jerryking + hbr   210

Dyson and the art of making quick decisions
October 16, 2019 | Financial Times | by John Gapper.

Article is arguing for enforcing a “shot clock” on lingering decisions and to put plans into action faster and regain competitive footing in your industry/business.

Entrepreneur, James Dyson, unceremoniously abandoned a Dyson initiative to build an electric car.  It demonstrated how unsentimental he was about unsuccessful experiments.....Better to acknowledge defeat as early as possible rather than after having thrown away hundreds of millions...For any business to thrive, difficult decisions need to be made, from new projects to corporate strategy. “The job of the CEO, everyone knows, is to make decisions,” wrote Ram Charan, a veteran strategy adviser. This is especially true when entire industries are facing disruption to their business models......Indecision is common in companies facing myriad possibilities, when executives are struggling to assess alternatives for future strategy. Many managers become frustrated by the glacial pace of corporate decision-making. McKinsey, the consultancy, surveyed executives who complained of “over-reliance on consensus and death by committee”, among other irritations....It is not always the chief executive’s fault. Some managers are comfortable with making simple decisions but struggle when they are promoted to a level where they are exposed to ambiguity and uncertainty. They need to employ their judgment, rather than consulting the data like an oracle. Their indecision can also infect the CEO. But your business is not a democracy....Some executives promote a “five second rule” to prompt executives who report to them to reach decisions (i.e. summarise the alternatives and options for any strategy, pause and pick one).....Being forced to use intuition after considering the evidence helps to avoid being paralysed by a question when there is no easy answer......Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, observed that “managers think of themselves as captains of a ship on a stormy sea” who respond skilfully to the elements around them. It feels better to pick a destination and sail in that direction than to wallow around.....But Prof Kahneman won his economics Nobel for research on the cognitive biases that affect human choices. Making quick decisions, even informed by experience and expertise, is valuable but not foolproof. As he noted, “intuition feels just the same when it’s wrong and when it’s right, that’s the problem.”....Those who consider a challenge from all angles and act prudently and decisively may still be wrong. “Even highly experienced, superbly competent and well-intentioned managers are fallible,” Prof Kahneman wrote. Among the traps is the “halo effect” of believing that an executive who has succeeded before will make any project work. It follows that leaders should not be trapped by their decisions, or the confirmation bias of believing that the chosen path must be correct...... It is difficult when a leader place the entire company on another course, only to discover the pitfalls. It may take a successor to come along and reverse those choices. But decisions will at least prove right some of the time; indecision is always mistaken.
ambiguities  analysis_paralysis  CEOs  clock_speed  confirmation_bias  decision_making  Daniel_Kahneman  Dyson  halo_effects  hard_choices  HBR  humility  indecision  intuition  leaders  James_Dyson  judgment  mistakes  Ram_Charan  shot_clock  speed  tough-mindedness  uncertainty  unsentimental 
4 days ago by jerryking
Productivity Without Privilege: How to Succeed When You’re Marginalized or Discriminated Against in the Workplace
Oct. 1, 2019 | The New York Times | By Alan Henry.

Productivity isn’t just about getting things done — it’s about spending less time on the things you have to do so you can spend more time on the things you want to do.....so much popular productivity advice is accessible only to people who have the option to use it in the first place (e.g. if your boss or co-workers believe that women shouldn’t be in the workplace, or that African-Americans are unmotivated, no “productivity hack” will force them to objectively look at your accomplishments and decisions the way they would employees they view without biases.)......the real factor determining whether you can take productivity advice at face value is "privilege".

* ‘Glamour work’ vs. ‘housework’: Who gets the opportunities matters.....

A 2018 story in Harvard Business Review pointed out that women of color in the workplace are asked to do “office housework” — the behind-the-scenes tasks that keep departments and teams humming — more often than white employees. That kind of work rarely raises an employee’s profile, in contrast to “glamour work,” which is highly visible, helps people make a name for themselves and leads to promotions and other career success.

