habits of mind. I’ve written before about how much great talent you might find if you just extended the window for considering women from age 50 to say age 59. It would dramatically increase the eligibility of large new numbers of successful leaders.
Training, promotion and development will be key to winning because not having the right leaders will be a crippling disadvantage when the economy turns up.
- Posted Rita McGrath on November 30, 2009
I’m just here at the Strategic Management Society’s annual conference in Cologne. It’s a meeting which aspires to bring together academics, consultants and business-people for fruitful dialogue and exchanges, although in fairness the tilt does seem to be more toward academics recently. I did participate in an interesting session on how to teach in executive education programs. I focused on issues of style (not too much lecturing, please!) and actually included some substance on real options reasoning and discovery driven planning. Anyone with an interest can download the attached .pdf. (the blog software wouldn’t allow me to upload it in .ppt.)
For now, the key takeaways from my session:
1. Too much one-way communication is ineffective
2. In design, remember the basic principle of what makes something interesting—challenge to weakly held assumptions
3. Build on executive participants’ own experiences and connect to your teaching points
4. Creative repetition (700 times)
5. Tell stories
6. Combine facts, emotions and symbols—often, one or another are left out
Feel free to write with any questions or further ideas. On to the next session!
- Posted Rita McGrath on October 14, 2008
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