Perspectives

Summer reading list

Strategy and operations insights

​Summer is in full swing. Whether you’re at the beach, on the plane to your vacation destination, or reclining in your favorite patio chair, we’ve compiled a list of recommended reads to help keep you informed of the latest business insights and research impacting organizations today and into the future. So sit back, relax, and enjoy!​

Business ecosystems come of age​

In September 2014, the Chinese online commerce company Alibaba Group conducted its initial public offering (IPO)—the largest ever in history. This event attracted considerable media attention, some of it naturally commenting on the changing balance of the global economy and the growing impact of digitization.1 Largely overlooked in the commentary, however, was another important signpost to the future. In the prospectus it compiled to describe its vision, philosophy, and growth strategy, Alibaba used one word no fewer than 160 times: “ecosystem.”2

Deloitte’s latest Business Trends report, Business ecosystems come of age, published by Deloitte Insights, investigates some key strategic questions that come with a world of ecosystems, and how forward-thinking firms are answering them. You’ll find nine articles that can each be read as a stand-alone, but together, provide an integrated overview of a historic transition in the world of business in the 21st century.

For a list of references, read the report.

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Ten types of innovation

In Ten Types of Innovation​, the renowned innovation specialists at Doblin, the innovation practice of Monitor Deloitte within Deloitte Consulting LLP, will help you and your teams know what to do when the stakes are high, time is short, and you really need to build a breakthrough. A solution is to look beyond new products to nine other powerful types of innovation, which can be combined for competitive advantage. The book lays out fresh viewpoints and then explains the actions that can allow teams or firms to innovate reliably and repeatedly. ​

The Ten Types of Innovation framework emerged from applying a proprietary approach to a list of more than 2,000 successful innovations, including Amazon.com, early IBM mainframes, the Ford Model-T, and many more, to determine ten meaningful "moves" that great innovators typically make and that provide insight into innovation.​

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The Edge Series pocket-guides: Pocket-guide navigation to The Big Shift

Our easily-accessible, easy to digest, illustrated Edge Series pocket-guides cover some of our favorite topics and these conversation starters are ideal for sharing at meetings and carrying with you—a must-have series for all leaders navigating The Big Shift. The series includes:

  • Shift Happens, which explores the underlying forces driving the Big Shift and what actions companies and leaders can take. It addresses the fundamental changes affecting the world today, helping readers navigate the short-term challenges while taking steps to capture the long-term opportunities.
  • Institutional Innovation, which explains how leaders can fundamentally improve the bringing together of talent, knowledge and capital to learn faster, problem-solve faster, and break free from “the way we’ve always done it.”
  • Scaling Edges, which provides leaders with a methodology for creating change by staying on the edge of an organization, avoiding conflict with the core while building momentum for transformation, and ultimately overcoming the resistance from the core and emerging as a successful agent of change.

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Charting superior business performance: The drivers of breakthrough financial results

Most every company seeks to improve its financial results, whether in the form of higher profitability, stronger growth, or some other measure. This quest for better business performance is a kind of journey: The point of departure is your company’s current outcomes; the destination is your desired future performance; and the challenges of navigation, piloting the ship, and coping with stormy seas are the effort required to get there. Unfortunately, this journey is far less like a modern cruise and far more like the voyages of discovery of the 16th to the 18th centuries. The crews of Barbosa, Columbus, and Drake set forth, not with charts based on satellite imagery, but with maps that were the products more of imagination than exploration. Tracking progress was not done with a GPS device that places a ship within feet of its true position, but with sextants and dead reckoning. And successfully making the voyage was not abetted by reliable weather forecasts, but turned as much on the caprices of fate as it did on the seaworthiness of the ship and the crew.

Read, "Charting superior business performance," published by Deloitte Insights, to see how we analyze financial results to make an otherwise nebulous idea concrete and actionable.

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Aligned Action: How to make a lasting impact on social problems

We are living in times when the problems we face are outpacing our current ability to solve them. But we are also living in times when intelligently-designed groups are joining forces to achieve significant progress together. Bound by a common understanding of a problem and fueled by a shared plan of attack, groups are aligning for action​ in new ways.

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