* Trust your gut: Don’t get gaslit!!
Unfair treatment in the workplace often comes in the form of “microaggressions” — subtle actions that undermine a person and are often explained away by forgetfulness, ignorance, or anything but the malice that usually inspired them. ....gather proof — your own, or someone else’s — to remove doubt (e.g. collect the data — literally document the number of times you’ve been asked to do the office housework). Also, take note of the instances where colleagues are asked to do glamour work, and who they are......find colleagues you can speak with candidly. This way you have a sounding board to help you objectively see through your own self-doubt and determine whether you’ve actually been slighted or ignored, or whether you’re being paranoid.

* You don’t have to be twice as good, but you do have to “manage up”

If you're often volunteering for work that’s less glamorous — the office housework — to make a positive impact, or be seen as active and engaged..... while this drive is well meaning, it can often be counterproductive, and it gives managers cover to ignore their own behaviors and implicit biases when assigning work or handing out opportunities. Your best tool in this case, she said, is learning the fine art of saying "no" without ruining your career......learn how to “manage up” viz a viz your boss. Recognizing quickly whether something is a small or large ask, and how it fits into your personal or team priorities is essential — and asking your boss for clarity on what your team’s priorities are is also essential.

* Beware the lure of “just helping out”.
learning to, and practicing how to, hold back the urge to constantly volunteer,”

* Protect your boundaries.
when some people use methods like these (e.g. “check your email once or twice a day instead of being always available” and “leave your work at work,” ) to improve their work/life balance, they’re seen as organized and productive. When women and workers of color do the same, they can be viewed seen as unmotivated, lazy, or disengaged......call out bias when you experience it,” Ms. Tulshyan said. “Again, it only works in environments where you have the psychological safety — which, sadly, is rare for employees of color — but I’ve taken managers aside in the past and said, ‘I’ve noticed you volunteered me for this committee again, but not my white male colleagues. Could we talk about that?’” The same tactic works in reverse. If you notice that your privileged colleagues are the only ones sent to conferences or given the opportunity to discuss the work your team is doing, mention it to your manager.

* Document everything: Data is your best friend.
keep a work diary of accomplishments and challenges.....look for allies,” “I’ve had a few more-privileged colleagues at my workplaces who would spread the word to our department on my behalf if I accomplished something noteworthy. The great thing is it seems to foster a lot more trust and celebration among the group than if you are always tooting your own horn.”....if you feel frustrated and marginalized, try to keep in mind why you do the work you do, and remember the people who are positively affected by it.
biases  disrespect  equality_of_opportunity  glamour_work  gut_feelings  HBR  managing_up  marginalization  note_taking  office_housework  privilege  productivity  protect_boundaries  record-keeping  say_"no"  sounding_boards  stereotypes  work_smarter  workplaces 
19 days ago by jerryking
What if you’re not chosen for a ‘hi-po’ programme?
AUGUST 10, 2019 | Financial Times | Elizabeth Uviebinené.

Organisations naturally need to have a leadership pipeline through which they identify, develop and promote high potential (hi-po) employees who can lead the company in the future. However, given that most will not be selected, it is inevitable that some talented individuals will feel overlooked.

Organisations devote significant resources to these “chosen few”. They give a few individuals privileged access to training, exposure to decision makers and mentorship, all of which helps propel them towards the coveted top spot..... such programmes are invitation only. But how to get invited on to them is usually a closely guarded secret. Sometimes it is a formal process, but at other times it is at the discretion of senior management....So what happens when you are not chosen for a “fast track” programme? It is easy to start questioning your capabilities and even aspirations. It can be a motivation killer at first, leaving you feeling undervalued.....Harvard Business Review data suggests companies are bad at correctly identifying high-potential employees....The best organisations build a culture that nurtures high-potential individuals whether or not there is a formal talent development programme in place. This is especially true for women and minorities in the workplace who remain under-represented at every level in the corporate talent pipeline....New research from Northwestern University in the US suggests that early career hurdles actually help spur future success. The study showed that experiencing setbacks at the start of a career has a powerful and opposing effect: “Individuals with near misses systematically outperformed those with near wins in the long run.”

