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Leadership at Toyota…page 78 How to Stop Suite Crime…page 70 www.hbr.org May 2004 58 Coaching the Alpha Male Kate Ludeman and Eddie Erlandson 70 The HBR Interview Eliot Spitzer: How to Restore the Fiduciary Relationship Louise O’Brien 78 Learning to Lead at Toyota Steven J. Spear 92 The Risky Business of Hiring Stars Boris Groysberg, Ashish Nanda, and Nitin Nohria 102 Building Better Boards David A. Nadler 18 Forethought Tame the Beast …page 58 33 HBR Case Study Oil and Wasser Byron Reimus 49 Different Voice Passion for Detail: A Conversation with Thoroughbred Trainer D. Wayne Lukas 122 First Person Telling Tales Stephen Denning 131 Best Practice Can Absence Make a Team Grow Stronger? Ann Majchrzak et al. 148 Executive Summaries 155 Panel Discussion If you still think of Pitney Bowes as the postage-meter people, here's a thought: Today, we're working with nearly every FORTUNE 500 company, engineering solutions that go far beyond the mailroom. By optimizing the flow of documents, mail and data that stream into and out of your organization, we can transform it into a powerful tool for advancing business. The results can be extraordinary: From more-profitable customer relationships to improved cash flow; a safer, more-secure operation to 24/7 backup in case of disaster. The list is virtually endless. But, then, so are our ideas. Hopefully, we're piqued your curiosity. But we can assure you that it will be fully rewarded with a visit to pb.com/solutions. Or, if you prefer, a call to 1 866 DOC FLOW. ©2004 Pitney Bowes Inc. All Rights Reserved. HBR 58 Features 102 May 2004 58 Coaching the Alpha Male 70 Kate Ludeman and Eddie Erlandson Some seven out of ten top executives are alpha males. And no wonder – highly intelligent, confident, and successful, alphas are natural leaders who thrive on levels of responsibility most people would find overwhelming. But those very strengths can also drive their coworkers crazy. That’s why alphas, and the teams that depend on them, need coaching to make the most of their leadership strengths. 70 How to Restore the Fiduciary Relationship: An Interview with Eliot Spitzer Louise O’Brien “One jail term is worth a lot of compliance officers,” says New York State attorney general and corporate reformer Eliot Spitzer, who was behind the $1.4 billion global settlement between regulators and banking houses in 2003. What’s really needed, Spitzer suggests, is for all businesses–and not just securities firms – to recognize their fiduciary duty to customers and shareholders. 78 Learning to Lead at Toyota Steven J. Spear Despite countless attempts to copy Toyota’s famous production system, few companies have been able to match the carmaker’s performance. In part, that’s because a special kind of training is needed. Here’s how Toyota brought one fast-track management recruit up to scratch. 92 The Risky Business of Hiring Stars Boris Groysberg, Ashish Nanda, and Nitin Nohria Before you start your next campaign to lure away a competitor’s star, be warned: She’ll never glow as brightly for you. An extensive and penetrating study shows why it’s better to create your own stars than to hire someone else’s. 102 Building Better Boards David A. Nadler Governance reform isn’t just about cleaning house. An ambitious board-building process – one that marshals the right people, agendas, information, and culture – can turn a good board into a great one. continued on page 8 COVER ART: DANIEL ADEL 78 92 6 harvard business review Continental Airlines flies 24/7. They asked Xerox to plot a course to create and track maintenance advisories digitally. Result? Paper’s eliminated. Uptime’s sky high. There’s a new way to look at it. Learn more: www.xerox.com/learn Or call: 1- 800 - ASK- XEROX ext. LEARN © 2004 XEROX CORPORATION. All rights reserved. XEROX,® The Document Company® and There’s a new way to look at it are trademarks of XEROX CORPORATION. HBR D e pa r t m e n t s May 2004 10 88 FROM THE EDITOR S T R AT E G I C H U M O R Alpha Bets Whether they’re alpha-male CEOs or hotshot stock analysts, corporate stars tend to forget that their success derives from the talents of their teams and the cultures of their workplaces. They underestimate the contribution of the many to the success of a few. 20 122 Telling Tales Stephen Denning Leaders who spin an effective yarn have the power to persuade and, ultimately, to effect change. So what separates the winners from the windbags? Knowing what type of story to tell in a particular situation. FORETHOUGHT 18 19 20 21 26 30 Management Lessons from Mars Found In Translation Whining Away the Hours Audit Committees Can’t Add Stock-Outs Cause Walkouts Books in Brief 33 HBR CASE STUDY 33 131 Ann Majchrzak, Arvind Malhotra, Jeffrey Stamps, and Jessica Lipnack The short answer is yes – far-flung teams can be even more productive than those that work face-to-face, if they’re managed correctly. An extensive benchmarking study of the most successful virtual teams reveals how they turn distance and diversity into competitive advantage. Byron Reimus 49 BEST PRACTICE Can