Publications + Cases

Leaders can let go and still be in

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
(12 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: 

Download the lecture slides:

Read the full article about this 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: ''   and/or


    Equatorial Guinea is one of the most extraordinary countries in the world, if also one of the most obscure. Its tremendous yearly revenue from the oil concessions it grants in its Gulf of Guinea territorial waters is little known, but so too is its abysmal record on human rights. The deep-rooted corruption to be found there, on the other hand, with the ruling family of President Teodoro Obiang dominating government and economic enterprises, can probably be assumed but is shocking nonetheless in light of the needs of a native population still largely mired in poverty. This case directly addresses the moral questions involved in working with such a regime, through the eyes of an Amsterdam-based PR and advocacy office that is approached by Equatorial Guinean officials and agrees to do so. Can such involvement be anything other than a cynical money-earning exercise, or is it really possible to influence the behavior of such a regime for the better by working closely with it?

    "PDF: Equitorial Guinea"

    Few other fields have been impacted by the pace of technological change as publishing, and this case illustrates the recent history of what was once a dominant player in the Dutch newspaper, magazine and textbook market. Spurred by the urgent need to change in order to survive, it offloads most of these holdings in favor of becoming mainly a multinational provider of business information, highlighted by the acquisition of Nielsen Media Research. Students are invited to analyze and ponder the necessity of the wrenching transformation its executives put VNU through over a period of less than ten years.

    "PDF: VNU"