Leaders can let go and still be in control.


Technology has made it possible to apply a new management philosophy. Managers can let go and still be in control.


Managing Strategic Alignment Through Corporate Dialogue

By Fred Lachotzki and Robert Noteboom

Leading large organizations involves managing both their performance and their striking-power – i.e. their capability to execute strategy. The latter is best achieved by measuring and managing alignment between the corporate strategy and its execution. Yet for company leaders no amount of travel or motivational sessions can ever be enough to ensure that the strategy is communicated deep into the organization, understood, accepted and executed. CEOs need a proven model to allow them to delegate and decentralize. The management focus must be shifted from structured control to guided interaction.

Managing by strategic pull and operational push achieves this shift. Doing so requires a permanent (often real-time) corporate dialogue between the CEO and key executives. The authors of Beyond Control have learned from experience that for this to work consistently over time, a dedicated communication infrastructure is needed. This executive dialogue centre is an Internet-based portal specifically designed as a virtual CEO office to manage the interaction between the CEO and his or her key people.

Introducing an executive dialogue centre allows the CEO to move to the middle of the operation but keep the corporate agenda alive. It also represents the ultimate commitment to a management style of strategic pull and operational push. By creating a well-defined operating arena that enables people to participate and thrive with clear, responsible freedom, the CEO can measure and manage strategic alignment. The result will be an organization that continuously outperforms the expectations of clients and stakeholders.


A Plea for a Future

30 November 2016

Professor Fred Lachotzki has formally ended his position as professor of Corporate Strategy at Nyenrode Business Universiteit. His valedictory speech was entitled "A Plea for a future" ("Een Pleidooi voor een toekomst").


Download the valedictory lecture:  Dutch version |  English version

View the lecture slides:  Dutch version |  English version

Read the full article about his speech (Dutch) and his royal honor on Nyenrode Newsroom


View the lecture and ceremony on film


Case studies of real-life issues are great tools for bringing out the essence of management dilemmas while enabling students to learn about the consequences of interventions – or the failure to intervene.

The cases listed below either were written by Fred Lachotzki or involved him directly or indirectly. Several cases, teaching notes and possible 'B' and 'C' cases can be ordered at the European Case Clearing House. Contact: 'cases@ecch.com'

See All Cases

Cultural organizations offer their own unique challenges when it comes to effective supervision and management. This case examines changing structures of control over Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam's modern city opera house which houses both The Dutch Opera and The National Ballet companies, from their halcyon days prior to 1993 when they had no independent supervision to which to answer, through the forming of Articles of Association in that year, and then especially to the reform of this system spurred in 2006 by the promulgation of a national Code of Cultural Governance. That Code reflected the increased attention to the proper supervision of societal organizations of all types that was characteristic of the time, but since 1993 various institutional strains and imbalances had come to light within the governing structure of Het Muziektheater's resident companies. Students are asked to devise a new structure better able to take these latter into account to ensure the best future combination of accountability with artistic dynamism.


Issues of supervision take on another nature entirely when what is at issue is a major public infrastructure installation and the major political struggles which arise over the question of its disposition. Such was certainly the case when it came to the issue of privatizing Schiphol Airport, one of the major publicly-owned assets in the Netherlands, which enjoys worldwide fame while fostering an extensive and lucrative hive of economic activity (extending even into neighboring lands) around itself. The economically liberal Dutch national government of the late 1990s and early 2000s (known as Paars, or purple, from the mixture of coalition party partners) was determined to privatize Schiphol in order to make its operation more efficient, to enable it to compete against dynamic foreign airports, and at the same time to harvest financial gains for the public treasury. However, quite apart from questions which still remained as to how best to accomplish that, the initiative steadily encountered resistance from various political quarters. Can it ultimately succeed? This case provides students with a wide survey of the points-of-view of all major parties to this episode.


In the Netherlands, housing corporations have historically occupied a middle ground as a hybrid between a commercial organization and a public entity with the mission of providing housing to all who need it. Recent years, however, have not only seen commercial considerations come to the fore, but also increasing political and fiscal (taxation) pressure exercised on them from the national government. Within the context of this tension the Portaal Housing Corporation, charged with managing wide holdings of housing estates throughout the middle of the country, is plunged into crisis when regional managers stage a revolt against the dictatorial management style of the managing director. Students must ponder how to restore amity within the executive suite while carrying through a centralizing restructuring plan.