UPfront The new 4 by 2

Managers looking for tools to improve business performance don’t need to look much beyond four basics, according to five-year study that analysed 200 management techniques employed by 160 US companies over 10 years.
The study isolated what it calls the “4+2 formula” for business success. Companies that consistently outperformed their industry peers excelled at four primary management practices – strategy (get it clear, communicate it consistently), execution (efficient operations), culture (one that encourages high standards of performance and ethics), and structure (fast, flat and flexible).
They also supplemented their abilities in these four by achieving mastery in any two of four secondary management practices – talent (includes good succession planning), leadership (ability to build relations is goodie), innovation (speaks for itself) and mergers/partnerships (making ’em work).
The study authors (Nohria, Joyce and Robertson), in Harvard Business Review (July 2003), say that company consistently following the 4+2 formula has better than 90 percent chance of sustaining superior performance.

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