Knowledge Archive

McKinsey, October 1, 2011, Brad Brown, Michael Chui, James Manyika
Radical customization, constant experimentation, and novel business models will be new hallmarks of competition as companies capture and analyze huge volumes of data. Here’s what you should know.
The top marketing executive at a sizable US retailer recently found herself perplexed by the sales reports she was getting. A major competitor was steadily gaining market share across a range of profitable segments. Despite a counterpunch that combined online promotions with merchandizing improvements, her company kept losing ground. When the executive convened a group of senior leaders to... Read more »
McKinsey, October 1, 2011, Brad Brown, Johnson Sikes
CEOs should shake up the technology debate to ensure that they capture the upside of technology-driven threats. Here’s how.
The CEO of a leading consumer goods company was unhappy with his CIO. An important competitor was gaining market share at a disquieting pace by using social media and data analysis to target customers more effectively. When asked about these developments, the CIO outlined some potential responses, but he didn’t follow through on them. Instead, according to the CEO, the CIO remained preoccupied... Read more »
McKinsey, September 1, 2011, Robert S. Kaplan
As executives become more senior, they are less likely to receive constructive performance and strategic feedback. They can get it by calling on their junior colleagues.
The problem Subordinates don’t want to offend the boss. Therefore, as you become more senior in an organization, you tend to get less feedback. Over time, you risk growing confused about your development needs and becoming isolated from criticism. Why it matters Your junior colleagues represent an untapped source of feedback that can help you materially improve your performance... Read more »
McKinsey, July 1, 2011, McKinsey Global Survey
Corporate directors know which issues they should focus on to be more effective. But they say they have not raised their game since 2008 and must strengthen their capabilities to do so.
Corporate boards are under pressure to take more responsibility for developing strategyand overseeing business risk after the financial crisis exposed many cases of inadequate governance. Yet, according to the latest McKinsey Quarterly survey on governance. corporate directors report that their boards have not increased the time spent on company strategysince our previous survey, conducted in... Read more »
McKinsey, June 1, 2011, Simon C. Y. Wong
Many boards have improved their structures and processes. But to become truly effective stewards of their companies, they must also instill the right mind-set and boardroom dynamics.
Why is it that despite all the corporate-governance reforms undertaken over the past two decades, many boards failed the test of the financial crisis so badly? In North America and Europe, for example, boards of financial institutions that failed to check management’s aggressive forays into US subprime mortgages saw their firms decimated during the 2008–09 economic meltdown. Indeed, the European... Read more »

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