The Sint-Jozef business school in Belgium has made the purchase of an iPad compulsory for all its students. This has provoked the ire of a certain number of parents who complain about the extra cost. What few people have mentioned is that the academic performance of the students will almost certainly diminish once they have an iPad. This often happens when the technology begins to dictate academic decisions. Continue reading
Monthly Archives: August 2012
John Kay, one of Britain’s leading economists, declared that this is “the first book on strategy that I have found difficult to put down.” He is not the only one. It is an excellent read and gives a very thoughful insight into the strategic choices that companies must face. This has to be one of the best books on strategy that I have read this year.
Strategy, understanding strategy, market leader, sustainable competitive advantage. Continue reading
Blue Ocean Strategy has been described as a must read for all business students. A lot has been written about it and I would have said practically everything had been said about it until I looked up the book on Amazon to see the current price.
According to the book seller, the people who bought this book also bought “How to Become an Alpha Male – Attract Women and become successful at seduction.” I am still trying to work out the link!
It hasn’t been a good weekend if you are a household name with the surname Armstrong. On Friday, Lance Armstrong officially threw in the towel in his fight to maintain the seven Tour de France titles he had won by effectively pleading guilty to using drugs. He thus gained the status of villain or fallen hero. Then yesterday, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon died in hospital.
Our reactions to the two Armstrongs underlines how ambiguous we are in conferring hero status to people or to organizations. Continue reading
Last week a group of young researchers at the Shanghai Jiaotong university were busy compiling the 9th version of the Academic Ranking of World Universities. This was first compiled in 2003 and was greeted like a bombshell in France as well as in several other countries.
The 2012 once again confirmed the supremacy of American universities where more than half of the top 100 being from the USA. 9 years on the winners are….the USA (though with warning signs), China, Australia, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia. And the losers? Japan, Germany and perhaps India.
Top 500 2003-2012 Ups and Downs
Strategy, management, information systems, corporate culture, technology management
The book gives an excellent outline of some of the fundementals issues in strategic management. The book is short and generally to the point. It provides good data summaries and ideas that can be put into practice in the business world. It is also realatively easy to read. It deals quite heavily with corporate culture and has some useful ideas on the importance of technology management in strategy.
Interesting quotes from the book:
Strategic management is that set of managerial decisions and actions that determines the long-run performance of a corporation.
BOOK REVIEW: “The Luxury Strategy: Break the Rules of Marketing to Build Luxury Brands” by J.N. Kapferer & V. Bastien (2009)
If you are currently spending a few weeks in a vacational coastal city of your country, jealously admiring the ostentatious wealth of the rich and famous, this book may interest you. It defines what constitutes a luxury product and how companies develop their strategies to profit from this status.
Every single stereotype of British culture was there; Black taxis, double decker buses, Tower Bridge and men in kilts playing bagpipes. Then came the pop culture with Madness, George Michael, David Bowie, The Spice Girls, Queen and The Beatles. You can’t get John Lennon and Freddie Mercury in person? Don’t worry, you can put them up on a giant screen. Danny Boyle truly did provide an unashamed stereotype British life. Indeed, had the entire show been commissioned by the British Tourist Industry, no one would have been the slightest bit surprised. But this was just the point. The organisers had understood that their audience was the world, and the world wanted the cliché. Continue reading
Last week marked the fifth anniversersay of the credit crisis. We seem to have had nothing but bad new and banking scandals since 2007. Yesterday we had another one with Standard Chartered agreeing to pay $340m to New York regulators to settle claims that it hid transactions with Iran. The bank was accused of laundering up to $250bn and was under threat of having its US banking licence revoked.
This excellent and very readable book by Niall Ferguson will give you some of the background to why money has become so important in our economy. Curiously, he began work on in in 2006 predicting that a banking crisis was about to occur.
This week an American athlete twittered that getting coming second just meant that you were the best of the losers. It is easy to understand his disappointment. Most silver medalists will have begun their completion thinking that they had a realistic chance of walking away with gold. Their emotions will have no doubt been mixed as they stood listening to the national anthem of another nation.
From Victoria Komova of Russia (Gymnastics) to India’s Vijay Kumar (Shooting) to Ryosuke Irie of Japan (Swimming), there was a certain air of sadness as they received their silver reward for all those years of work. Even Michael Phelps had a glum look after he received his silver medal in Men’s 200m Butterfly (despite being the Olympic’s most successful competitor). The Australian press is currently lamenting the poor performance of the nation despite having won 12 silver medals (but only two gold).