Knut Haanaes on “Two reasons companies fail — and how to avoid them”

knutIs it possible to run a company and reinvent it at the same time? For business strategist Knut Haanaes, the ability to innovate after becoming successful is the mark of a great organization. He shares insights on how to strike a balance between perfecting what we already know and exploring totally new ideas — and lays out how to avoid two major strategy traps.

Boston Consulting Group’s Knut Haanaes believes that the secret to creating lasting, impactful companies is to find a balance between doing what you’re good at and looking for new challenges to take on.

What strategy traps repeatedly entice well-meaning companies? Sweet words that lure with a sense of promise and growth, but ultimately fail to deliver again and again? How do we balance exploration and exploitation without falling fully into either ditch?

Haanaes is a Senior Partner in the BCG Geneva office and has been the Global Leader of BCG’s Strategy Practice. He is responsible for the firm’s partnerships with MIT Sloan Management Review, the World Economic Forum and WWF in the area of sustainability. Through his work with BCG clients, he has accumulated extensive experience in a number of industries. He holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), a PhD in Strategy from the Copenhagen Business School and has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University.

In 2015, together with BCG colleagues Martin Reeves and Janmejaya Sinha, Haanaes published the book Your Strategy Needs a Strategy: How to Choose and Execute the Right Approach. The book is already translated into a number of languages, including Russian, Chinese, Iranian, French and Japanese.

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