Ten timeless tests
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McKinsey Classics | June 2018
The foundations of strategy
The foundations of strategy
Strategy can be such a bear. Some companies go wrong by constantly searching for the “next new thing”—and, as one strategy guru puts it, you can always find “new stuff out there, and most of it’s not very good.” Other companies learn that mountains of data, analysis, and documents can distract rather than clarify. Strategy is a way of thinking about your business, not a set of procedures or frameworks. To inspire that kind of thinking (and the dialogue that accompanies it), a team of McKinsey consultants developed ten tests to help executives assess their strategies. A 2010 McKinsey Quarterly survey suggested that few strategies pass more than three of these tests.

To learn how your company stacks up, look at the classic 2011 article “Have you tested your strategy lately?” And for a more recent take on the authors’ thinking, read their new book, Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick: People, Probabilities, and Big Moves to Beat the Odds (John Wiley & Sons, February 2018).

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The HR function’s return on investment
The HR function’s return on investment
Read the 2011 classic “Question for your HR chief: Are we using our ‘people data’ to create value?” to start a dialogue that will help HR executives build a lasting strategic partnership with the senior-management team.
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