Early success does not always predict future success. Longer term, what you do when faced with disappointment usually determines whether or not you have what it takes to have a successful career....If you just missed out on a talent development programme, do not be disheartened. It leaves open the possibility of proving yourself on your own terms, rather than getting boxed into one company’s view of what leadership looks like.
career_paths  fast_track  HBR  high-achieving  invitation-only  leadership  leadership_development  Managing_Your_Career  mentoring  middle_management  movingonup  selection_processes  strivers  talent  talent_management  talent_pipelines  talent_spotting  talent_scouting  training  up-and-comers 
10 weeks ago by jerryking
Don’t Waste Your Time on Networking Events
SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 | HBR | Derek Coburn.

My definition of “networking” is any activity that increases the value of your network or the value you contribute to it. The best way to do this is to avoid traditional networking events almost entirely. There are more efficient and effective ways to spend your time. Here are three of my favorite strategies:

Hosting Your Own Events
Hosting your own get-togethers gives you almost complete control over the attendees, the setting, and the outcome. It’s a great way to add value for existing clients and connections, and can also be an opportunity to meet and develop relationships with prospective clients.

Most professionals struggle to find the right balance when allocating their time between client services and business development. But when done properly, you can accomplish both by hosting a great client appreciation event.

The primary goal when planning an event should be to choose an activity your existing clients will enjoy. If you and your best clients share similar passions, start there. Do any of them play poker, or enjoy attending musicals or sporting events? My favorite events to host are wine tastings.
business_development  Communicating_&_Connecting  HBR  motivations  overrated  relationships  weak_links  networking 
may 2019 by jerryking
The 60-second interview: Adi Ignatius, editor in chief, Harvard Business Review- POLITICO Media
By CAPITAL STAFF 04/28/2015

H.B.R. represented an amazing challenge. Here was a 90-year-old publication that had always done well but that needed reinvention. And so we reimagined everything—the magazine, the website, the book division. Our goal was to find ways to connect with new fans, while maintaining the same high standards. By any yardstick, it worked! Our circulation, at 300,000, is the highest it’s ever been, and our newsstand sales soared. Our readers are deeply engaged, and I interact with them all the time......CAPITAL: Harvard Business Review stories do particularly well in terms of social shares on LinkedIn. What do you make of LinkedIn's ambitions to become a media company, with in-house editors looking over user-generated articles? How those ambitions impact your publication?

IGNATIUS: Yes, H.B.R. content does well across the major social channels, including LinkedIn. We respect LinkedIn and have watched it evolve more and more into a content player. But we’re excited about what we’re doing at H.B.R. and fully expect to remain a valued destination for people in business who love ideas. We’re in the process of reinvention again, redefining what it means to be a subscriber, to be part of the H.B.R. experience. It’s exciting, and we look forward to unveiling it before too long.
HBR  social_media  reinvention  reimagining  magazines  newsstand_circulation  LinkedIn 
april 2018 by jerryking
The Future of Shopping
Darrell K. Rigby
FROM THE DECEMBER 2011 ISSUE

omnichannel retailing. The name reflects the fact that retailers will be able to interact with customers through countless channels—websites, physical stores, kiosks, direct mail and catalogs, call centers, social media, mobile devices, gaming consoles, televisions, networked appliances, home services, and more.......The experience of shopping.
Traditional retailers have suffered more than they probably realize at the hands of Amazon and other online companies. As volume trickles from the stores and sales per square foot decline, the response of most retailers is almost automatic: Cut labor, reduce costs, and sacrifice service. But that only exacerbates the problem. With even less service to differentiate the stores, customers focus increasingly on price and convenience, which strengthens the advantages of online retailers.

If traditional retailers hope to survive, they have to turn the one big feature that internet retailers lack—stores—from a liability into an asset.
retailers  future  HBR  omnichannel  bricks-and-mortar  downward_spirals  experiential_marketing  contra-Amazon  hourly_workers  sales_per_square_foot 
august 2017 by jerryking
Big Companies Should Collaborate with Startups
Eddie YoonSteve Hughes
FEBRUARY 25, 2016

Growth is increasingly hard to come by, so large companies are increasingly looking to entrepreneurs to help them find it. In the food and beverage category, growth came from 20,000 small companies outside of the top 100, which together saw revenue grow by $17 billion dollars.
Despite that aggregate revenue growth, not every startup is successful — in fact, the vast majority will fail.

Ironically, startups and established companies would both improve their success rates if they collaborated instead of competed. Startups and established companies bring two distinct and equally integral skills to the table. Startups excel at giving birth to successful proof of concepts; larger companies are much better at successfully scaling proof of concepts.