Absence Make a Team Grow Stronger? Oil and Wasser Is it the British–German culture clash that’s tearing apart this international merger of cookie makers? Maybe the real problem is that the “merger of equals” is just a takeover in disguise. Or that the two firms’ executives are scared to death of becoming irrelevant in the brave new merged world. FIRST PERSON 49 144 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR By exercising the three levers of IT – IT resource management, IT work management, and IT demand management – companies can not only understand, but systematically maximize, IT’s contribution to the business. DIFFERENT VOICE Passion for Detail: A Conversation with Thoroughbred Trainer D. Wayne Lukas 122 What wisdom can a horse trainer offer to a corporate manager? How to spot talent early and develop it into worldclass form, despite the fact that the talent – equine or human – can be headstrong, sensitive, or, yes, even lazy. 148 EXECUTIVE SUMMARIES 155 PA N E L D I S C U S S I O N They Can Take It with Them Don Moyer When knowledge assets sail out the door with employees, companies soon miss what they didn’t know they had. 131 8 harvard business review FROM THE EDITOR F ew sights are grander than a boss who is in touch with his inner primate. The alpha male is a tremendous force for good in human affairs. His charisma rallies the troops once more unto the breach. His unflagging drive inspires others to heights they could never scale alone. His sheer authority causes rivals to put aside their differences and join in the cause he defines. His acts of kindness or attention – sometimes the smallest word–can forever change the lives of the people on whom he bestows them. Where would business be without him, without J.P. Morgan, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Jacob Fugger, Alfred P. Sloan, or Sandy Weill? Yet few sights are more terrifying than an alpha male on a rampage. The traits that make him glorious make him dangerous when he’s out of control. His charisma becomes demagoguery; his drive, browbeating; his authority, pigheadedness; his attentiveness, smothering. It’s the story of Henry Ford’s awful last years, the story told in far too many courtrooms recently, and the story of every employee ever led by a tinhorn fool. Worse, the alpha male’s defining characteristic – his unshakable self-confidence – can keep him from recognizing his problems. If something’s wrong, it must be you. Where does a 600-pound gorilla sit? Anywhere he wants, the joke goes. But if he sits in the corner office, he’d better know his own strength. Kate Ludeman and Eddie Erlandson are executive coaches who have long experience dealing with alpha males. It’s the most challenging task in their field. Alphas resist change, not least because they have been successful in the past. At the same time, because these leaders have so much power to do good or ill, successful coaching is a boon for their colleagues and companies. “Coaching the Alpha Male” is a fascinating look inside the process. It’s also a practical guide – not just for coaches but for alphas themselves and the men and women around them – to the ways in which the natural leader’s personal power can be put to its best use. One mistake alphas make is failing to recognize how much of their success derives from the talents of their 10 teams and the culture of the place where they work. They’re not alone in underestimating the contribution of the many to the success of a few. In “The Risky Business of Hiring Stars,” Harvard Business School professors Boris Groysberg, Ashish Nanda, and Nitin Nohria document how rare it is for star performers to shine as brightly after they move from one company to another. It turns out that a lot of their achievement is based on firm-specific human capital – individual skills that are more valuable in one context than in others. Moreover, much of a star’s brightness is really the reflected light of her colleagues. Take her out of her constellation and she turns out to be only faintly like what she appeared to be. Recent articles in HBR have pointed out that roughly three out of four acquisitions do not pay off for buyers and that companies’ adjacency moves fail at about the same rate. Now it appears that personnel moves are dicey, too. Of course, many acquisitions, adjacency moves, and new hires work out brilliantly. That happens most often when managers are rigorous about analyzing the talent they acquire, the markets where they compete, and the strategies and tactics they pursue. A true master of these skills is Thoroughbred racehorse trainer D. Wayne Lukas – the all-time winningest trainer in America’s Triple Crown classics, the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and Belmont stakes. When it comes to acquiring, developing, and coaching headstrong performers, no one does better. In senior editor Julia Kirby’s conversation with Lukas, you’ll find that his advice about managing equine talent resonates strongly for people who manage people, too. Thomas A. Stewart harvard business review ROBERT MEGANCK Alpha Bets n io , at ide c u w Ed rld 