“Weekly Picks” (April 15th)

Here are our weekly picks of articles on Strategy Execution for the week ending Thursday, April 15th. Enjoy!


The CEO Innovation Agenda (BCG)

BCG just posted a three section report on the Most Innovative Companies 2021 with an accompanying interactive 15-year chart. I want to point you to the second section on The CEO Innovation Agenda. In this section, the authors point out five core capabilities to make innovation part of the corporate DNA. Though fairly intuitive, this list was so pertinent and so clear that I think its worth reading and posting as your desktop wallpaper!


How to Tell If Your Business Model Is Truly Sustainable by David Young and Marine Gerard (BCG Henderson Institute)

Here is another another article coming out of the BCG research and writing machine. The article reviews “Nine Attributes to Assess Sustainable Business Advantage” and includes four attributes that get at nontraditional stakeholder values. These are what I call other “Dimensions of Value” that need to be considered in strategy. It’s a really good list of considerations to assess your business and even to compare against other businesses. However, I also noticed a slight variation of terms used to describe the idea. This is new territory that is still wet paint. I think it’s important to dig in.


How Digital Underdogs Can Fight Back With Relevance by Louis Tetu (Forbes)

This article focuses on the idea of “relevance” and how we need to know enough about our customers that we can deliver our product or service in the way that each specific customer wants it to be delivered. The author contends that the democratization (commoditization) of AI allows for this type of understanding of our clients, so it should be a level field to compete on the experience that we deliver. I’m not sure that this level of AI is that common, but I do like the idea of leveraging data to strive for this high bar of “relevance”.


Laugh More, Lead Better by Naomi Bagdonas and Connor Diemand-Yauman (Stanford’s Graduate School of Business / McKinsey & Company)

I appreciate our need for – and the actual positive effects of – laughter in our organizations. I’ve personally witnessed the dopamine high that full on laughter can bring to a meeting (and I can be pretty stiff!). It’s a quirky video, but it brings a good challenge to those of us who lead organizations or who facilitate meetings for a living!


The sharing economy’s next target: Business-to-business by Navi Radjou (Fast Company)

I know that this is not a traditional resource planning or resource allocation article, but it may be a new way for all of us to think about shared resources! This article lays out how businesses are leveraging one another’s resources to conduct business. It’s a variation on ecosystems … but not really. In this article, the authors discuss how businesses are taking advantage of idle capacity, tangible and intangible, of their peer companies so they can “do better with less”. They say that the B2B shared economy could be a trillion dollar market. I love the myriad of examples that the authors highlight.


BMW’s Virtual Factory Uses AI to Hone the Assembly Line by Will Knight (Wired)

The idea of a “digital twin” may never cease to amaze me. The term simply makes me smile. Having worked in corporate performance management and strategy execution for many years, the possibility of creating a digital replica of a business, so environmental effects can be varied and business scenarios tested is simply amazing. This article shares the story of a digital twin that has been developed for a BMW assembly line in Regensburg, Bavaria. The simulation allows the team to do detailed planning of the robotic process – and they hope to have the robots actually learn from the simulation over time. My, oh, my.

About George Veth

George Veth is a consultant in the areas of strategy execution and initiative management. Most recently, he has been leading a cross-boundary collaboration program with teams from cities across North America and Europe. He lives in Cambridge, MA, and runs a nonprofit SME Impact Fund in East Africa. His subject matter interests are organizational culture, management [system] innovation, and public value management.