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HBR's 10 Must Reads on Strategy (including featured article “What Is Strategy?” by Michael E. Porter) by Renee Mauborgne, W. Chan Kim, Michael Porter, Harvard Business Review

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Transforming Corner-Office Strategy into Frontline Action

by Orit Gadiesh and James L. Gilbert

WE ALL KNOW THE BENEFITS of pushing decision making from the CEO’s office out to the far reaches of an organization. Fleeting business opportunities can be seized quickly. Products and services better reflect subtle shifts in customers’ preferences. Empowered workers are motivated to innovate and take risks.

But while the value of such an approach is clear, particularly in a volatile business environment, there is also a built-in risk: an organization in which everyone is a decision maker has the potential to spin out of control. Within a single company, it’s tricky to achieve both decentralized decision making and coherent strategic action. Still, ...

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