Startups are better at detecting and unlocking emerging and latent demand. But they often stumble at scaling their proof of concept, not only because they’re often doing it for the first time, but also because the skills necessary for creating are not the same as scaling. Startups must be agile and adapt their value proposition several times until they get it right. According to Forbes, 58% of startups successfully figure out a clear market need for what they have.

In contrast, big companies often end up launching things they can make, not what people want.

Successful collaboration between startups and established companies must go beyond financial deals: it must be personal and mission-oriented.....areas of emerging and latent demand are often highly concentrated.... spend time physically in hotbeds specific to your sector. ....met people...walk the aisles ...... explore up and coming datasets. SPINs is a retail measurement company that covers the natural and organic grocers. Yet too many companies don’t even bother to acquire this data because they dismiss it as too small to matter.....Just as important as personal knowledge are personal relationships. ...spend time with customers....skew more toward emerging customers......connect with key people who have tight connections with both startups and established companies in your industry.....collaboration needs to be mission-oriented, meaning it has to be focused on something larger than financial success. ......Executives who wish to tap into the growth of these smaller companies will find that having a big checkbook is not going to be enough, and that waiting for an investment banker to bring them deals is the wrong approach. A mercenary mindset will only go so far. When big companies try to engage with startups, a missionary mindset will create better odds of success.
large_companies  Fortune_500  brands  scaling  start_ups  collaboration  face2face  personal_meetings  personal_touch  information_sources  personal_relationships  personal_knowledge  HBR  growth  funding  M&A  success_rates  latent  hidden  proof-of-concepts  mindsets  missionaries  mission-driven  Mondolez  cultural_clash  Gulliver_strategies 
march 2017 by jerryking
Why I Tell My MBA Students to Stop Looking for a Job and Join the Gig Economy
Diane Mulcahy
OCTOBER 20, 2016

....Full-time employees are the most expensive and least flexible source of labor, qualities that make them unattractive to corporate America and Silicon Valley startups alike....cultivate the mindset, skills, and toolkit to succeed in this new world of independent work....companies are increasingly disaggregating work from a job. ....
gig_economy  job_search  students  freelancing  on-demand  Outsourcing  digital_economy  books  HBR 
october 2016 by jerryking
Blitzscaling
ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Blitzscaling
Tim Sullivan

FROM THE APRIL 2016 ISSUE

Let’s start with the basics. What is blitzscaling?
Hoffman: Blitzscaling is what you do when you need to grow really, really quickly. It’s the science and art of rapidly building out a company to serve a large and usually global market, with the goal of becoming the first mover at scale.

This is high-impact entrepreneurship. These kinds of companies always create a lot of the jobs and industries of the future. For example, Amazon essentially invented e-commerce. Today, it has over 150,000 employees and has created countless jobs at Amazon sellers and partners. Google revolutionized how we find information—it has over 60,000 employees and has created many more jobs at its AdWords and AdSense partners.

Why this focus on fast growth?
We’re in a networked age. And I don’t mean only the internet. Globalization is a form of network. It adds networks of transport, commerce, payment, and information flows around the world. In such an environment, you have to move faster, because competition from anywhere on the globe may beat you to scale.

Software has a natural affinity with blitzscaling, because the marginal costs of serving any size market are virtually zero. The more that software becomes integral to all industries, the faster things will move. Throw in AI machine learning, and the loops get even faster. So we’re going to see more blitzscaling. Not just a little more, but a lot more.
blitzscaling  economies_of_scale  scaling  HBR  high-growth  high-impact  Silicon_Valley  LinkedIn  Reid_Hoffman  networks  first_movers  large_markets  market_sizing  accelerated_lifecycles 
may 2016 by jerryking
Algorithms Need Managers, Too
January/February 2016 | HBR | by michael Luca, Jon Kleinberg and Sendhil Mullainathan.
algorithms  HBR  tools  social_media 
may 2016 by jerryking
Life’s Work
May 2915 | HBR | Alison Beard

"In the business of storytelling, you're looking for originality in the subject and point of view....which ideas feel authentic and new?"

