Gartner Blog Network

Mark McDonald, Ph.D., is a Vice President and Fellow Emeritus in Gartner for General Managers Program.



Clayton Christensen, a great person and a great teacher

by Mark P. McDonald  |  January 26, 2020

Recently we lost a humble giant of strategy, executive education and good people. The Wall Street Journal on Saturday featured an obituary for Clayton Christensen.  I had the honor of meeting him and working with him very briefly a few years back.  That experience and reading his books has had a profound impact on my […]

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The three semi-official languages of the digital world

by Mark P. McDonald  |  December 6, 2019

Last night I was asked to give a talk to a group of graduating MBA students.  I was looking for a topic to share that would be engaging and leave a takeaway that they could remember.   I hit on the idea of the different languages the graduates will need to master in their careers. Language […]

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Three Aspects Required for Winning in a Turn

by Mark P. McDonald  |  December 4, 2019

A turn represents the context behind proactive and productive change. It embodies a sign of disruption.  The need for a new perspective and the opportunity to take different actions.  That combination is the essence of a turn.   Knowing what a turn is, represents one thing.  The real issue is what you do about a turn […]

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What is a Turn?

by Mark P. McDonald  |  December 2, 2019

A turn represents the context behind proactive and productive change. Turns hold a particular spot on the change spectrum covering the middle ground which is often missing from most corporate strategies.  Without this middle ground executives too often let disruptive forces fester until they create an existential threat that warrants major high risk transformation efforts. […]

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The inflation of change and turns

by Mark P. McDonald  |  November 20, 2019

We are trapped in a cycle of inflationary change.  Sure, change is a constant in modern business, but not all change is the same.  The failure to recognize these differences results in seasoned executives behaving like corporate three year old –  everything is a big deal.  In the face of these big deals, organizations naturally […]

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The Connector Manager – A book review

by Mark P. McDonald  |  October 26, 2019

Organizations face a constant challenge to build the right skills in their people.  Employees see their manager as a critical player in building those skills, but managers rather themselves as not having the time or skills to build those skills.  This conundrum creates a need for a new management mandate.  That mandate is the focus […]

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Looking for the future of work, look no farther than your fantasy sports league

by Mark P. McDonald  |  October 23, 2019

How will we work in a world of artificial intelligence, machine learning, process automation and the like?  Researchers and thought leaders will tell you that it will be utopia or dystopia based on their views with screens, data, buttons, gestures etc.  While that stuff is cool and the subject of movies, realty is always more […]

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Qualityland — a Book Review

by Mark P. McDonald  |  October 15, 2019

There always seems to be a book that brings a future into focus in a broadly accessible way. 1984, Brave New World and other books like that described a social future. Qualityland is in that same genre, focusing on what life could be like in a world driven by digital giants, analytics and social media. […]

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Thinking about digital, time, priorities and what people do all day

by Mark P. McDonald  |  October 10, 2019

We are all busy, some of us are truly busy others feel or like to think of themselves as busy.  I got to thinking about that after working people who are new to Agile methods and digital thinking.  These were managers and leaders in legacy companies.  The conversation flowed around new ways of working, particularly […]

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Hurrah for Hoshin

by Mark P. McDonald  |  October 8, 2019

Today’s Wall Street Journal article on Larry Culp and his plans to fix GE included this “Now Mr. Culp has begun rolling out Hoshin Kanri, a Japanese strategic planning process that is part of lean manufacturing.  Hoshin Kanri holds that all workers should understand the company’s strategy and how their role can contribute to it, […]

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