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Issue 104, Autumn 2021

strategy+business magazine: Issue 104 Autumn 2021

In this issue

Cover story

  • Are you ready for the ESG revolution?

    by Peter Gassmann, Casey Herman, and Colm Kelly
    Societal need and business opportunity are coming together to transform the way companies craft strategy, drive performance, and report results.

Leading Ideas


  • Linking executive pay to ESG goals

    by Phillippa O’Connor, Lawrence Harris, and Tom Gosling
    Public pressure and changing norms are paving the way for business leaders to be paid based on a new set of criteria.
  • A black-and-white illustration of a woman about to begin a painting on a blank canvas. A pair of men's arms, in a suit jacket, holds the canvas; another pair of suited arms holds the painter's palette.

    Granting autonomy without losing control

    by Constantinos C. Markides
    In his new book, London Business School’s Constantinos C. Markides explains how leaders can ensure that employees know how to deliver on a company’s strategy.
  • A black-and-white illustration of a slender woman in glasses stepping through a hexagon-shaped door. She also is carrying a hexagon.

    Lessons in simplicity strategy

    by Julia Hobsbawm
    Using a six-point “hexagon action” model to deal with a complex world helps leaders focus and prioritize their work.

Books in Brief

  • Seated man seen from behind, looking at scribbles on a wall and feeling confused

    How noisy is your company?

    by Theodore Kinni
    In Noise, a professorial supergroup explains the causes and consequences of the inherent variability in professional judgment.
  • Man balancing atop an unstable stack of blue boxes

    The rise and fall of merit

    by Mike Jakeman
    In The Aristocracy of Talent, Adrian Wooldridge traces the history of meritocracy and fears for its future.
  • A black-and-white photo showing an architectural detail of an ionic column capital.

    Why bigger isn’t always better in banking

    by Daniel Gross
    In a new book about the storied two-century history of Brown Brothers, author Zachary Karabell argues that conservatism and pragmatism are viable strategies for surviving disruptions.

Thought Leader

  • Photograph of Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of England.

    Mark Carney on a values-led economy

    by Jakob von Baeyer
    The former governor of the Bank of England argues for a major overhaul of the financial system to confront global challenges.

Endpage: Recent Research

  • Two businesspeople at laptops, facing each other across a table, as they would in a chess match
    s+b Blogs

    Are we having fun (at work) yet?

    by Matt Palmquist
    Games or contests meant to inject some motivation and productivity into the workday can backfire if employees feel pressured to take part.