Many articles concerning corporate transformation offer perspectives on change with little basis in empirical data. This contribution from the MIT Sloan Management Review features data analyses on more than 300 US companies with dropping total shareholder return (TSR) – an indicator that suggests the need for massive corporate change. Boston Consulting Group’s Martin Reeves, Lars Fæste, Kevin Whitaker and Fabien Hassan discovered several factors that exercised an outsize influence on subsequent improvements in TSR. Leaders hoping to spearhead their own successful corporate transformation should take note.
Goals that are SMART (“specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound”) aren’t, in fact, the most intelligent choice for your firm – so say strategy consultant Charles Sull and managment lecturer Donald Sull in this research-laden MIT Sloan Management Review article. For best results, the Sulls urge, set goals that are FAST: “frequently discussed, ambitious, specific and transparent.”
Whether a manager is new or experienced, growing in the role means becoming more strategic. But often, the exact meaning of “strategic” remains unclear. For Julie Zhou, it meant falling into the trap of working hard – and confusing intensity with leading strategically. Now the Facebook vice president for product design, Zhou describes the difference in a brief but enlightening article for the MIT Sloan Management Review. Rookies will learn three keys to leading strategically, and seasoned managers will appreciate the reminders.
Healthy, productive teams have to be able to talk. When members can’t candidly share concerns and questions, teamwork suffers, performance falters and the effects can snowball. Professors Ginka Toegel and Jean-Louis Barsoux of the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development have studied team effectiveness and group dynamics in sports teams, orchestras, medical teams and even a hostage negotiation team. Writing for the MIT Sloan Management Review, Toegel and Barsoux delve into the causes and consequences of “undiscussable” subjects and offer proven cures.
Business leaders appreciate the importance of employee engagement, but many misunderstand what truly drives it – and most neglect its fundamental enabler. In an interesting white paper for MIT Sloan Management Review, Rob Cross, a professor of global leadership at Babson College; Amy Edmondson, professor of leadership and management at Harvard Business School; and Wendy Murphy, associate dean and professor of management at Babson College, report on research based on organizational network analysis and interviews with 200 business leaders that reveal the central role of interpersonal collaboration in employee engagement. The authors offer a three-step process for generating positive collaboration and specific leadership behaviors to support each step.