Can curiosity be taught? Some people have more than others, but to use it as a tool takes work. You have to assault a topic kind of like a scientist and ask endless questions.

"But I still had to do what Lew Wasserman told me: Start manufacturing ideas"

"When people look at you, you have a chance to be a leader"
HBR  Brian_Grazer  curiosity  storytelling  films  movies  ideas  idea_generation  Hollywood  books  Communicating_&_Connecting  self-actualization  creativity  creative_renewal  studios  producers  questions  originality  perspectives  authenticity  pitches  independent_viewpoints  personal_accomplishments  creating_valuable_content  Lew_Wasserman 
april 2016 by jerryking
Where Value Lives in a Networked World
Mohanbir SawhneyDeval Parikh
FROM THE JANUARY 2001 ISSUE

In recent years, it seems as though the only constant in business has been upheaval...Business has become so complex that trying to predict what lies ahead is futile. Plotting strategy is a fool’s game. The best you can do is become as flexible and hope you’ll be able to ride out the disruption.
There’s some truth in that view…..We have studied the upheavals and concluded that many of them have a common root--the nature of intelligence in networks. The digitization of information, combined with advances in computing and communications, has fundamentally changed how all networks operate, human as well as technological, and that change is having profound consequences for the way work is done and value is created throughout the economy. Network intelligence is the Rosetta Stone. Being able to decipher it will shape the future of business.
value_creation  networks  HBR  turbulence  uncertainty  flexibility  resilience  digitalization  disruption  turmoil  collective_intelligence 
november 2015 by jerryking
What a Year of Job Rejections Taught Me About Pitching Myself
SEPTEMBER 09, 2015 | HBR | Nina Mufleh.
[send to Nick Patel]
After sending out hundreds of copies of my résumé to dozens of companies over the last year, I realized that I was getting nowhere because my approach was wrong....How could a career that ranged from working with royalty to Fortune 500 brands and startups not pique the curiosity of any hiring managers?

As a marketer, I decided to re-frame the challenge. Instead of thinking as a job applicant, I had to think of myself as a product and identify ways to create demand around hiring me. I applied everything I knew about marketing and storytelling to build a campaign that would show Silicon Valley companies the kind of value I would bring to their teams.

The experiment was a report that I created for Airbnb that highlighted the promise and potential of expanding to the Middle East, a market that I am extremely familiar with and until recently they had not focused on. I spent a couple of days gathering data about the tourism industry and the company’s current footprint in the market, and identified strategic opportunities for them there.

I released the report on Twitter and copied Airbnb’s founders and leadership team. Behind the scenes, I also shared it by email with many personal and professional contacts and encouraged them to share it if they thought it was interesting — most did, as did some of the top VCs, entrepreneurs and many peers around the world....What I realize in hindsight is probably one of the most important lessons of my career so far. The project highlighted the qualities I wanted to show to recruiters; more importantly, it also addressed one of the main weaknesses they saw in me....What the report helped me do was show, not tell, my value beyond their doubts. It refocused my perceived weakness into a strength: an international perspective with the promise of understanding and entering new markets. And though none of the roles that I interviewed for in the last two months focused on expansion, by addressing and challenging the weakness, I was able to re-frame the conversation around my strengths....asking yourself a different version of that question is going to make you better prepared for any conversation with a recruiter, a potential client, or even a potential investor....not “What is my weakness?” but rather “What do they perceive as a weakness in my background?”
Airbnb  campaigns  career_paths  creating_demand  Fortune_500  founders  HBR  hindsight  inbound_marketing  job_search  Managing_Your_Career  Middle_East  networking  personal_branding  pitches  problem_framing  reframing  rejections  self-promotion  social_media  strengths  value_propositions  via:enochko  weaknesses 
september 2015 by jerryking
Technology Questions Every CMO Must Ask
Will the technology advance a critical marketing priority?
questions  CMOs  technology  marketing  HBR  LBMA 
september 2015 by jerryking
Learn to Ask Better Questions - HBR
John Baldoni
FEBRUARY 16, 2010

Be curious.... Being curious is essential to asking good questions.

Be open-ended. Leaders should ask questions that get people to reveal not simply what happened, but also what they were thinking. Open-ended questions prevent you from making judgments based on assumptions, and can elicit some surprising answers.

