Strategic Innovation and the Science of Learning Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Normal planning process does not work for strategic experiments that are really the province. However, many companies cling to what they know - planning that keeps the managers responsible for the number. But it is not practical to enter a completely new territory, where the number of essentially pulled out of the hat and the underlying assumptions are rarely revised. The best approach to planning comes from researchers at Dartmouth College Tuck School of business. It emphasizes learning instead of numbers, and it is based on in-depth study of such companies as New York Times Digital, Thomson Corp, Corning, and Analog Devices. Their approach, theory-based planning is at variance with the usual planning in six critical ways. Companies that use it to focus on several critical unknowns instead of the usual hordes of detail in conventional plans, and they are focused on the theory emphasizing the predictions do not predictions, they are looking for trends rather than numerical targets and are considering a plan frequently in response to important new data rather than annually, and in this review, they believe that the experiment with the passage of time, not only for the current period, and they emphasize the leading indicators, not financial. Companies still hold managers responsible for strategic experiments performance, but performance is judged by how quickly managers to learn from the new data. To be successful in uncharted waters, the ability to learn from experience is of paramount importance. "Hide
by Vijay Govindarajan, Chris Trimble Source: MIT Sloan Management Review 11 pages. Publication Date: December 1, 2004. Prod. #: SMR128-PDF-ENG

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