Ken Favaro, Per-Ola Karlsson, Gary L. Neilson

When a board of directors announces the departure of a CEO and the hiring of an executive search firm to identify a successor, the board members are also announcing that they have failed at succession planning.

The $112 Billion CEO Succession Problem

Poor planning for changes in leadership costs companies dearly. Getting it right is worth more than you might think.

Be Your Own Activist Investor

With these 10 principles for rethinking cost management, you can maximize value and avoid threats from Wall Street.

10 Principles of Organization Design

A 2014 Strategy& survey found that 42 percent of executives felt that their organization was not aligned with the strategy, and that parts of the organization resisted it or didn’t understand it. If that’s a familiar problem in your company, the principles in this article can help you develop an organization design that supports your most distinctive capabilities and supports your strategy more effectively.

These 10 … [ Read more ]

The 10 Principles of Organizational DNA

This year marks the 10th anniversary of our work on organizational DNA. Since our first article in 2004, we’ve analyzed more than 220,000 online surveys in which people describe their company’s personality and performance. Amid the turbulence of changing business environments and personnel, 10 precepts have remained useful, for empowering people and unlocking any organization’s potential.

How to Design a Winning Company

The eight components of your organizational genome hold the secret to unleashing superior performance.

Navigating the First Year: Advice from 18 Chief Executives

CEOs who took part in Booz & Company’s 2011 study of CEO turnover share their thoughts about the difficulties they faced, the successes they achieved, and what, in retrospect, they might have done differently in their first year on the job.

Diagnosing Your Top Team’s Span of Control

What is the right number of direct reports for any incoming C-level executive? A new diagnostic tool can provide the answer, based on each leader’s situation and strategy.

The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution

The article details the latest insights on what changes organizations can take to have the greatest impact on executing their strategies to achieve results. The HBR article demonstrates the importance of decision rights and information flow in driving effectiveness and how enterprises succeed or fail at execution depending on whether they focus on these power drivers or, instead, focus solely on “structural reorganization.”

Exercising Common Sense

Leaders face unprecedented challenges when embarking on large-scale transformation, whether it’s entering new markets or recovering from industry turmoil. Here are 10 tried-and-true tactics and common sense practices from authors with decades of experience helping companies implement organizational change.

The Passive-Aggressive Organization

Healthy companies are hard to mistake. Their managers have access to timely information, the authority to make decisions, and the incentives to act on behalf of the organization. The organization, in turn, carries out those decisions. We call these organizations “resilient,” because they can react nimbly to challenges and respond quickly to those they can’t dodge. Unfortunately, most companies are not resilient: Fewer than 20 … [ Read more ]

The Cat That Came Back

How do you snatch a company from the brink of bankruptcy and restore it to profitability? As demonstrated in the mid-1980s by Caterpillar, the world’s biggest maker of heavy equipment, the key lies in reshaping its “organizational DNA” — the decision rights, motivators, information flows, and structures that determine an organization’s behavior. By retooling its corporate culture to make it align better with its overall … [ Read more ]

Adventures in Corporate Venturing

A well-funded R&D program isn’t enough. Corporations must invest in business opportunities outside their four walls to accelerate innovation and growth.

Creating Temporary Organizations for Lasting Change

Faced with a rapidly evolving competitive marketplace, the chief executives of many of today’s leading companies have embarked on major change initiatives. The goal is twofold: to challenge the existing ways of conducting business and to drive step-level improvements in operating performance. The method is two-pronged as well: cut costs significantly and build capabilities to better serve the marketplace. These initiatives, then, often involve the … [ Read more ]

The Barista Principle – Starbucks and the Rise of Relational Capital

How did a small Seattle company turn itself into a global synonym for java and joe? The answer, we believe, lies with an ingredient as central to Starbucks’s business as the premium coffee beans it roasts: Relationships.

Starbucks is not the only company that firmly believes that an emphasis on relationships should be more than simply management rhetoric. Nor is it the only company that … [ Read more ]

Treating the Troubled Corporation

When everyone agrees but nothing changes, it’s a sign that organizational inertia is holding your business back.

From Bricks to Clicks: The Four Stages of E-volution

While most U.S. companies have passed through their digital infancy, time is running out for critical decisions on mission, leadership, processes, structure, and talent.