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If your plan is to disrupt the incumbents in your company’s C-suite, you’d better know what all that Harvard Business Review crap–er, essential strategic thinking and methodology–means. (Brad Calkins/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
If your plan is to disrupt the incumbents in your company’s C-suite, you’d better know what all that Harvard Business Review crap–er, essential strategic thinking and methodology–means. (Brad Calkins/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

2014 executive survival guide

Know your management theory Add to ...

If your plan is to disrupt the incumbents in your company’s C-suite, you’d better know what all that Harvard Business Review crap–er, essential strategic thinking and methodology–means.

Holacracy
Down with hierarchy, up with arranging teams and responsibilities in overlapping circles. The CEO has to give up his title and become the “lead link,” whose main power is to break up strategic logjams. If he or she actually gives up the corner office, you know they’re serious–and yours is probably the next to go. (To read about holacracy in action, see “Who’s the boss?” on page 20 in the September 2014 issue of Report on Business Magazine.)
Who digs it: Zappos

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Lean production
When Japanese auto companies started walloping Detroit’s Big Three in the 1980s, much of the credit went to their creative blending of craftsmanship and mass production. Team members are expected to work closely with designers on the line, and to halt production in case of a fault, so they can figure out its root cause.
Who digs it: Toyota

Six Sigma
That guy who refers to himself on LinkedIn as a “Six Sigma Master Black Belt” might not beat you in a fight, but the company he works for will have a lot fewer faulty products. Six Sigma folks endure hours of training and hierarchy to attain Black Belt status, in the hopes of reducing the number of “defects” to 3.4 per million possible problems.
Who digs it: General Electric

Jobs to be done
“People don’t want a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole,” Theodore Levitt famously said in the 1960s. The observation evolved into outcome-driven innovation–figuring out what job the customer wants to get done and approaching the product from that perspective. That, in turn, became part of a bigger framework that takes “jobs to be done” ideas from concept to execution. How’s that for deliverables?
Who digs it: Microsoft

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