Wednesday, June 25, 2008

HBR Article List 2007 - Part 4


Are Your Engineers Talking to One Another When They Should? Manuel E. Sosa, Steven D. Eppinger, and Craig M. Rowles

Avoiding expensive mistakes in the design of complex, highly engineered products boils down to making sure the right product-component teams communicate. A new application of an old project management tool can help managers see where such communication should be taking place - but isn't. NOVEMBER Reprint R0711J

Are You the Weakest Link in Your Company's Supply Chain? Reuben E. Slone, John T. Mentzer, and J. Paul Dittmann

A CEO who pays special attention to supply chain management enhances the company's competitive advantage - and avoids classic, potentially costly pitfalls for the firm and its suppliers, partners, and customers. SEPTEMBER Reprint R0709H

Break the Paper Jam in B2B Payments Steve Berez and Arpan Sheth

Many companies still overlook the virtues of electronic invoice and payment systems: Some 70% of business-to-business transactions involve paper invoices and checks, and managing them costs about $116 billion a year. Electronic systems can help cut accounts payable overhead by more than 50% - but suppliers need to be converted quickly. FORETHOUGHT, NOVEMBER Reprint F0711D

High-Tech Ways to Keep Cupboards Full Peter J. McGoldrick and Peter M. Barton

Makers of nondurable goods should focus on keeping customers' - not just retailers' - shelves fully stocked. FORETHOUGHT, MARCH Reprint F0703B

Improve Your Return on Returns Andrew O'Connell

A "reverse logistics" value chain strategy - what you do with goods your customers send back - can strengthen your company's competitiveness, according to the authors of a recent article in the Academy of Management Perspectives. Estée Lauder built a $250 million product line from returned cosmetics. FORETHOUGHT, NOVEMBER Reprint F0711F

Lessons from the Leaders of Retail Loss Prevention Adrian Beck and Colin Peacock

Arresting thieves and investing in technology, the main approaches to retail loss prevention, haven't managed to diminish the problem over the past 15 years. A study of companies that have successfully reduced shrinkage uncovers nine practices behind their success, beginning with organizational and senior management commitment to making loss prevention a priority. FORETHOUGHT, NOVEMBER Reprint F0711H

Make Your Back Office an Accelerator Paul Rogers and Hernan Saenz

A new study identifies exactly how much bang for the buck a firm can get when it makes targeted cuts in back-office costs and takes steps to boost efficiency. FORETHOUGHT, MARCH Reprint F0703G

Pandemic Preparedness: Who's Your Weak Link? George Abercrombie

A company's ability to function during a flu pandemic is only as good as the weakest link in its supply chain. Hoffmann-La Roche, the maker of a frontline anti-flu drug, works closely with its suppliers to ensure that their preparedness plans are as robust as its own. FORETHOUGHT, DECEMBER Reprint F0712B

Performing a Project Premortem Gary Klein

In a premortem, team members assume that the project they are planning has just failed - as so many do - and then generate plausible reasons for its demise. Those with reservations may speak freely at the outset, so that the project can be improved rather than autopsied. FORETHOUGHT, SEPTEMBER Reprint F0709A

The Process Audit Michael Hammer

Redesigning business processes can generate dramatic improvements in performance, but the effort is notoriously difficult. Many executives have floundered, uncertain about what exactly needs to be changed, by how much, and when. A new framework can take the mystery out of reengineering business processes and help you plan and assess your company's process-based transformations. APRIL Reprint R0704H

Selecting Management Tools Wisely Darrell Rigby and Barbara Bilodeau

With so many management tools out there, from benchmarking to outsourcing, it's hard to decide which ones to try. To help executives make informed choices, the authors compare levels of use and satisfaction for the most popular tools, and chart the evolution of a select few. FORETHOUGHT, DECEMBER Reprint F0712E

Simplicity-Minded Management Ron Ashkenas

As corporations add layer upon layer of complexity, they grow increasingly unwieldy and ungovernable. Simplification is no longer a "nice to have" virtue; it's an imperative for bottom-line success. DECEMBER Reprint R0712H

Organization and Culture

Avoiding Integrity Land Mines Ben W. Heineman, Jr.

How do you keep thousands of employees, operating in hundreds of countries, as honest as they are competitive? General Electric's longtime general counsel describes the systems the company has put in place to do just that. APRIL Reprint R0704G

HBR CASE STUDY: Why Didn't We Know? Ralph Hasson. With commentary by Stephen R. Hardis, Jackson W. Robinson, Mary Rowe, and Hal Shear

A whistle-blower sues Galvatrens for wrongful termination. The lawsuit triggers a much larger discussion about the company's system for uncovering misconduct. How should the company strengthen that system - and what roles should the board and management play? APRIL Reprint R0704A, Reprint Case only R0704X, Reprint Commentary only R0704Z

Inner Work Life: Understanding the Subtext of Business Performance Teresa M. Amabile and Steven J. Kramer

New research shows how business performance is driven by workers' state of mind - and how managers, if they're not careful, can drive both down. MAY Reprint R0705D; HBR Article Collection "Build a Motivated Workforce, 2nd Edition" 2102

A Larger Language for Business: A Conversation with David Whyte Lisa Burrell

Poet David Whyte talks about how poetry begets courageous conversation and, in turn, better leadership. FORETHOUGHT, MAY Reprint F0705F

Promise-Based Management: The Essence of Execution Donald N. Sull and Charles Spinosa

The most vexing leadership challenges stem from broken or poorly crafted commitments between employees and colleagues, customers, or other stakeholders. To overcome such problems and foster a productive, reliable workforce, managers must cultivate and coordinate promises in a systematic way. APRIL Reprint R0704E

