Learning to make mistakes

Learning to make mistakes

Why is it so hard to instill an entrepreneurial spirit within corporate structures? One answer to this question has to do with the willingness to make and learn from mistakes. Or, to be more precise, to take novel courses of action that may prove to be “wrong” in hindsight, but which yield potentially exciting insights on technologies, customers, and markets ...

Centralized or decentralized, that is the question

Centralized or decentralized, that is the question

Centralization vs. decentralization is one of the key organization design questions when it comes to delivering a digital strategy in multi-divisional businesses. Do you build one central “digital” unit or team? Or do you put digital resources into functions and divisions that support the respective functional strategies ...

Organization design for new capabilities, or: Do companies need a Chief Digital Officer?

Organization design for new capabilities, or: Do companies need a Chief Digital Officer?

When an organization wants to implement a new capability, one of the easiest org design approaches is to install someone in a new leadership role to oversee execution of the new strategy. Or is it? An ideal test case for evaluating this tactic is digitalization ...

Leadership development – addressing young leaders’ challenges

What are the most common challenges young leaders face early in their careers? And how can they be supported so they can develop their capabilities while facing those challenges? As we have argued earlier in this blog, leadership is learned – not predetermined by personality – and this learning happens mainly in practice ...

Dealing with organizational high nobility

Dealing with organizational high nobility

Large organizations risk developing organizational high nobility, i.e. a rather detached layer of senior management close to the organization’s top management. The organizations that give rise to such an upper class are typically characterized by some, if not all, of the following traits ... 

How to make management tools effective – 7 practical tips

How to make management tools effective – 7 practical tips

Management tools, frameworks or models – such as Porter’s 5 Forces, the Value Chain, or the tools entailed in our Organizational Structure Kit – are management knowledge in crystalized form. Typically they capture a management topic by defining key elements and showing the interdependencies between those elements ... 

What leadership and management have in common

What leadership and management have in common

Ever since Abraham Zaleznik’s classic Harvard Business Review article “Managers and Leaders: Are they different?”, the contrast between management and leadership has been subject to debate. Sometimes the two roles have been seen as complementary, with the understanding that leaders are more people-oriented and managers are more focused on processes and structures ...