Be engaged. When you ask questions, act like you care. Yes, act — show that you are interested with affirmative facial expressions and engaged body language. ... An interested interviewer will get the person to talk in depth about how he or she rebounded from failure. That trait is worthy of consideration in recruiting. But interviewees will only open open up — especially on sensitive subjects — if you actively show interest.

Dig deeper.... when information surfaces in your dialogue, dig for details without straying into recrimination. Get the whole story. Remember, problems on your team are, first and foremost, your problems.
questions  HBR  howto  curiosity  second-order  body_language  open-ended  follow-up_questions 
june 2015 by jerryking
Cisco’s CEO on Staying Ahead of Technology Shifts - HBR
John Chambers
FROM THE MAY 2015 ISSUE

Mr. Chambers said that customers are the best indicators of when to make investments in new technology. “That’s one reason I spend so much time listening to CIOs, CTOs, and CEOs during sales calls,”
HBR  Cisco  anticipating  ksfs  transitions  indicators  market_intelligence  John_Chambers  IBM  layoffs  CEOs  market_windows  disruption  customer_relationships  sales_calls  CIOs  CTOs  listening 
may 2015 by jerryking
Where to Look for Insight
Mohanbir Sawhney Sanjay Khosla
FROM THE NOVEMBER 2014
Innovation isn’t a department. It’s a mindset that should permeate your entire enterprise.

No matter the venue, the feedstock for innovation is insight—an imaginative understanding of an internal or external opportunity that can be tapped to improve efficiency, generate revenue, or boost engagement. Insights can be about stakeholder needs, market dynamics, or even how your company works.

Here are Seven Insight Channels
Anomalies

Examine deviations from the norm
Do you see unexpectedly high or low revenue or share in a market or segment? Surprise performance from a business process or a company unit?

Confluence

Find macro trend intersections

What key economic, behavioral, technological, or demographic trends do you see? How are they combining to create opportunities?

Frustrations

Pinpoint deficiencies in the system

Where are customer pain points for your products, services, or solutions? Which organizational processes or practices annoy you and your colleagues?

Orthodoxies

Question conventional beliefs
Are there assumptions or beliefs in your industry that go unexamined? Toxic behaviors or procedures at your company that go unchallenged?

Extremities

Exploit deviance
What can you learn from the behaviors and needs of your leading-edge or laggard customers, employees, or suppliers?

Voyages

Learn from immersion elsewhere
How are your stakeholders’ needs influenced by their sociocultural context?

Analogies

Borrow from other industries or organizations
What successful innovations do you see applied in other disciplines? Can you adapt them for your own?
customer_insights  HBR  analogies  anomalies  toxic_behaviors  trends  pain_points  assumptions  innovation  insights  conventional_wisdom  travel  laggards  copycats  dilemmas  extremes  orthodoxy  immersive  deviance  learning_journeys  leading-edge  unexpected  mindsets  frictions  opportunities  opportunistic  consumer_behavior  feedstock 
november 2014 by jerryking
To Keep Your Customers, Keep It Simple -
May 2012 | Harvard Business Review |by Patrick Spenner and Karen Freeman
marketing  information_overload  decision_making  brands  branding  simplicity  HBR 
september 2014 by jerryking
Three Mistakes to Avoid When Networking
February 18, 2014 | HBR | by Dorie Clark |

Misunderstanding the pecking order.
Asking to receive before you give.
Failing to specifically state your value proposition.
networking  serving_others  HBR  value_propositions  misunderstandings 
february 2014 by jerryking
In Search of the Next Big Thing
May 2013 | HBR | Adi Ignatius interviews Marc Andreessen.

