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The Lean Difference: Building a High Performance Enterprise

In 1979 I set out with a number of colleagues at MIT to understand why the best Japanese firms seemed to be so much better at making things. At the time, the favored theories were low factor costs ("they've got an undervalued currency and low wages"), Japan, Inc. ("they cheat"), and culture ("they...

The Russian Republic: Issues and Opportunities

Jeffrey Sachs is currently leading a team of economic advisers to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Frank Yans is a vice president of Arthur D. Little, Inc. This conversation took place on April 30 at Professor Sachs' home in Newton, Massachusetts.

True Wirelessness: A Whole New Ball Game

By the year 2000, ubiquitous wireless personal communications services will change the ways that individuals, businesses, and other institutions in North America and Europe manage their affairs. Already, people are becoming increasingly mobile in their personal and professional lives. More and more...

Viewpoint Japanese Executives Face Life Out of the Nest

Just as the abrupt end of the Cold War has created a "new world order" for statesmen to puzzle over, management leaders worldwide are facing the challenge of a new economic order. Incongruous as it may seem, the legendary Japanese management system appears ill-prepared to cope with this transition.

Acquiring World-Class Resources Without Selling the Ranch

Acquiring critical resources has become an increasingly important aspect of strategy as the established leadership positions of the 1980s have come under siege from new competitors in rapidly changing markets and technologies.

The Japanese View of Eastern Europe

During 1990 and 1991, mission after mission of Japanese business executives went to Eastern Europe to explore potential business opportunities. Prime Minister Kaifu and other Japanese political leaders also paid visits. By and large, Japanese businessmen concluded that in the next few years Eastern...

Viewpoint The Message from Rio

The historic Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro - the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development - effectively demonstrated to the world the magnitude of the challenge we face. Those of us who represented industry and government in Rio, like the many delegates and environmentalists who...

Eastern Europe: The New Investment Frontier

Eastern European countries have strong industrial traditions, much like those of the West, but their economies have been severely distorted by the mismanagement of the now-discredited communist system. Therefore, investment opportunities in the region are often clouded by significant issues.

How the New Telecommunications Will Change the Way We Live

Since 1984, the fateful year of divestiture, the historic trickle of new telecommunications products and services has swelled to a flood. Today, telephone companies are rapidly upgrading networks and implementing software platforms that will reduce the time required to introduce new services from...

Removing the Barriers to Becoming a High Performance

Two years ago, one of our clients, the international Morgain Group (not its real name) tried to implement its internal vision of the High Performance Business. Having analyzed the sometimes conflicting needs of interested parties, Morgain had focused its efforts on improving crossfunctional...