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Unleashing the Power of Purpose Premium

5 Steps to Transform Your Business

Almandoz, John; Lee, Yih-Teen; Ribera, Alberto

What's the main purpose of your business? If it's just to make money, you may find yourself coming up short, as that is generally not what inspires workers or generates lasting impact. Your business should be oriented toward some other-centered goal, in addition to making money, which will not only guide but inspire the behaviors and motivations of company actors toward some end that is primarily concerned with the organization's beneficiaries, including customers and society at large. This article reveals five practical steps for putting purpose into practice, achieving higher levels of motivation, commitment, engagement and fulfillment in your company in the process. Drawing on case studies and research, the authors describe the qualities that characterize purpose-driven leadership.

Of the three main trends shaping the business world -- machine, platform, crowd -- MIT research scientist Andrew McAfee believes the crowd is the way to leverage human knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm for innovation. In this interview, he unpacks six core principles for harnessing the crowd to develop something significant. Vitally, though mediated by technology, crowd-based co-creation still relies on the best human abilities -- an important point to bear in mind amid growing fears of machines' vastly superior computing power. He doesn't foresee machines replacing humans, but rather sees a rebalancing between minds and machines, between products and platforms, and between the core and the crowd. In the future, human abilities, excellent goods and services, and strong organizational capabilities will likely remain essential to business success.

A Road Map for Successful Strategy Execution Premium

Strategic Leadership

Ferraro, Fabrizio; Argüelles, José Miguel; Maoret, Massimo

How do you successfully execute strategy? It's not just about making rational economic decisions. Effective strategy execution demands something more, as the authors find from their analysis of academic literature, hundreds of business cases and their interactions with top executives. This article defines their concept of strategic leadership, as developed by professors of the Strategic Management Department at IESE, and lays out a road map for successful strategy execution, grouped according to four crucial processes: diagnosis, setting direction, action and personal development. The authors explain each process in turn, illustrated with the wisdom and experience of Federico Minoli, the globally renowned "turnaround artist." It's time to set the bar for leadership higher, they argue. This article points the way.

Rethinking the Funnel for the Omnichannel Age Premium

Are You Ready for the Retail Revolution?

D'Andrea, Guillermo

Wearables, self-driving cars, AI displacing people who will spend less time working and more time searching for memorable experiences to share on social media. These trends are already triggering a seismic shift in consumer patterns toward a constantly connected and engaged omnichannel model. From his research on retail sector trends and the challenges posed by digitization, the author offers a series of tips so that brands and businesses can adapt to the consumer of the future. As the success of firms like Zara, Mango, Uniqlo, Apple and Amazon show, the keys to survival in this new age are unforgettable customer experiences and efficiency.

How Blockchain Will Change the Way We Pay Premium

Banking Disruption

Soley, Jorge

Although still in a fledgling state, blockchain technology and associated developments could have a disruptive effect across many sectors. One industry that is particularly vulnerable is banking, whose long-established role as facilitator, guarantor and validator of payment operations would lose much of its relevance in a blockchain-based economy. The author explores the possible impact that a decentralized system like blockchain could have on traditional means of payment and what that could mean for today's banking industry.

How Humility Can Outsmart the Smart Machines Premium

The Power of the Humble Leader

Hess, Edward D.

Most of us think we're pretty smart, or we wouldn't be in our current executive position. But the kind of thinking that got you where you are today will not be enough to keep you there in the Smart Machine Age -- a new era in which technology will, in many cases, be smarter than humans. Staying ahead of tech and an increasingly competitive job market requires that we shed outdated mentalities and behaviors, embracing instead what the author calls NewSmart. Its hallmark is humility, which isn't about putting yourself down but about building others up, thereby achieving a higher level of thinking, learning and emotional engagement. This article, based on the book Humility Is the New Smart, details the mindset and behaviors that will increase your chances of success in a world transformed by technology.

To Get People to Pay, Understand How They Think Premium

The Psychology of Pricing

Raghubir, Priya

In a world of contactless payment, our perceptions of money are changing. Research suggests that, when using non-cash means such as credit cards and mobile apps, people tend to spend more freely. At the same time, increasingly complicated rewards programs and deep discounts are affecting the value that consumers assign to certain products. This article draws upon fundamental concepts from the field of behavioral economics, as well as results from the author's own research on money matters, to help companies gain a clearer focus in today's turbid pricing environment.

5 Ways Managers Can Enhance Their Mediating Skills Premium

The Mediator Mindset

Mehta, Kandarp; Ripol, Ignacio

Negotiating is a skill that every manager needs to master, not only because it can help to solve problems and create value, but because thwarted negotiations undermine value, sap morale, waste resources and even escalate into greater conflict. But there is more to negotiation than just wearing down the other side. The use of mediation in corporate settings yields useful lessons for every manager in resolving disputes and negotiating positive outcomes. This article reveals the key traits of the mediator mindset. By applying these principles to the conflicts they face, managers can overcome impasses and enjoy better relationships with their business partners, suppliers, customers and employees.

Objectives Are SMART, Missions Are WISE Premium

Employees With Purpose

Rey, Carlos; Chinchilla, Nuria; Pitta, Nuno

Far from staying at the corporate level, missions are increasingly playing a cross-organizational role in companies. Entire divisions, teams and individual workers are setting their own missions across a growing number of firms. Welcome to management by missions (MBM), in which objectives stop being an end in and of themselves and are put to the service of a greater purpose. As the authors argue, while objectives are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound), missions are WISE (Wide, Inspirational, Service-oriented and Evaluable). This article explains each of these attributes and how they are being put into action in all types of companies around the world.

Multiple Paths to Value: Test Two, Choose One Premium

For Entrepreneurs, Choice Matters

Gans, Joshua S.; Stern, Scott

You have an idea for a new business, but there are multiple paths to create and capture value. To choose a path, you have to experiment, but experiments are costly and require at least a partial commitment, which consequently alters the nature of the path, precludes other paths, or worse, takes you down a path of no return. This article describes this entrepreneurial paradox and summarizes the key factors that need to be weighed at every step to hone and optimize make-or-break choices. Although the strategic considerations presented in this article are common to any competitive strategy, the authors discuss the specific ways in which entrepreneurial strategy is different. Rather than using experiments to justify a particular choice, the goal is to whittle down choice sets until you are faced with two equally viable alternatives. That is when to "test two, choose one," which is the recommended approach for decision-making under conditions of uncertainty.

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