Ten Lessons from 20 Years of BCG’s M&A Report

What does it take to succeed in M&A? For the past two decades, BCG’s annual M&A reports have explored the answers to this question. One constant in our studies is an emphasis on the elements that drive genuine, long-lasting deal success.

To mark the 20th anniversary of our M&A Report, we looked back at our rich history of analyses related to deal value creation. We refreshed … [ Read more ]

Chip Heath

It turns out that our brains are wired to critique situations. And so if we’ve got a global economic downturn and the salesforce has really been hit hard by this, we’ll tend to focus on the people that are doing the worst and try to coach them and help them out. What we don’t often do is look at the best people and steal their … [ Read more ]

Cracking the growth code: The ten rules of growth explained

Experts behind the rules of value-creating growth discuss how leaders can apply these insights to their growth strategies.

Fear factor: Overcoming human barriers to innovation

Worries about failure, criticism, and career impact hold back many people from embracing innovation. Here’s how to create a culture that accounts for the human side of innovation.

Growth rules: Which matter most?

Ten rules should guide how companies select pathways to profitable growth, but each rule’s impact on performance varies considerably.

Performance through people: Transforming human capital into competitive advantage

A dual focus on developing people and managing them well gives a select group of companies a long-term performance edge.

Chris Gagnon

The success of hallmark cultures is that they read one of these groups of [business] books that hung together with a consistent philosophy, and they really, really stuck with it. A little bit of best practice here, a little bit of best practice there will get you killed.

Unpacking 5 Myths About Management

In science the key question is “Is it true?” In management the key question is “Does it work?” But context is critical: Just because an idea works in a particular case does not mean it is a universal truth.

If you set a stretch goal, make sure that the organization has some stretch in it, or it will break. To execute a strategy, you need a … [ Read more ]

Aaron De Smet, Chris Gagnon, Elizabeth Mygatt

While all companies have a strategy for how they create value, few can show precisely how the organization will achieve it. Future-ready companies, by contrast, avoid this dilemma by creating a value agenda—a map that disaggregates a company’s ambitions and targets into tangible organizational elements such as business units, regions, product lines, and even key capabilities. Armed with such a depiction, these companies can articulate … [ Read more ]

How one approach to M&A is more likely to create value than all others

Two decades of research show that, while large deals still have their place, programmatic M&A strategies continue to create gains in excess total returns to shareholders, at lower levels of risk.

Gregory P. Shea

Nobody wants to fail, but when there’s failure, does it get debriefed so that learning occurs in the organization? If there’s success, do you debrief to try to improve, as well? Debriefing shouldn’t be a code word for “We only do it when we fail.” You want to secure the ways that you succeed, as well. If you did succeed, part of the development and … [ Read more ]

Organizing for the Future: Nine Keys to Becoming a Future-Ready Company

Companies should embrace nine imperatives that collectively explain “who we are” as an organization, “how we operate,” and “how we grow.”

Ariel Silverstone

[An] effective way to detect what [customer data] has leaked, and through which possible partner, is to pre-poison the data, sowing into it information that can provide a reference point in the case of a leak.

Research: How Virtual Teams Can Better Share Knowledge

One of the stated reasons for trying to get workers back into the office is the chorus of concern around the difficulties of sharing knowledge and experience amongst remote co-workers. New research, however, suggests a method that could improve this process both in the office and remotely: guided meetings between coworkers, which can easily happen in person or remotely. Compared to monetary incentives (without guidance … [ Read more ]

How Executives Can Help Sustain Value Creation for the Long Term

Companies create more shareholder value when executives and directors concentrate on long-term results. A new report highlights behaviors that allow them to maintain a long-term orientation.

Having a Clear Purpose Drives Performance

Does corporate purpose influence firm performance? More than two decades ago, the scholars Christopher A. Bartlett and Sumantra Ghoshal argued that purpose, not strategy, structure or systems, was the essential precursor to effective management. Since then, the public discourse on purpose has gone up substantially. And while there’s a growing body of research on related topics — from CSR to ESG — when it comes … [ Read more ]

The Distance

Basecamp spent three years telling the stories of people who run businesses that endured 25 years or more. Have a listen — they’re an inspiration for anyone looking to build a business that goes the distance.

Why Your Next Transformation Should be ‘All In’

Improve the odds of a successful business transformation by going “all in” to kick-start performance and remake your portfolio.

9 Habits of World Class Startups

Startups that grow into transformative companies do two things: (1) they nail the basics and (2) they cultivate the right habits (core operating principles).

The first is mandatory. If you don’t get the basics right, in all probability your company won’t succeed. A list of things we consider basics:

  • Fundraising (don’t run out of capital)
  • Ship (don’t just talk about it, ship it)
  • Customer focus (live

[ Read more ]

For Outstanding Performance, Change How You Solve Problems

Ask any business leader if he or she is good at solving problems and the likely response is, “Of course!” After all, business leaders spend a lot of their time navigating problems. If they weren’t good at it, those leaders would lose their jobs, wouldn’t they? Not if the organization doesn’t know what robust problem solving looks like. Most organizations don’t and as a result … [ Read more ]