Reconcilable Differences Jonathan Knowles and Richard Ettenson

If Marketing and Finance can learn to get along, both can advance their agendas. FORETHOUGHT, JUNE Reprint F0706D

Simple Rules for Making Alliances Work Jonathan Hughes and Jeff Weiss

At least 60% of all corporate alliances fail. If you don't want yours to join the scrap heap, consider adopting five principles. NOVEMBER Reprint R0711H

To Thine Own Staff Be Agreeable Gary Davies and Rosa Chun

Studies show that the more staffers' opinions of a company outshine customers', the greater that company's sales growth will be. FORETHOUGHT, JUNE Reprint F0706H

What It Means to Work Here Tamara J. Erickson and Lynda Gratton

You won't find - and keep - deeply engaged employees by aping your rivals' talent-management practices. Potential hires need to know what's unique about your company. By creating "signature experiences" that convey your firm's values and heritage, you can attract the people who are most likely to be productive for the long term. MARCH Reprint R0703G

Why Employees Are Afraid to Speak James R. Detert and Amy C. Edmondson

In a word - self-preservation. And they're just as afraid to share innovative ideas as to blow the whistle. FORETHOUGHT, MAY Reprint F0705B

Performance Measurement

The Cost of Myopic Management Natalie Mizik and Robert Jacobson

A study of 2,859 firms shows that companies unwisely cutting costs to artificially improve performance are fooling no one for long. Their stock rises sharply right afterward but falls precipitously in the next few years, as poor management comes home to roost. FORETHOUGHT, JULY-AUGUST Reprint F0707E

Higher Net Price - Or Bust Paul Calthrop

When it comes to judging the success of innovations, the important measure to track isn't sales; it's net prices. FORETHOUGHT, MAY Reprint F0705G

Maximizing Your Return on People Laurie Bassi and Daniel McMurrer

An innovative tool can measure how effectively your company manages human capital and, unlike current HR metrics, can predict organizational performance. Use this new survey to find out where your company stands. MARCH Reprint R0703H

Productivity Is Killing American Enterprise Henry Mintzberg

When they cut R&D, underinvest in their brands, and - worse - cut worker and middle management ranks, leaders are merely punishing their employees (and stockholders) for their own inability to create real value, says this McGill University professor. Productivity improvements come from better management or applying new technologies, not from making fewer people do more work. FORETHOUGHT, JULY-AUGUST Reprint F0707G

The Strategic Secret of Private Equity Felix Barber and Michael Goold

The real reason private equity firms earn such high returns is so simple that most people overlook it: Those firms buy to sell rather than to keep. SEPTEMBER Reprint R0709B

Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton

How do you ensure today's actions will help your company reach tomorrow's goals? By using the balanced scorecard to link long-term strategic objectives with short-term budgetary needs. JULY-AUGUST Originally published in 1996 Reprint R0707M

Research and Development

Getting Unusual Suspects to Solve R&D Puzzles Karim R. Lakhani and Lars Bo Jeppesen

Your problem solvers could be not only out in the wider world but also in the wide reaches of your own organization. FORETHOUGHT, MAY Reprint F0705H

Novartis's Great Leap of Trust: A Conversation with Daniel Vasella Andrew O'Connell

CEO Daniel Vasella explains why his company is placing a big bet on China's future as a world scientific power. FORETHOUGHT, MARCH Reprint F0703F

Where More R&D Dollars Should Go Jim Scinta

Companies are expecting to spend more on R&D this year, but they're putting it in the wrong place - too much on new project development and not enough on the basic research that will produce tomorrow's revenues. FORETHOUGHT, JULY-AUGUST Reprint F0707H

Risk Management

A Growing Focus on Preparedness Darrell Rigby and Barbara Bilodeau

Scenario-planning tools are getting better, and companies are using them more effectively to prepare for an uncertain future, according to the latest results from Bain & Company's ongoing 14-year survey of corporate tool use. FORETHOUGHT, JULY-AUGUST Reprint F0707D

HBR CASE STUDY: Boss, I Think Someone Stole Our Customer Data Eric McNulty. With commentary by Bill Boni, John Philip Coghlan, Jay Foley, and James E. Lee

Flayton Electronics, a regional chain, faces threats to its reputation after a possible data breach. How should the firm address the interests of stakeholders - especially customers - in this information -age crisis? SEPTEMBER Reprint R0709A, Reprint Case only R0709X, Reprint Commentary only R0709Z

HBR CASE STUDY: The Dark Side of Customer Analytics Thomas H. Davenport and Jeanne G. Harris. With commentary by George L. Jones, Katherine N. Lemon, Michael B. McCallister, and David Norton

A customer data-sharing deal between two companies could reap easy money for both. But things could get complicated if customers find out how their personal information is being used. How can the companies leverage the data responsibly? MAY Reprint R0705A, Reprint Case only R0705X, Reprint Commentary only R0705Z

Reputation and Its Risks Robert G. Eccles, Scott C. Newquist, and Roland Schatz

Reputations make or break companies, yet most leaders inadequately manage reputational risk. Understanding the three factors that affect this type of risk is the first step in building a process for identifying, measuring, and controlling threats. FEBRUARY Reprint R0702F

Scorched Earth: Will Environmental Risks in China Overwhelm Its Opportunities? Elizabeth Economy and Kenneth Lieberthal

China's environmental problems are so bad they're beginning to constrain the country's GDP growth. Why, then, are multinationals paying so little attention to them? Failure to factor environmental issues into corporate strategy may turn China's seemingly enormous promise into a nightmare for many firms. JUNE Reprint R0706F; HBR Article Collection "China Tomorrow, Prospects and Perils, 3rd Edition" 2129

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