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.

Time—The Next Source of Competitive Advantage

The ways leading companies manage time—in production, in new product development and introduction, in sales and distribution—represent the most powerful new sources of competitive advantage.

Editor’s Note: This is a classic HBR article that was assigned reading when I was a student. It has held up pretty well 35 years on.

Choosing to grow: The leader’s blueprint

Driving sustainable, inclusive growth requires the right mindset, strategy, and capabilities. Here are some steps that could help foster successful growth.

Uniting Strategy and Risk Management to Seize Opportunity in Uncertainty

Today’s more uncertain environment calls for newer, more dynamic approaches to risk management and strategic planning. Successful companies foster a culture of strategic humility, anticipatory preparedness, and a willingness to act to own the future as it unfolds. And they have four critical characteristics:

  • They see risk as a two-sided coin with challenge on one side and opportunity on the other.
  • They explore the strategic implications of

[ Read more ]

How to Move from Strategy to Execution

Three out of every five companies rate their organization as weak on strategy execution. When you dig into the potential barriers to implementation, there is a general lack of understanding of the various factors at play, resulting in the inevitable managerial justifications — “poor leadership,” “inadequate talent,” “lack of process excellence,” etc. This article suggests three key steps to build the right execution system: 1) … [ Read more ]

Ecosystems for the rest of us

Before companies can benefit from collaborations, they must be clear about their role.

Design Your Organization to Match Your Strategy

An organization is nothing more than a living embodiment of a strategy. That means its “organizational hardware” (i.e., structures, processes, technologies, and governance) and its “organizational software” (i.e., values, norms, culture, leadership, and employee skills and aspirations) must be designed exclusively in the service of a specific strategy. Research suggests that only 10% of organizations are successful at aligning their strategy with their organization design. … [ Read more ]

Four Questions Every Marketplace Startup Should Be Able to Answer

Marketplace businesses can be messy, and every gain is hard earned. After all, you’re dealing with an ecosystem of participants — buyers and sellers — that’s constantly in flux, their needs and desires changing over time. Unfolding in both online transactions and offline interactions, marketplaces are organic and dynamic.

Marketplace leaders need to be experts in the dynamics of their platforms. Identify those dynamics in … [ Read more ]

How the 100 largest marketplaces solved the chicken and egg problem

This essay presents the findings from a six month marketplace research project. There has been a lot written about online marketplaces and the goal was to test these theories by exploring data from a broader set of companies. The authors started by making a list of every marketplace founded, identifying 4,500 companies in total, then collected public data to classify and compare these companies

Liquidity Hacking – How to Build a Two-Sided Marketplace

Marketplace businesses… They always seem great on paper, but it’s so insanely hard to solve the chicken or the egg problem. Every founder I meet who’s building a marketplace business basically says the same thing: “It’s so much harder than I thought to build a two-sided marketplace.“ But of course it can be done. There are plenty of examples of success. What I’ve noticed in the … [ Read more ]

A Manager’s Dilemma: Sow or Harvest

Vijay Govindarajan, Ashish Sood, Anup Srivastava, Luminita Enache, and Barry Mishra have found that companies must focus relentlessly on building long-term competencies, even if doing so reduces immediate profits. Nonetheless, it is vital to shift focus when your product or idea becomes unexpectedly successful, so that you can milk that opportunity’s profits before it vanishes in the face of competition and technological progress.

Leading a Bionic Transformation

Three new kinds of capital give companies a new source of leverage and power.

Ten Lessons from 20 Years of Value Creation Insights

In 1998, BCG published its first Value Creators Report, which ranked the top corporations on the basis of the value they’d created over the previous five years and also attempted to draw out lessons from the winners. Since then, they have expanded their databases, refined their methodologies, and shared their perspectives annually. For the 20th report, they have now reassessed their cumulative experience and distilled … [ Read more ]

6 Factors Driving Changes to Today’s Corporate Strategies

Strategy is a competitive game, which always evolves in response to competition. But the magnitude of the changes in the technological, social, and natural environment are such that corporate strategy will need to be qualitatively reinvented again for new circumstances. This article discusses six factors are driving these changes: 1) dynamism, 2) uncertainty, 3) contingency, 4) connectedness, 5) contextuality, and 6) cognition.

What Is Your Business Ecosystem Strategy?

Drawing on the insights gleaned from three years of ecosystem research, BCG offers a step-by-step framework for developing an incumbent company’s ecosystem strategy.

The Ten Rules of Growth

Empirical research reveals what it takes to generate value-creating growth today.

How Do You Succeed as a Business Ecosystem Contributor?

Business ecosystems are on the rise. In 2000, just three among the S&P top 100 global companies relied predominantly on ecosystem business models. In 2020 this number had grown to 22 companies, which together accounted for 40% of total market capitalization.

It is no wonder that many leaders of established companies are afraid of missing out on this trend and feel compelled to come up with … [ Read more ]

How Do You Manage a Business Ecosystem?

It is widely acknowledged that business ecosystems offer great potential. Compared to more traditionally organized businesses, such as vertically integrated companies or hierarchical supply chains, business ecosystems are praised for their ability to foster innovation, scale quickly, and adapt to changing environments.

However, many companies that try to build their own ecosystems struggle to realize this potential. Our research has shown that less than 15% of … [ Read more ]