3 e o iv W 00 ut er –2 c 0 e id 0 Ex r ov 20 P editor Thomas A. Stewart deputy editor Karen Dillon 1 # executive editor Sarah Cliffe art director Karen Player Learning that Powers Performance® senior editors Leigh Buchanan David Champion Diane L. Coutu Bronwyn Fryer Ben Gerson Paul Hemp Julia Kirby Gardiner Morse Ellen Peebles Anand P. Raman associate editor Eileen Roche consulting editor Louise O’Brien Columbia Executive Education We set the global standard for success—for individuals and organizations. Cutting-edge program designs and an active learning approach create a results-oriented environment unmatched in the world. Our commitment to our clients’ needs has helped us to achieve the in executive education for #1 ranking four consecutive years ( Financial Times, 2000–2003). We give you the ideas and tools you need to power your performance. senior production manager Dana Lissy associate production manager Christine Wilder senior designers Aimee Bida Jill Manca production coordinator Josette AkreshGonzales design consultant Carolann Stutzman Adams manuscript design/production editors coordinator Christina Bortz Heather Barrett Lisa Burrell Roberta A. Fusaro communications manager Margaret K. Hanshaw Cathy Olofson Andrew O’Connell Andrea Ovans editorial coordinators editor for Kassandra Duane business development Andrew Gray John T. Landry contributing staff executive editor and director Amy L. Halliday of derivative Amy N. Monaghan products Annie Noonan Jane Heifetz Suki Sporer editor-at-large, harvard business school publishing Walter Kiechel a note to readers UPCOMING COURSES Negotiation and Decision-Making Strategies [May 11–13] Fundamentals of Management: Highlights of an MBA [June 13–25] Competitive Strategy for Business Markets [May 23–28] Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Executive [June 21–25] Creating Breakthrough Strategy [June 6–11] The Columbia Senior Executive Program [June 27–July 23] High Impact Leadership (Formerly known as Leading and Managing People) [June 6–11] Executing Breakthrough Strategy [August 1– 6] The views expressed in articles are the authors’ and not necessarily those of Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business School, or Harvard University. Authors may have consulting or other business relationships with the companies they discuss. submissions We encourage prospective authors to follow HBR’s “Guidelines for Authors” before submitting manuscripts. To obtain a copy, please go to our Web site at www.hbr.org; write to The Editor, Harvard Business Review, 60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163; or send e-mail to hbr_editorial@hbsp.harvard.edu. Unsolicited manuscripts will be returned only if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. editorial offices W W W. G S B . C O L U M B I A . E D U / E X E C E D 800-692-3932 | 212-854-3395 60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163 617-783-7410; fax: 617-783-7493 www.harvardbusinessonline.org Volume 82, Number 5 May 2004 Printed in the U.S.A. publisher Cathryn Cronin Cranston circulation fulfillment manager Heather McCormick business director Edward D. Crowley direct marketing manager Bruce W. Rhodes manager, marketing and operations Marisa Maurer senior business analyst Adrienne M. Spelker advertising production manager Catharine-Mary Donovan assistant subscriber services manager Elizabeth Sottile assistant advertising manager Ashley C. 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No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission. general management INSPIRING LEADERS Organisations need inspiring business leaders who can motivate their teams to achieve ever-higher levels of performance. London Business School’s general management programmes are designed for ambitious individuals who want to become not just better managers, but great business leaders. London Business School’s Vision is to be the pre-eminent global business school. We provide talented individuals with the global business capabilities required for successful international careers. Our three-tiered approach offers vital support at significant career transition points: We recognise the importance of aligning the personal development needs of the individual with the objectives of their organisation. We work closely with sponsoring companies to ensure participants’ learning is directly applicable to their area of responsibility. Senior Executive Programme: enables senior managers to create the future for their organisation. Accelerated Development Programme: facilitates the transition of senior functional managers into business leaders by developing core capabilities that will equip them to be highly effective general managers. Young Professionals Programme: progresses the development of emerging leaders, from high potential to high performing employees. Senior Executive Programme Accelerated Development Programme Young Professionals Programme Available as a 4 week residential programme. • 12 September – 8 October 2004 Available as both a 4 week and 2 x 2 week (modular) residential programme, supported by