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Think Biologically

We want order and control, but those are increasingly hard to find in business. Look to biological systems for lessons on how to master complexity and—even more important—how to think about it.

AI has entered the business world. What happens next?


Competing in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

To make the most of AI, business leaders need to harness the strengths of both man and machine.

Taking Advantage of Risk

The ability to establish a sustainable “risk advantage” will be as important for the companies of the future as creating a competitive advantage is today.


To build a business that endures, there’s no better place to look for inspiration than your own biology.


The Business of Business Is No Longer Just Business

In more predictable times, a narrow focus on business matters made sense. Today, it’s risky. Business leaders must raise their game to deal with the increasing interconnectedness of companies, economies, and societies.

How to Build a Business That Lasts 100 Years

Martin Reeves shares startling statistics about company lifespans and reveals six principles for building businesses that flourish in the face of change.

Rethinking Your Supply Chain in an Era of Protectionism

To adjust to new economic realities as well as political and economic uncertainties, manufacturers will need to make their supply chains much more resilient.

Three Lessons on Success from an Arab Businesswoman

Professional Arab women juggle more responsibilities than their male counterparts, and they face more cultural rigidity than Western women. Leila Hoteit explains what their success can teach us about tenacity, competition, priorities, and progress.

Martin Reeves

Martin Reeves, Director
BCG Henderson Institute

What We Are Reading

The Person and The Situation

    • In understanding and explaining human behavior, write psychologists Lee Ross and Richard Nisbett, we invariably overestimate the importance of the actor and underestimate the importance of context. To understand our actions, we need to consider the situation we’re in.
    • While the authors mainly discuss non-business situations, the implications for business are clear. Organizational behavior is shaped as much or more by context as by people and their motives. The same is true for the outcome of a strategy—the external context plays a crucial role.
    • It’s a useful caution for business leaders: Look at the context. Step back and consider the larger frame.

Signals and Boundaries: Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

    • In a complex, dynamic, and interactive world, it often makes sense to think of businesses not as machines, which are easily manipulated to deliver predictable outcomes, but as complex adaptive systems, which are not.
    • John Holland, a professor of psychology, computer science, and engineering, goes beyond describing such systems to consider how their structure arises and how they can be “steered.”
    • Signals (in a business, this could be a memo from senior executives) and boundaries (a functional unit, for example) are important in this regard. Understanding the intricate hierarchical arrangement of signals and boundaries, Holland writes, is essential to understanding how to influence these systems.