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Inside the Strategy Room

Join leading experts, senior management, and board directors inside the strategy room as they share their insights on how to break through inertia and unlock big strategic moves.

Topics

Strategy | Corporate finance and the CFO role | CEO excellence

The board perspective | Innovation | M & A

Featured Podcasts

Podcast

The making of a megadeal: Howard Ungerleider on the merger of Dow and DuPont

– The CFO of Dow shares his experience of leading one of the most complex mergers and spinouts in history.

Boards, talent, and culture

– Boards need to ensure that management walks the talk on culture and values.

Michelle Gass of Kohl’s on shifting from survival to growth

– The CEO of the US retailer describes how the COVID-19 disruption helped refocus the chain’s strategy.

The 21st-century corporation: A conversation with Brian Chesky of Airbnb

– Airbnb’s CEO discusses how a company that flirted with demise during the pandemic turned its business around.

The Committed Innovator: A conversation with Amy Brooks of the NBA

– The National Basketball Association’s chief innovation officer explains how the league seized opportunities presented by the past year’s disruption to test new ideas.

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Strategy

The eight trends that will define 2021–and beyond

Kevin Sneader discusses the new ideas and business models transforming industry landscapes.

In conversation: Managing in extreme uncertainty

– The pandemic tested organizations’ ability to find the right balance between overreacting and underreacting. Capturing lessons from this crisis will help leaders navigate uncertainty in the future.

The workforce of the future

– Accelerating trends in remote work, e-commerce, and automation mean that more people will need to change jobs and learn new skills. Are leaders ready to guide the shift?

In conversation: The COVID-Exit

– Despite a resurgence of infections, confidence is rising about an end to the pandemic. Here is how to grow your way out of the crisis.

In conversation: The great acceleration

– As trends speed up and outperformers increase their leads, companies urgently need to set a path for post-COVID-19 growth.

Building a great digital business

– How companies are leveraging technology to address rapid market changes.

Four ways to assess projects and keep them on track

– Biases can lead executives to misjudge project potential, ignore pitfalls, and let failures fester. Here is how to make better decisions.

Choosing the right path to unlock the economy

– Uncertainty is keeping consumers from spending and businesses from investing. The road to recovery requires instilling confidence.

The war on the coronavirus

– Three top military leaders offer lessons from the front lines of managing deadly crises.

Planning ahead of the coronavirus crisis

– How can companies effectively mobilize their operations to overcome the coronavirus crisis?

COVID-19: Strategies for getting ahead of the pandemic crisis

– Even as organizations focus on the immediate business shocks, they need to plan for the postcrisis world. Here is how to respond to a disruption for which there are no playbooks.

COVID-19: How business leaders should plan ahead for the next stage

– While governments battle the outbreak, businesses need to help economies come back online. Here is how to adapt your operations, plan ahead, and get people working again.

Strategy at the speed of digital

– To succeed in the digital age, companies need to significantly raise their metabolic rate.

Stronger for longer: How top performers thrive through downturns

– Resilient companies enjoy gains that last long after an economic crisis has passed.

Jumpstart a better way to do strategy

– Eight practical shifts that can help management teams overcome the social games and corporate politics that doom so many bold plans to failure.

How to make the bold strategy moves that matter

– What does it take to make a true performance leap? The authors of Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick explain the key strategic levers their analysis has revealed, and how strongly you have to pull them.

Measuring your strategy’s odds of success

– The authors of Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick explain how big data can help managers set bold aspirations and overcome organizational inertia.

Want better strategies? Become a bulletproof problem solver

– The value of creative and strategic thinkers capable of solving complex problems has never been higher.

How to resist the allure of ‘glamour’ projects

– Shiny new initiatives can distract you from paying attention to other valuable but mundane projects and investments.

How to take the ‘outside view’

– It may be easier than you think to debias your decisions and make better forecasts by building the “outside view.”

How to avoid losses and prune projects proactively

– It’s common for companies to hang on for too long to projects or parts of the business that are underperforming. Two effective techniques can help executives decide when to hold on to an asset and when to let it go.

