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  1. Developing Half-Cost Products

    Audio Session: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 1:00pm

    Learn how to develop products that support strategies for the manufacture of half-cost products

  2. X-Teams

    Audio Session: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 1:00pm

    Professor Ancona will present a new model of teams, the X-team, that illustrates how teams can become engines of innovation and execution. Challenging the dominant wisdom that successful teams focus on internal dynamics, Ancona builds on twenty years of research to show that when teams teams make external activity a top priority performance takes off. She will draw on examples from BP, Microsoft, Newscorp, and HP.

  3. X Teams: How To Build Teams that Lead, Innovate, and Succeed Locked

    Research | Posted: 2008-08-08

    "Good teams fail all the time, and it’s not because they are inadequate or lack the talent or knowledge to do the job. It’s because they follow the classic team approach of focusing internally." So says Deborah Ancona, a Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Faculty Director of the MIT Leadership Center, and a consultant to such companies as AT&T, BP, Vale, Merrill Lynch, and Newscorp. In this presentation, Professor Ancona presents X-Teams, a new model that illustrates how teams can become engines of innovation and execution through fostering an external focus and external action. Challenging theconventional wisdom that successful teams focus on internal dynamics, Ancona builds on twenty years of research to show that high performance teams make external activity a top priority. Drawing on examples from BP, Microsoft, Newscorp, and HP, Ancona describes how to identify the attributes of high-performing, innovative teams; how to create teams that are a vehicle for leadership development; how to rapidly develop X-teams in your company; and how to build an infrastructure of innovation in your organization. (20 slides with audio)

  4. The Synergy Challenge – Ten Key Acquisition Lessons Learned: The Case of Mercury Computer Systems and Myriad Logic Locked

    Research | Posted: 2007-01-19

    By Bob Becker In this feature article, a former Senior Vice President at Mercury Computer Systems outlines what went right and what went wrong with a key acquisition. A major part of the challenge had to do with R&D investment in the acquired company. Writes Becker, “All the corporate norms and systems for how investment funds were allocated were stacked against adding dollars for R&D; those R&D dollars were needed to evolve the product family – to either grow it as a business or achieve some of the strategic goals by working on new products with the rest of the corporation.” Before the savings from merging the manufacturing operations were realized, low R&D investment had turned the acquired organization into a sustaining engineering group, unable to add much value in the form of innovative new products. Overall, Becker reports that well-intentioned choices with respect to the acquired entity caused the operation to become out of sync with the core strategy, frustrating the workforce and leadership alike with a lack of clarity and inconsistent direction. The result was that people and assets related to the acquired entity became some of the first jettisoned when times got tough. (5 pages)

  5. Change Management and Enterprise Alignment: A Framework & Overview Locked

    Research | Posted: 2006-01-13

    Product development organizations, as parts of a wider corporation, confront the inevitability of change. They will change – but will the change lead to creating value or to losing it? This research report examines some of the challenges created by the pace of change in today’s business climate and some of the means by which alignment may be achieved in these fast-paced environments. Based on studies of organizations like Schlumberger, ABB and Daimler/Chrysler, this report explores such issues as the difference between mutation and variation; understanding the importance of corporate culture in change initiatives; and the challenge of gaining alignment across national borders. The report also concludes that effective organizational change involves a balance between the extremes of unbridled change and stagnation described by the poles of a) drift – doing more of the same because “that’s how we’ve always done it” and b) frenzy – uncontrolled change, or motion without progress. (6 pages)

  6. Mercury Computer Systems's X Team Facilitates Portfolio Decision Making Locked

    Research | Posted: 2006-01-06

    Bob Becker, until August 2005 Senior Vice President of Engineering and Operations, Mercury Computer Systems, spearheaded the company's transformation from a silo’ed shop to a cross-functional organization. Becker led a range of efforts aimed at breaking through functional silos, empowering teams, rationalizing the product development process and improving portfolio decision making. One of Mercury’s innovations was at the level of project governance, where a permanent group of middle managers – called the “X Team” (“X” stands for Execution) – worked with core teams to ease the transition from one decision point to another. Mercury discovered that its X Team, as one portion of a wider initiative, helped to improve project predictability, enhance communications between senior management and the project team, and facilitate sound business decisions at the project and portfolio levels. (5 pages)

  7. Organizational Change and Enterprise Alignment: Transcript of Audio Session Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-11-07

    In this transcript from a member's-only audio session, Roger Nagel (Lehigh University), Ralph Schmitt (Kysor/Warren) and Andrew Street (DuPont Teijin Films) present strategies and practical approaches for change management. The participants discussed the role of senior management in change initiatives; top-down and bottom-up change implementations; internal and external drivers for change; how best to persuade senior management to support change; dealing with resistance; and key success factors for effective change management. (19 pages)

  8. Organizational Change and Enterprise Alignment: Summary of Audio Session Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-11-07

    Related Links: Audio - mp3 or wma | Transcript (19 pages) In this summary of a member's-only audio session, Roger Nagel (Lehigh University), Ralph Schmitt (Kysor/Warren) and Andrew Street (DuPont Teijin Films) present strategies and practical approaches for change management. The participants discussed the role of senior management in change initiatives; top-down and bottom-up change implementations; internal and external drivers for change; how best to persuade senior management to support change; dealing with resistance; and key success factors for effective change management. (6 pages)

  9. Process Discipline:  Coercive or Enabling? Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-09-01

    An Interview with Paul Adler Paul S. Adler is Professor of Management and Organization at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California. Before arriving at USC in 1991, he was affiliated with the Brookings Institution, Columbia University, the Harvard Business School, and Stanford's School of Engineering. He has worked with such firms such as General Electric, Honeywell, Apple Computer, General Motors, Chase Manhattan Bank, NCR, UPS, and Nortel. In this archive interview, Adler lends credence to those who are trying to put more discipline into the product development process. In many places, observes Adler, there's still resistance to process discipline. That resistance is often based on the assumption that 'you can't schedule creativity' and on the fear that greater discipline would turn development organizations into bureaucratic settings with high levels of employee frustration and alienation. In making the distinction between a coercive bureaucracy and an enabling discipline Adler argues that there are ways of bringing considerable discipline to product development in ways that enhance, rather hinder, creativity. (6 pages)

  10. TARGET TOPIC: Co-Located Teams Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-07-01

    The Target Topic series of reports provides the concise, essential information on a specific theme in the new product development arena. This report on co-located teams provides a definition of co-location based on empirical research as it details the objectives of co-located teams, their benefits and their drawbacks. The report also provides brief overviews of several company practices and a bullet-level summary of leading practices in this domain. (5 pages)

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