Back in the carefree days before 2007, companies looked at growth as their major challenge. In those days, obtaining a 15% increase on yearly growth seemed to be the most important thing for them to achieve, to keep their stockholders happy. Since then, with the collapse of firms such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, survival has become the key element to business. In Reorganize for Resilience, Ranjay Gulati shows some of the things that resilient companies do, both in good times and in bad, to ensure that they don’t end up being a case study on what companies shouldn’t have done.
It’s been about 15 years now, since sociologists and marketers were amazed to discover a new phenomenon. BMW is parked in front of our discount stores. Why would somebody who pays fifty or sixty thousand pounds for a car want to save 50 cents on a liter of milk? The answer was, of course, that they were ‘trading up.’ An explanation of this can be found in this excellent book. Trading up is what consumers are prepared to pay a premium price for certain products that they think bring more luxury. It can be in many different areas, from Belvedere vodka or Boston Beer which costs 50% more than standard beers. It can be in things like pub food or in the doll industry, with American Girl.
I confess that when I picked up the book for the first time I was a bit surprised. “Negotiauctions”? A book from Harvard with a spelling mistake on the front cover? Not at all. The word is just a collocation derived from ‘negotiation’ and ´auction´. The basic premise of this book is that in a interaction between the buyer and the seller you either have a one to one discussion, a negotiation, or an open market situation where the highest bidder wins, an auction. Guhan Subramanian takes this even further demonstrating how in real life we often move quite easily from transaction mode to another.
13 is an unlucky number in many cultures. If you are of the superstitious disposition, then 2013 may not seem like the best possible year for you. Rather than spending twelve whole months avoiding black cats or trying not to walk under ladders why not accept that you will get you share of bad luck in the coming year. Indeed, it might even be better to take a proactive approach. Go looking for as many failures as possible. This could be the fastest route to success. Ask Michael Jordan. Continue reading
I have just finished my classes for the semester in Strategic Management. As I did my fifteen minute wrap up of the course, I announced some interesting news to my students. Just three weeks ago, Michael Porter’s company, the Monitor Group, had declared bankruptcy. It is a rare treat to subdue a group of enthusiastic business students but their stunned silence was fascinating to watch. Continue reading
Strategic Leadership: Governance & Renewal is advanced reading for students of strategy. The book is particularly strong in the explanation of the resource based view of strategy, innovation and the problems of aligning strategy between the differing business units and the corporation at large.
Filed under Book Review, Business, Economics, Education, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Leadership, Management, Research, Strategy, Technology
The Many Faces of the Associate Dean: Working with Diverse Stakeholders
At the AACSB Associate Deans Conference 2012, Dawn Hukai, Associate Dean at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Susan Laurenson, Associate Dean at The University of Auckland Business School and David J. Urban, Executive Associate Dean, at Virginia Commonwealth University discuss the many roles of an Associate Dean.
Filed under Business, Business Schools, Education, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Higher Education, Innovation, Leadership, Management, MBA, Strategy
The Strategy Book gives a clear and concise introduction to some of the main challenges that organizations face. It has many examples from different industries and challenges the reader to ask some difficult questions about their own practices. It is a useful introduction to the subject and a good book to provoke some discussion for more experienced managers. Continue reading
Standard 14 of the proposed new criteria for AASCB Accreditation deals with the provision of Executive Education. Given the importance of this activity in many business schools today, it is useful to look at some of the best practices in the industry.
At the AACSB Associate Deans Conference, Brent Smith, Associate Dean, Executive Education and Associate Professor, Management and Psychology, Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University, set out some of the issues at his own university.
According to Mr. Smith the market is increasingly crowded and it is therefore vital that business schools fully understand their competitive positioning as well as the role of executive education as vehicle to advance the overall strategy of the school.
Filed under Business, Business Schools, Education, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Higher Education, Leadership, Management, MBA, Psychology, Strategy, USA
The Halo Effect gives an excellent insight in to how we make judgments about people, organizations and strategy. It is a must read for any manager or strategy student.
Filed under Book Review, Business, Corporate responsibility, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Innovation, Leadership, Management, MBA, Psychology, Rankings, Research, Strategy, Technology