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Building the Power Partnership: Some Rules of the Game for...

One of history's most remarkable organizational achievements is the large public enterprise governed by an independent board of directors. It has served society well for most of this century as an unrivaled creator of wealth, employment, social services, and benefits.

Viewpoint Reflections on Critical Technologies

Before I address individual technologies, let me set the stage by reviewing four technology-related concerns that are uppermost in the minds of demanding technology users: productivity, ease of use, location-independence, and trustability.

Listening to Customers

Our clients are keenly interested in learning how they can find out what their customers really want. They pose this question to us not so much in terms of product line extensions or incremental improvements, but in terms of really exciting new breakthrough products. Like all companies everywhere,...

Rethinking the Organisational Architecture

Getting the organisation right is an issue likely to preoccupy executives throughout the 1990s. This is a difficult time to work in, manage, or change a corporation. Although downsizing and restructuring have become widespread, their purpose has usually been merely to chip away at old structures...

The Coming Revolution in Manufacturing

New manufacturing technologies - exemplified by responsive design, moldless forming, and prototype simulation - will revolutionize the ways products are manufactured and marketed, permitting and indeed requiring the substitution of know-how for capital. Old notions of economies of scale will be...

Creating a Product Strategy

Surely every business has a product strategy - right? Wrong! A product strategy is much more than a list of specific product actions over time. It is an explicit route-map designed to guide a company in its efforts to develop and market products that build sustainable competitive advantage and meet...

Trust and Cooperation: The Payoff from a Great Place to Work

When Robert McDermott took over as CEO of USAA, he inherited an underperforming auto and casualty insurer that satisfied none of its major stakeholders - customers, owners, or employees. Service was often shoddy, and the turnover rate among its largely female clerical staff was nearly 50 percent a...

The Role of Government in Fostering Innovation

The powerful role traditionally played by governments in fostering private-sector innovation is now expanding, and savvy companies are taking full advantage of a wide range of governmental support, both traditional and new.

Lessons From Product Juggernauts

When the shouting is over, one fact is clear: what differentiates perennially great companies from others is the products they sell. Some companies generate a never-ending stream of products that are appealing to customers and profitable to produce. Other companies achieve product innovation in...

Aligning People and Processes During Business-Focused...

British Petroleum Exploration (BPX) is the upstream exploration and production business of The BP Group p.l.c., the world's third-largest integrated oil company. Since 1990 BPX has been engaged in a process of fundamental change that has already yielded significant improvements in performance. For...