How to Be a Truly Global Company

Many multinational business models are no longer relevant. Skillful companies can integrate three strategies — customization, competencies, and arbitrage — into a better form of organization.

Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad

The resource allocation task of top management has received too much attention when compared to the task of resource leverage.

The Life’s Work of a Thought Leader

In interviews conducted before his untimely death, C.K. Prahalad — the sage of core competencies and the bottom of the pyramid — looked back on his career and talked about the way ideas evolve.

C.K. Prahalad

If your aspirations are not greater than your resources, you’re not an entrepreneur. For large companies to be entrepreneurial, they have to create aspirations greater than their resources. You can call it “strategy as stretch” or “strategic intent.”

C.K. Prahalad

The test of a good, powerful piece is when people say, “But it’s so obvious.” You agonize and agonize and then somebody says, “But it’s obvious.” When I was younger, I used to get so irritated by that. Now I think it’s the highest compliment you can get.

C.K. Prahalad

Be concerned about due process. People seek fairness—not favors. They want to be heard. They often don’t even mind if decisions don’t go their way as long as the process is fair and transparent.

C.K. Prahalad

Assume responsibility for outcomes as well as for the processes and people you work with. How you achieve results will shape the kind of person you become.

Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad

In many companies, business unit managers are rewarded solely on the basis of their performance against return on investment targets. Unfortunately, that often leads to denominator management because executives soon discover that reductions in investment and head count—the denominator—“improve” the financial ratios by which they are measured more easily than growth in the numerator: revenues. It also fosters a hair-trigger sensitivity to industry downturns that … [ Read more ]

Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad

Unfortunately, a threat that everyone perceives but no one talks about creates more anxiety than a threat that has been clearly identified and made the focal point for the problem-solving efforts of the entire company. That is one reason honesty and humility on the part of top management may be the first prerequisite of revitalization. Another reason is the need to make “participation” more than … [ Read more ]

Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad

An organization’s capacity to improve existing skills and learn new ones is the most defensible competitive advantage of all.

Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad

There is an important distinction between barriers to entry and barriers to imitation.

Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad

Competitive innovation works on the premise that a successful competitor is likely to be wedded to a recipe for success. That’s why the most effective weapon new competitors possess is probably a clean sheet of paper. And why an incumbent’s greatest vulnerability is its belief in accepted practice.

Twenty Hubs and No HQ

A new form of global organization grounded in “gateway” countries can allow a company to operate profitably around the world.

The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits

The world’s most exciting, fastest-growing new market? It’s where you least expect it: at the bottom of the pyramid. Collectively, the world’s billions of poor people have immense entrepreneurial capabilities and buying power. You can learn how to serve them and help millions of the world’s poorest people escape poverty.

It is being done-profitably. Whether you’re a business leader or an anti-poverty activist, business guru Prahalad … [ Read more ]

Collaborating With Potential Competitors: The Profits and the Perils

Many Western managers are becoming wary of joint ventures. They have learned through costly experience that such alliances – particularly with Asian partners – can become a low-cost route through which new competitors acquire technology and market access. However, with the costs of product and market development escalating, avoiding strategic alliances altogether is not an option many firms can afford. The question for Western firms … [ Read more ]

The Essence Of Business Agility

Looking at the line manager as a consumer of business technology will yield a nimbler company.

The Co-Creation Connection

Companies spent the 20th century managing efficiencies. They must spend the 21st century managing experiences.

The Technology/Customer Disconnect

Maximizing the value of IT investments and boosting customer satisfaction should take the company outside its own borders.

The Collaboration Continuum

Understand the full goals and complexity of collaboration before moving forward.