How to avoid digital-strategy pitfalls

– Most digital strategies don’t reflect how digital is changing economic fundamentals, industry dynamics, or what it means to compete.

Corporate finance and the CFO role

Podcast

The making of a megadeal: Howard Ungerleider on the merger of Dow and DuPont

– The CFO of Dow shares his experience of leading one of the most complex mergers and spinouts in history.
Podcast

In conversation: The impact of COVID-19 on capital markets

– The widening gap in performance and the valuation surge among a few elite companies demonstrate the pandemic-induced acceleration of trends.
Podcast

Ensuring the health of your business partnerships

– Regular partnership check-ins are essential to make sure that, like any relationship, both sides are getting what they need.
Podcast

CFO leadership in the COVID-19 crisis

– How finance leaders are prioritizing their activities to maximize their roles on the executive team.
Podcast

Cash preservation in response to COVID-19

– How to establish a cash culture that balances urgent short-term needs with longer-term competitive considerations
Podcast

Why ESG is here to stay

– The growing evidence that sustainable corporate practices link closely to performance is focusing investor and acquirer attention on ESG scores. But how reliable are they?
Podcast

How CFOs should drive digital transformations

– The chief financial officer is uniquely positioned to ensure a company moves boldly toward a shared digital goal.
Podcast

Reinventing the CFO for the digital age

– Digitization raises the demands on CFOs, along with the scale and influence of the role. How should finance chiefs reinvent?
Podcast

Resilience and value: A CFO tool kit for withstanding shocks

– New research has identified a set of capabilities that allow an organization to repeatedly bounce back from setbacks or adapt quickly to new trends. CFOs are supremely well placed to ensure that these “resilience assets” are in place.
Podcast

The evolution of the CFO

– CFOs are playing an increasingly pivotal role in driving change in their companies. How should they balance their traditional responsibilities with the new CFO mandate?
Podcast

Digital transformation: The CFO’s role

– With their role sitting at the center of the strategic-planning process and financial disciplines, CFOs are well positioned to become critical drivers of digital transformation.
Podcast

Make working capital work harder for you

– Companies can unlock value by managing working capital more effectively. Top performers are transforming the cash-conversion culture across the organization and implementing advanced digital-analytics solutions.

CEO Excellence

Michelle Gass of Kohl’s on shifting from survival to growth

– The CEO of the US retailer describes how the COVID-19 disruption helped refocus the chain’s strategy.

In conversation: The CEO’s new technology agenda

– Why the technology function needs to play an integral role in business strategy.

Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of Reckitt Benckiser, on corporate purpose during a crisis

– Reckitt Benckiser’s CEO reflects on his experience transitioning into the leadership role and driving strategic change during the global pandemic.

In conversation: The CEO moment

– Corporate leaders are changing how they do their jobs in ways that may permanently transform the CEO role.

Transformation and resilience: An interview with Best Buy’s executive chairman Hubert Joly

– Hubert Joly shares lessons from leading the turnaround of the retail and technology giant and how it prepared him and the company for the current crisis.

What sets the world’s best CEOs apart

– Are you a great CEO, or just a good one? New research shows that the leaders who truly excel have a set of distinctive mindsets and practices.

How new CEOs can manage for the future

– The subtle art of delivering short-term wins while setting the stage for long-term success

The diversity opportunity for new CEOs

– New McKinsey research has uncovered a fascinating correlation between gender diversity and corporate performance.

Demystifying AI and machine learning for executives

– In this interview, Tamim Saleh cuts through the hype around artificial intelligence with guidance for executives about where and how to employ AI in their businesses.

How leading CEOs manage their middle tenures

– Five principles are useful in guiding CEOs in their third, fourth, and fifth years on the job.

The Board Perspective

Boards, talent, and culture

– Boards need to ensure that management walks the talk on culture and values.

The role of boards in fostering resilience

– The lessons learned from the current crisis can help corporate boards make the organizations they serve stronger.

Boards and decision making

– What the pandemic has taught board directors about high-consequence, low-probability decisions.

