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High Performance in Product Development: An Agenda for Senior Management

By now it is commonly recognized that creating a High Performance Business requires the commitment and active leadership of senior management. Part of that leadership consists of achieving concerted thrust, balance, and integration of the organisation's resources so that they align with its key...

Creating a High Performance Service Organisation: A Case Study

In recent years, quality management techniques have once again captured the imagination of management in industries around the globe. However, while the techniques have a ready and obvious use in work process redesign, their application to organisational change is less obvious. A recent Arthur D....

High Performance in Truck Manufacturing: The TELCO Story

The story of how an Indian truck manufacturer outperformed four Japanese firms is a good example of the principles of the High Performance Business in action. This school of thought, recently developed at Arthur D. Little, holds that the most successful businesses manage to satisfy customers,...

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 Role of Telecommunications Technology in the Year 2000

Products such as the facsimile machine, the video recorder, and the personal stereo are the fruit of numerous incremental developments in technology. Our ability to forecast the "what and when" of such incremental technical innovations is satisfactory, although the prediction horizon stretches...

Envisioning: Creating the Context for Strategy

A CEO friend of ours recently expressed a deep concern about his staff's inability to "think strategically." This was surprising to us, given that this corporation is well-populated with excellent talent. Its staff includes brand-new MBAs armed with the latest management tools as well as seasoned "...

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...

Division Management: In Charge or at Sea?

We have seen much evidence that the extensive delayering of organizations in recent years has left both CEOs and division managers in many companies confused about their roles. The CEO of an engineering conglomerate told us proudly that he had taken 15 to 20 staff out of each division office. Later...

Process Thinking: Today's Path to Improved Performance

In the past, when a business was underperforming, its management selected from a set of traditional paths for improvement. They looked at specific functions or identified problem departments or concentrated on broken business units. For example, a company would take a function such as marketing and...

Environmental Performance and Business Strategy

Across North America and Europe, companies in a variety of businesses are beginning to use environmental performance to achieve competitive advantage, integrating the management of environmental, health, and safety issues into their operations, business processes, and corporate strategies. In this...