The Smithfield Acquisition: ShuangHui Buys the Whole Hog

Famous for producing pork products, Smithfield Foods had a history of aggressive growth. But when that growth stalled for a matter of years, it was time to consider acquisition by ShuangHui International. This case in point discusses the pros and cons and strategic considerations that went into the international deal.

How Not to Kill Your Innovation: Avoiding 3 Pitfalls of New Product Development

Most new ideas never evolve into profitable innovations. Darden Professor Raul Chao spells out an iterative process for increasing the odds of market success and shares insights on avoiding three all-too-common pitfalls.

Strategic Execution: Performance Excellence With 4 A’s

Strategy is important, but it’s execution that makes or breaks a company’s goals. It’s also one of the greatest challenge faced by CEOs and top management teams. Based on information collected across industries, the 4A framework can help businesses establish a playbook for practical, successful execution.

Doing Well While Doing Good: 5 Lessons on Empowered Consumers and Responsible Business

In an age in which the public is actively invested in the values of a company and reputations can change abruptly, corporate responsibility is both a moral and business imperative. Here, Darden experts offer insights on corporate social responsibility and the evolving relationship of business and society.

Navigating Digital Disruption, Part 1: A Q&A with Darden Professor Michael Lenox

Digital technologies are redefining business landscape, disrupting markets and industries. Darden Professor Michael Lenox offers insights how incumbent firms can start capturing the opportunities offered by digitization.

Nintendo: Game for a Blue-Ocean Strategy

Does long-term success come from winning the established game or creating the terms of your own? In the multibillion dollar video game industry, 130-year-old company Nintendo competes with a sometimes riskier approach to innovation.

For More Successful Mergers and Acquisitions, Play 20 Questions

Mergers and acquisitions can lead to company growth, but they’re also risky and sometimes even destroy shareholder value. Darden Professor Jay Bourgeois offers 20 questions organizations should answer before pursuing an M&A strategy.

Rethinking the Pivot: New Perspectives on Startup Gospel

The “pivot” has become part of startup lexicon. But pivot-thinking may not work for all companies, and substantially changing an organization’s strategy can be difficult and expensive for entrepreneurs. Darden experts weigh in.

Roaring Into the Next Century: Lessons in Strategic Leadership From Aston Martin

How does a legacy luxury brand navigate the twists and turns of changing economic circumstances? There are few one-size-fits-all solutions in leadership, and evolving business contexts may require strategic pivots. Darden Professor Jay Bourgeois discusses leadership and strategy lessons that have driven Aston Martin’s success in recent decades.

10 Design Thinking Tools: Turn Creativity and Data Into Growth

This article, adapted from Professor Jeanne Liedtka and Timothy Ogilvie’s "10 Tools for Design Thinking," includes steps managers can use to identify and execute opportunities for growth and innovation.