Here are our weekly picks of articles on Strategy Execution for the week ending Thursday, May 13th. Enjoy!

MANAGEMENT INNOVATION

Turbulent Times Demand Dynamic Rules by David R. Hannah, Christopher D. Zatzick, and Jan Kietzmann

This is a unique take on the mindsets and behaviors that prepare organizations to respond to change as it happens around them. The authors suggest that corporate “rules” be dynamic and evolve with the environment. They then outline how the healthy interplay between management and employees allows for this success.


STRATEGIC CLARITY

Every company must be a tech company first and a media company second by Eric Schwartzman

This article highlights the fact that most customers, today, are reached digitally – so in order to serve them, corporations need to be both technology companies and a media companies. The problem is that the mega-corporations in search and social media are intermediaries that are vying for these same firsthand interactions. The article urges that, to have a sustainable digital business, you need to go direct and build your own digital platform. I think this is a worthy discussion and a topic with which to be reckoned.


PREPARED MINDS

How Customer-Led Category Management Can Transform Retail by Mario Häuptli, Karl Zimmermann, and Marc Antonius

This is a great read on how Customer-Led Category Management (via analytics) is bringing insight into how retail companies serve their customers. It walks through various levels on maturity in this effort. I’m not sure that the term CLCM has any recognition, but it’s exciting to think about reaching the fourth stage and delivering true “personalization” of customer offerings.


CULTURAL COHESION

High-Performing Teams Start with a Culture of Shared Values by Greg Satell and Cathy Windschitl

The tension explored in this short post (as said by the authors) is how to “build teams … diverse enough to be innovative, but cohesive enough to work together smoothly.” The authors explore how to inspire teams through purpose, mission and values.


RESOURCE FLUIDITY

A New Model to Spark Innovation Inside Big Companies by Nitin Nohria and Hemant Taneja

Though more of an article on management innovation, I filed it under resource fluidity because it talks about how to get resources behind new ideas by using a “Venture Buyout”. This structure happens when intrapreneurs are encouraged to seek external venture capital for their new business ideas. I need to look further into how this idea benefits the companies themselves. More to come.


ENABLING TECHNOLOGY

The Impact of MuZero and How AI Could Change Strategy Making by Dr Mark van Rijmenam

Last month, I highlighted articles both on reinforcement learning and on how technology is being used to strengthen strategy. In this post, we see a full integration of the two ideas. I first witnessed a nascent version of this in Erik Beinhocker’s book, The Origin of Wealth. Now, we are seeing it in reality – emergent strategy being modeled by computers!

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.