The Power of Purpose-Driven Brands

Before the arrival of the internet, millennials and Simon Sinek urging us to “start with the why”, marketing strategists were more concerned with communicating an offering’s features (What does your product or service do? What need does it fulfill?) and its positioning (How is it different/better than the competition?) than the corporate values that support it. Since then, millennials came of age and began questioning traditional profit-based business models. More socially aware than previous generations, they want their work to drive positive… Read More

Are you prepared for the future of work?

A well-known venture capitalist recently predicted that, in the long run, all employment will be centered around some kind of information or entertainment, with all physical labor, whether in agriculture or industry, becoming obsolete. “I don’t know if even 10% of people on the planet will have a job in the sense of being paid to do something,” the investor in ventures such as Tesla Motors and SpaceX said. While that horizon seems distant for most of us, the trends shaping this… Read More

Hiring stars without misfiring

The European football transfer market set a new spending record last year: teams from the big five European leagues (England, Spain, Germany, France and Italy) invested, in a single summer, more than €3.5 billion in search of their star, €1.0 billion more than just two years earlier. And all indications are that in a few short years this figure will seem small. The world of football reflects like few others the escalation in the “war for talent,” a term coined more than… Read More

Developing Metacapabilities for a Digital World

Digital transformation has opened up a floodgate of possibilities for global businesses, allowing them to boost efficiency, leverage new opportunities, expand their market reach and better meet consumer needs. To exploit its potential for competitive advantage, however, firms need to integrate digital as a core component of their corporate strategy. While industries will be forced to develop unique, sector-specific capabilities to stay competitive, IESE Professor Evgeny Káganer has also observed a series of metacapabilities that are critical to long-term corporate success. “Digitalization… Read More

Global Manufacturing, Disrupted: Coming Soon to a Factory Near You!

The topic of disruption has captured headlines in recent years with the explosion of new technologies, but for many business leaders, it has been a nagging concern for at least 20 years, when Clayton Christensen first coined the phrase in The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail. In his bestselling book, he describes how even the most consolidated companies can lose market share or even collapse when they fail to relinquish “tried-and-true” business practices and embrace innovation. Needless… Read More

Why did I do that? Unexpected reasons for taking decisions – and what to do about them

  Some studies estimate that we take 200 decisions a day … just related to food. That’s so many decisions that we can’t possibly put reasoned thought into every one of them, meaning that we make many choices without full awareness or room for reflection. Why is this relevant to the workplace? Because decision-making is a fundamental part of an executive’s life, and the impact of those decisions goes far beyond wondering why we had a second serving of potatoes at dinner…. Read More

Building and Leveraging Networks

In many corporate scenarios, what looks good on paper doesn’t always translate into business growth. Take a quick glance at the latest headlines and you’ll find shaky M&As, corporate collapses and organizations falling short of the mark because they undervalued the core driver of business performance: their people. Truth be told, much of the work in global firms gets done on the sidelines of organizational charts, through informal connections that cut across functions, divisions and regions. These highly adaptive informal networks solidify… Read More

Paving the Path to Leadership

When millennials first entered the global workforce, the spotlight in business media was often on the resulting generational divide, with a steady stream of advice directed at long-suffering senior leaders on how to better manage this wayward age demographic. Fast-forward to 2018 and the tide has turned: with years of experience under their belts, millennials now make up the largest generational group in the U.S. labor market. Firms worldwide have begun passing their leadership batons to millennial managers, whose technological savvy uniquely… Read More

The Search for Talent: Are You Sure You Know Who You’re Looking For?

In the olden days – think 10 years ago! – the search for talent was a straightforward affair. Not anymore! In the wake of the economic recovery and demographic shifts, companies in many global markets have gone from posting ads and passively waiting for résumés to struggling to fill job vacancies. The competition to attract and retain talent is especially steep in sectors like IT, engineering and health care, sometimes leading to a backlog of open positions. The talent-deficit challenge is especially… Read More

Matrix Organizations: Transcending Time and Space

Matrix organizations first emerged in the aerospace industry in the 1960s, when U.S. government bids required firms to develop detailed charts outlining how their project management teams would get the job done. Rather than upending their management systems to adapt to contract requisites, companies created horizontal units and superimposed them across existing vertical hierarchies. And voilà! The matrix was born and life in the multinational labor pool was never the same again. For many in the global workforce, the upshot of this… Read More