A sales manager recently spoke about an embarrassing scene that unfolded before an important client meeting. "Two teams from our firm were waiting in the lobby when the client walked in, and the groups didn't recognize each other. What a contradiction of our promise to provide integrated solutions! We looked like the Keystone Kops."
Just 15 years ago, China was home to 200 foreign-run R&D centers. Today, multinationals operate more than 1,500 innovation facilities throughout the country - and this number is poised to increase 20 percent by 2018. But this trend involves more than sheer presence.
Lately, it's almost impossible to talk about business strategy without mentioning the transformative potential of big data. Many companies are actively using advanced data analytics, and others are just getting started. But as the beginners are finding out, it's not as simple as just buying some new technology and hiring some statisticians.
It's the Daytona 500 of vehicle manufacturing: the race to bring connected cars, light trucks and SUVs to market. Unprecedented safety, driver assistance and infotainment features promise to revolutionize the driving experience. Still, few industry executives are confident that their current connected vehicle initiatives are on the right track.
Consumer packaged goods companies and retailers are natural allies. They have many of the same objectives - increased sales, cost savings, optimized processes and systems, and happy customers - and already work together in many parts of the world. But in emerging economies, such collaboration has yet to take off.
Among the many factors that have been identified as undermining a firm's success - unstable leadership and project setbacks, for example - there's one that has received remarkably little scrutiny from researchers: success itself.
Is vertical integration a thing of the past? On the contrary, it seems to be making a comeback, particularly in Silicon Valley, where it's been given a new label (just to remind us that everything that emanates from there is innovative!): the "full stack" business model.
To profit- indeed, to survive - in 2015 and beyond, companies must not just adopt new, unanticipated and more decentralized forms of digitization and technological innovation, but must use them to reshape their business models. These advances are rapidly changing the commercial environment, inside and outside companies, but many business leaders are still unprepared for them.