virtual learning technology throughout an 8 month period. Four-week programmes: • 20 June – 16 July 2004 • 31 October – 26 November 2004 2x two-week programme: • 10 – 22 Oct and 28 Nov – 10 Dec 2004 (modular) Available as a 2 + 1 week residential programme, supported by virtual learning technology throughout an 11 week period. • 29 Aug – 10 Sept and 24 – 29 Oct 2004 Executive Education w w w. l o n d o n . e d u / e x e c e d / h b r / For further information please contact (quoting reference EE0309) Andrew Wilson, Client Services, Executive Education, London Business School, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4SA Tel +44 (0)20 7706 6836 Fax +44 (0)20 7724 6051 Email a.wilson@london.edu We’re providing more natural gas so that millions more can be comfortable. Working with our partners around the world, we’re developing new ways to bring you more natural gas. Enough to power over 6 million more homes every day. Because, while demand for this cleaner energy is rising dramatically, so is our ability to meet it. Turning partnership into energy.™ ©2004 ChevronTexaco Corporation. ChevronTexaco is a trademark of ChevronTexaco Corporation. F o r e t h o u g h t research Management Lessons from Mars Go ahead and raise the bar. Just don’t make the same mistakes NASA did. by Alan MacCormack There is no reason to believe that success indicates a flawless process while failure is the result of egregious bad practice. 18 In January, two small spacecraft bounced onto the surface of Mars, delivering rovers that have captivated the world with their stunning photographs of the Martian landscape. By contrast, four years earlier NASA had watched in horror as two successive Mars missions blinked out of existence within a three-month span. Much of the blame for those failures was placed on the agency’s Faster, Better, Cheaper (FBC) initiative, a program established in the early 1990s and designed to transform the way NASA developed unmanned spacecraft. The goal was to drastically reduce project costs while speeding development times. Development was indeed faster, and missions were indeed cheaper – but the approach was flawed, as the doomed 1999 missions suggest. As I talked with NASA managers about the FBC program, I discovered an overarching organizational problem – a learning disability, if you will – that holds lessons for managers in many other environments. In shifting to FBC from a slow, reliable, but costly approach to development, NASA forced its project managers to invent radically new processes and procedures. FBC imposed on them budget, schedule, and weight constraints that could not be met using NASA’s traditional approaches to spacecraft development. “The attitude was ‘The book’s not working. So throw out the book, try something different, and then write a new book,’” one NASA manager explained. Implicit in this approach was the need for project managers to learn from the organization’s collective experiences, adopt what worked, and jettison what didn’t. Unfortunately, NASA undermined this learning process in several ways. First, with the launch of each FBC mission, NASA demanded ever faster development times and even lower costs. But because it typically takes more than four years for a small spacecraft to go from drawing board to completed mission, managers were forced to meet the tougher demands on new projects while earlier projects were still in progress. So they couldn’t capture all the potential lessons from one mission before moving to the next. In short, NASA was raising the bar before seeing if project managers could clear it where it was. By the time the organization realized it had set the bar too high – around the time the first FBC missions began to fail – the project pipeline was full of missions that were potentially compromised. It’s no surprise that later FBC missions failed more frequently than earlier ones did. Second, NASA didn’t realize that because the FBC initiative depended so much on shared learning, it would require a more aggressive and systematic approach to knowledge management. Although NASA had implemented a “lessons learned” database in 1995, a 2001 survey found that only one-quarter of its managers contributed to it. A similar number of managers were unaware the system even existed. Furthermore, while “red team reviews” – periodic progress reviews conducted by NASA’s most experienced managers – proved invaluable in early FBC projects, NASA conducted fewer of these assessments in later missions. As a consequence, the transfer of learning across the organization suffered. Finally, NASA fell prey to “superstitious learning” – the assumption that there is more to be gleaned from failed missions than from successful ones. In the challenging climate of space exploration, however, the difference between what makes one mission succeed and another fail can be subtle. There is no reason to believe that success indicates a flawless process while failure is the result of egregious bad practice. For example, as many mistakes could have been harvard business review
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