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Preserve the Core/Stimulate Progress: The Yin and Yang of Visionary Companies

This article presents the central underlying dynamic of "preserve the core/stimulate progress" that enables enduring companies to adapt to and prosper in a changing and difficult world. It is based on a six–year research project (which led to our book Built to Last1), for which we systematically...

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,...

Rethinking Growth and Renewal in the 1990s

Over the past few years, most of the business leaders we know have taken their organisations through some activity to improve operational effectiveness: process redesign, reengineering, organisational restructuring, downsizing, etc. To varying degrees, these initiatives have brought improvements....

Managing Multinational, Multicultural R&D

Jean–Philippe Deschamps: We read a lot about the ABB culture but surprisingly little about the technology side of your multinational, multicultural business. Would you describe the organization of the technology resources within your overall global/local network?

Technology Assessment - Are You Doing It Right?

If you're involved in a technology–based business, chances are good that right now you are making investment decisions that will affect your business performance into the next century. You may be launching (or killing) a new R&D project, evaluating competing technologies for a new product idea...

Viewpoint Maastricht Doesn't Matter - European Business Strategies Do

European market integration has been one of the great economic success stories of the past 30 years. But the movement seems to have lost steam. In fact, as the much-hailed "Europe '92" arrived, most European economies found themselves in severe recession. There is no evidence that the promises of...

Viewpoint Hitchhiking on the Information Superhighway

There is some uncertainty about who first coined the phrase, "the information superhighway." U.S. Vice President Al Gore takes credit for coming up with this felicitous phrasemaking as early as 1978. In the car–crazy U.S. culture, the metaphor quickly occasioned a deluge of clever wordplay. Miles...

Managing Technology on a Global/Local Basis for Optimal Synergy

Over the last decade, many large organizations have faced the challenge of intensifying international competition – within, their own domestic markets, across continents, and even worldwide. As their competition has become global, so too has their manufacturing, as they have tried to reap the twin...