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Breaking strategic inertia: Tips from two leaders

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McKinsey Quarterly

Stephen Hall, Dan Lovallo

A CFO and a business unit head explain how they overcome the barriers that all too often separate capital, talent, and other resources from vital strategic goals.

Frameworks abound for developing corporate strategy. But there’s no textbook or theory that explains how to deliver on that strategy by shifting capital, talent, and other scarce resources from one part of a business to another. One reason is that the moves each organization must make at any point in time are unique. Another is that different senior executives have different roles to play. But that’s not to say companies can’t learn from one another—in fact, understanding the broad range of reallocation challenges faced by different executives sheds valuable light on common pitfalls and the decision-making processes for sidestepping them.

Featured here are perspectives from two different industries and corners of the C-suite. Guy Elliott, the CFO of Rio Tinto, one of the world’s biggest mining companies, discusses how it decides when and how to place its bets. And Andreas Kramvis, who heads Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies, provides insight from a business unit perspective and outlines his novel approach to bringing strategy and resources into alignment.