Episode 16

Costas Markides: Mastering clarity in strategy

The world of business is packed full of terminology, jargon, buzzwords. I’ve probably used too much of it myself. But what do we mean by innovation, customer centricity, agility? Too often we’re not clear, so we have parallel conversations or people simply disengage leaving the important decisions to a clique or the dominant few.

My guest in this podcast, Professor Costas Markides of London Business School, is a stickler for clarity — he thinks that a lack of clarity is one of the biggest problems we have in management. We talk about the critical ‘who, what, how’ questions of strategy, what it takes to win over peoples’ hearts and minds when you’re looking to effect organisational change. He also talks about how distributed, autonomous organisations really work. And, importantly, how leaders can turn their intent, their thoughts and words, into action. He concludes by sharing how he measures his own success, and impact, in his research and teaching.

The best bits of these conversations are captured in my newsletter Flashes+Sparks.

Further resources

Professor Costas Markides is recognised as one of the world’s foremost experts on strategy and innovation. An internationally acclaimed teacher and conference speaker, Costas has researched the topics of strategic innovation, business model innovation, diversification and international acquisition.

VIEW RUNNING ORDER

03.04 Why should anyone read his new book ‘Organising for the New Normal’.
05.43 The biggest mistakes leaders make in disruptive contexts.
08.01 What stops leaders selling change in a positive way rather than resorting to fear.
09.56 The critical role of the butterfly principle in transformational change.
14.50 The organisation that best illustrates the power of reinvention.
18.21 Terms in the management lexicon that are most misused.
23.18 Which concept he is most proud of in his research.
27.14 What business schools should do differently to increase their impact.
31.27 The hardest question he’s faced in the classroom.
32.55 How he makes a big impact in the classroom.
36.43 The biggest changes he’s seen in business and academia in the last 30 years.

“Lack of clarity is one of the biggest problems we have in management.”

Costas Markides, Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship, Robert P Bauman Chair in Strategic Leadership, LBS

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Andrea Olson: Truly understanding your customers

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