The board’s role during crisis and beyond

– Three seasoned board directors discuss the role boards are playing in guiding their companies toward recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Boards and cybersecurity

– How boards should prepare for the rising cybersecurity threat

Corporate diversity: If you don’t measure it, it won’t get done

– Progress on workplace diversity has been slow and patchy. What will it take to really change the game?

Building gender diversity on boards

– McKinsey senior partner Celia Huber explains how companies can build and benefit from gender diversity on boards.

Innovation

The Committed Innovator: A conversation with Amy Brooks of the NBA

– The National Basketball Association’s chief innovation officer explains how the league seized opportunities presented by the past year’s disruption to test new ideas.

The Committed Innovator: A conversation with Tanya Baker of Goldman Sachs Accelerate

– The global leader of Goldman Sachs’ internal new business incubator on fostering innovation and entrepreneurial ventures within the firm.

The committed innovator: A conversation with Dometic’s Peter Kjellberg

– The chief marketing officer of the mobile-living-products company explains why a commitment to innovation has to start at the top.

The committed innovator: A conversation with board director Ireena Vittal

– The global innovation expert on solving the puzzle of growth in emerging markets.

The committed innovator: A conversation with Neal Gutterson of Corteva

– How a biotech scientist helped transform a traditional science organization into an innovation leader.

The committed innovator: An interview with Anjali Sud, CEO of Vimeo

– When a marketing executive discovered an unexpected market opportunity, she disrupted the company’s original business—and became CEO in the process.

The committed innovator: An interview with Salesforce’s Simon Mulcahy

– The cloud software provider’s executive vice president and chief innovation officer discusses how Salesforce’s innovation process creates distinctive buying experiences.

The committed innovator: An interview with Kellogg’s Nigel Hughes

– With more people eating at home than in the past 150 years, food companies have an opportunity. Nigel Hughes, head of R&D and Innovation at Kellogg Company, discusses ways to capture it.

The committed innovator: A discussion with investor Kevin O’Leary

– The star of entrepreneur competition Shark Tank explains where he sees innovation opportunities in the post-COVID-19 era.

The committed innovator: A discussion with Beth Comstock

– How tolerance for risk, patience, and thinking small (where funding is concerned) can lead to breakthrough innovation.

How to take the measure of innovation

– By combining two simple metrics, companies can gain valuable insights into their innovation performance.

How to move fast: Innovation at speed and scale

– Leading start-ups innovate, go to market, and scale quickly with limited resources. What can large companies learn from the start-up playbook?

Creating high-performance innovation teams at scale

– For innovation initiatives to succeed, they must be staffed with the right combination of talent.

Framing reinvention: What disruptive change means for business, society, and you

– Global managing partner Kevin Sneader reflects on the challenges and opportunities that disruptive change presents for business leaders and society.

M&A

Collaborations between corporates and start-ups

– How to raise the odds of lasting mutual benefits when large and small companies team up.

Business priorities in the postpandemic era

– John Waldron, Kevin Sneader, and Carolyn Dewar on the state of global business and the future of M&A.

Ensuring the health of your business partnerships

– Regular partnership check-ins are essential to make sure that, like any relationship, both sides are getting what they need.

In conversation: Culture in M&A

– Why assessing the cultural fit cannot be an afterthought in deal making

Growth through a downturn

– How companies outperform on growth during downturns and the subsequent recovery

Why you need to keep changing your company’s business mix

– Because the market is always moving, a static portfolio of businesses tends to underperform.

A winning formula for deal synergies

– The experiences of the most successful acquirers yield some counterintuitive lessons.

Digital disruption and the role of M&A

– Mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures are an important way for companies to reposition their organizations to compete in the digital age.

Partners in profit: Creating successful business alliances

– As partnerships grow more complex, putting the right foundations in place from the start becomes even more crucial to lucrative and lasting collaboration.

Active portfolio management: Interview with Andy West

– Senior partner Andy West discusses the latest trends in M&A in light of several recent high-profile divestitures.

The pros and cons of activist investors

– Management teams that engage positively with attackers may find activist campaigns bring ideas that create value and improve shareholder performance.