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Managing Innovation: From Serendipity to Process

There are many ways to increase company value. In their recent book Competing for the Future, Hamel and Prahallad equate the challenge to that of jacking up the value of a fraction. The numerator of the fraction represents the company's revenues and profits. The denominator reflects its investment...

Minimalist Manufacturing: Doing More, Better, with Less

Consider the 21st century factory. The product, whatever it is, is flawless, "zero defect" in today's manufacturing parlance. Material process flows are uninterrupted. Minuscule inventories, managed in an automated manner, buffer process stages.

From Process Management to Complexity Management

Last April, representatives of an elite group of pioneering companies gathered for two days in upstate New York to talk about the state of the art in process management and try to "push the envelope." These companies – Corning, DuPont, the Gartner Group, Hewlett–Packard, Marion Merrell Dow, MCI,...

Simplification and Complexity: The Best of the Best in Supply Chain Management

For many companies, price is now a given – i.e., for the level of service, product features, and quality they provide, price is not a characteristic on which they can differentiate themselves from their competitors. Rather, it is the base point from which they start to build the value equation.

Risk Management: The Path to Excellence

For executives who manage risk, ensuring that appropriate standards and practices are maintained and refreshed throughout far–flung, diverse operations has never been easy. In the early 1990s, it got a lot tougher. External pressures and requirements for more detailed, documented risk management...

Creating a Learning Organisation

Managers of leading organisations know that the ability to change in response to changing conditions is a matter of not only competitive edge but survival. Yet most recent change efforts designed to keep organisations competitive – downsizing, restructuring, reengineering, even employee empowerment...

Measuring Learning: Assessing and Valuing Progress

Say you've just been appointed the CKO – Chief Knowledge Officer – of your organization. You are responsible for managing the company's knowledge capital, including how it is created, maintained, and used. You understand the principles of learning organizations and believe that effective learning...

Viewpoint Leadership and the Learning Organisation

When the editor of Prism asked me to contribute to this issue, the first thing that crossed my mind was: "Gosh! The world sure doesn't need another article on leadership." As a student of the subject for the past 20 years and a creator of a renowned seminar on leadership for senior executives, my...

Parenting Advantage: The Key to Corporate-Level Strategy

While business–level strategy has improved dramatically over the past two decades, business–level strategy alone cannot meet the strategic needs of large, multi–business companies. Such companies need strategies for each of their businesses, and they also need something else: a corporate–level...

Viewpoint The CEO Balancing Act: Prospering in the New World of Business

Today, we live and work in a global economy in which companies routinely cross national boundaries to compete for markets and customers; a highly flexible economy in which companies take themselves apart and put themselves back together in new configurations; a virtual economy in which companies...