Core Insights Podcast Series: Strategy

20 April 2021

After the success of 'Leading Through COVID-19' and the dedicated series to Behavioural Science Warwick Business School's Core Insights editorial team bring expert advice and knowhow on Strategy.

The 11-part series is designed to help businesses and organisations get to grips with their strategy; how to design it, how to implement it and a look at the different strategies available.

Bringing you the leading academics from Warwick Business School, this podcast series will reveal the latest research and thinking from world-class Professors detailing how Apple do strategy, how to exploit luck, the new open strategy vogue and much more.

Listen to it below or through your usual podcast provider:

Episode One

How to incorporate strategic agility in your business

Core Insights host Trevor Barnes talks to Loizos Heracleous, Professor of Strategy, about agility. 

Once the manifesto for software designers, agile has worked its way to the top of organisations as companies look to cope with an increasingly complex and uncertain world.

Even before the global pandemic evidence suggested that volatility was increasing with more and more companies being disrupted by nimble start-ups as technology evolves at rapid rates in the fourth industrial revolution.

But how do big companies incorporate agility into their strategy and structure? Professor Heracleous, co-editor of Agility.X - How organizations thrive in unpredictable times reveals the answers. 





Episode Two

Applying design thinking to your company's strategy

Design thinking has become the de facto way to innovate for successful companies these days, but it is now moving further up the organisational hierarchy.

Core Insights host Trevor Barnes talks to Pietro Micheli, Professor of Business Performance and Innovation, on how organisations can use design thinking in building a strategy and why the concept is so helpful in today's climate of uncertainty.

Read more on how design thinking can aid a company's strategy and the six factors involved in using it here. Further, find out how design thinking can help build a strategy from the bottom-up here.





Episode Three

How to transform a corporation through mergers and acquisitions

In 1999 Dow Chemical decided to embark on one of the most ambitious transformations in US corporate history.

It decided to pivot from low-margin chemicals into high-margin speciality chemicals and embarked on the acquisition of 138 companies, enter 122 joint ventures and unravel 156 divestitures.

Koen Heimeriks, Professor of Strategy, has studied the journey and reveals to Core Insights host Trevor Barnes the lessons learned and the tools needed for others to transform their business successfully.

Read more on corporate transformation from Professor Heimeriks here.





Episode Four

Janus Strategy – the strategy that drove Apple to the top 

Named after the Roman God Janus, who could survey two or more directions simultaneously, Loizos Heracleous explains in this episode how Janus Strategy is the route to success for today's top companies.

The Professor of Strategy explains to Core Insights host Trevor Barnes how Janus Strategy sees companies adopt two seemingly contradictory objectives to take a competitive advantage in their industry, with Apple being the prime example.

Listen to hear how the Silicon Valley giant has done it and generated huge profit margins. And read more on Janus Strategy in this excerpt from Professor Heracleous' book here.





Episode Five

How to exploit luck to gain a competitive advantage

Does luck play a part in business? According to Chengwei Liu's research it plays a huge part, with good luck largely underestimated by managers and bad luck overestimated.

Listen to the Associate Professor of Strategy and Behavioural Science tell Core Insights host Trevor Barnes how luck and people's ignorance of it can be used to build a strategy to beat your rivals.

Read more on how to use luck to your advantage by using Dr Liu's Analytical Behavioural Strategy here. You can also read an extract from Dr Liu's book Luck: A Key Idea for Business and Society here.





Episode Six

The four principles to build long-term survival for a company

Christian Stadler, Professor of Strategic Management, has spent many years studying Europe's century-old firms.

Listen to this podcast with Core Insights host Trevor Barnes to discover what he learned about building enduring success and the common themes that has seen companies like Shell,  Allianz, Siemens and Legal & General prosper for so long.

Professor Stadler details the four principles that can help companies lay the foundations for developing a sustainable competitive advantage.

Read more about Professor Stadler's research on enduring success here. You can also read his book on the subject, plus, Professor Stadler reveals the five reads you need to build a strategy in uncertain times like the current global pandemic.





Episode Seven

How your company should fight back if it has been hit by disruptive innovation

Over nine years Sotirios Paroutis and Luciano Oviedo were able to go behind the scenes at Cisco and see how the company reacted to the emergence of Amazon Web Services' cloud platform that disrupted its established business model.

Cisco was able to come back and Core Insights host Trevor Barnes interviews the pair to find out the five lessons they learned through their research that other companies can use to come back from a disruptive innovation. Read more on the research here.





Episode Eight

Open strategy: why it is growing in popularity and how to do it 

Strategy is moving out of the C-suite. More and more companies are involving not just their executives, but employees on the shopfloor and even stakeholders outside of the firm to devise their strategy.

Christina Wawarta, Associate Fellow at Warwick Business School and Senior Manager Corporate Strategy at Europe's biggest home appliances manufacturer BSH, explains how open strategy works and its advantages.

She also details the tools companies will need to carry out their own open strategy process to Core Insights host Trevor Barnes. For more on open strategy read 'Six lessons on open strategy from Wikimedia' and 'What tools do firms need for open strategy'.





Episode Nine

The Visuals Strategy Framework – a tool to bring strategy to life

Research by Sotirios Paroutis, Professor of Strategic Management, has found the much-derided PowerPoint is in fact a vital tool in the development of strategy, giving meaning and understanding to the abstract ideas contained in many company's vision.

Professor Paroutis tells Core Insights host Trevor Barnes how his Visuals Strategy Framework can help those building a strategy to maximise their presentations with the right visuals and information to bring clarity and agreement.  Read more on the Visuals Strategy Framework here.





Episode 10

The competency trap and how companies can avoid it 

Companies have been falling victim to the competency trap for many years, most notably Kodak, which failed to anticipate the switch to digital cameras in time and disappeared from our lives.

Jerker Denrell, Professor of Behavioural Science, explains to Core Insights host Trevor Barnes just what the competency trap is and how firms can avoid it,  detailing the mindset and steps needed. Read more on how to avoid the competency trap here.





Episode 11

Four ways to stop knowledge leaking in an R&D partnership

Core Insights host Trevor Barnes talks to Jeff Reuer, Distinguished Research Environment Professor at Warwick Business School and the Guggenheim Endowed Chair and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado.

Professor Reuer explains how R&D partnerships are both necessary and can be done without either company exposing their trade secrets to each other.

He has researched how knowledge leaks in these sort of partnerships and puts forward four ways in which companies can make sure any partnership they enter remains water tight. 

Read more on the subject here and why companies partnering with their closest rival can actually work well here.



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