Tries to find CEOs who are product innovators, have bandwidth and discipline to become CEO. It is hard to pair those skills if they do not reside in one person. It is easier to train an innovator to become CEO than to train a CEO to become an innovator. Andreessen is counter-intuitive: he went into venture capital precisely because the prior decade to his launch had been the worst decade in the industry's history. He believes in cycles and so thought that 2009 was a good time to launch Andreessen Horowitz... Take/Understand a long view....Build "fortresses"--a company so big, so powerful , so well defended that it can withstand the pressures of going public. Focus on the substance of what your company is all about. Be about the substance....companies that are built to be independent are the most attractive...generally companies need to have at least two years' worth of cash on the balance sheet in case your revenue goes to zero....takes sales and marketing seriously--lots of products are being sold and you need a way to get the word about your company into the public space...companies are worth investing in (it's value)only if its going to be an innovation factory for years to come....We are in the early phases of Andreessen's "Software is Eating the World" thesis....best of companies AH is looking at today are unbelievably good at analytics. Good at the feedback loop created by analyzing data and feeding those number sback into the process in real time, running a continuous improvement loop....The best founders are artists in their domain. They operate instinctively in their industry because they are in touch with every relevant data point. They‘re able to synthesize in their gut a tremendous amount of data—pulling together technology trends, their companies’ capabilities, their competitor's’ activities, market psychology, every conceivable aspect of how you run a company.
Marc_Andreessen  Andreessen_Horowitz  venture_capital  start_ups  vc  HBR  hedge_funds  SOX  IPOs  lean  analytics  lessons_learned  fingerspitzengefühl  contextual_intelligence  counterintuitive  specificity  long-term  software  virtuous_cycles  software_is_eating_the_world  pairs  skills  founders  product-orientated 
december 2013 by jerryking
Life’s Work: Sandra Day O’Connor
December 2013 | Harvard Business Review |Interviewed by Alison Beard .
HBR  U.S._Supreme_Court  women  lawyers  mentoring  interviews  civics  judges  Sandra_Day_O'Connor 
december 2013 by jerryking
Staying Focused
December 2013 | Harvard Business Review | by Adi Ignatius.

In “The Focused Leader” Daniel Goleman posits that a primary task for leaders is to “direct attention” toward what matters—so it’s imperative that they stay focused themselves. Building on neuroscience research, he argues that “focus” isn’t about filtering out distractions as much as it is about cultivating awareness of what truly matters. The executive’s goal should be to develop three things: an inward focus, a focus on others, and a focus on the wider world. The first two help to build emotional intelligence, while the third can help in devising strategy, innovating, and managing.
attention  distractions  editorials  emotional_intelligence  filtering  focus  HBR  incisiveness  inward-looking  leaders  people_skills  self-awareness  serving_others  strategy  the_big_picture  think_threes  what_really_matters 
december 2013 by jerryking
Bark with bite
January 30, 2012 | FT | By John Quelch.

Academics succeed if their names are linked to one important idea that outlives them. Professor Theodore Levitt’s name is linked to many. The first was a blockbuster. “Marketing myopia” was published by Harvard Business Review (HBR) in 1960, one year after Harvard Business School plucked Prof Levitt, the son of a German immigrant cobbler, from the University of North Dakota.

The article famously asked: “What business are you in?” It critiqued railroads for “letting their customers get away from them because they assumed themselves to be in the railroad business rather than the transportation business”. They were product-orientated rather than market-orientated....the importance of tangible evidence to reassure customers choosing among suppliers of intangible services (the impressive bank building, the authoritative logo)....I gave him a wide berth until it was time for feedback on my thesis proposal after three months of hard labour. The meeting lasted five minutes, barely long enough for Prof Levitt, whose mentoring style was more tough love than hand-holding, to dismiss me with: “Throw this out, start again and come back in a week with something important!” Fortunately, I did.

Prof Levitt’s advice was always to work on important problems that are important to important people in important companies. It spurred me to get out into the field, talk to business people, write case studies and understand the messy complexity of the world, rather than work behind my desk on mathematical models based on unrealistic assumptions.
advice  discernment  feedback  hand-holding  HBR  HBS  John_Quelch  marketing  market-orientated  messiness  myopic  primary_field_research  product-orientated  reminiscing  sophisticated  Theodore_Levitt  tough_love  worthiness  worthwhile_problems 
december 2013 by jerryking
A radical rethink of ‘decision factories’
Nov. 17 2013 | The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER.

In regular factories, employees are consumed by repetitive daily tasks. But in decision factories, the focus is on project work. Whether it’s developing an advertising campaign or preparing a budget or coming up with a new product, knowledge workers operate in project mode. “You often hear in organizations the rhetoric that a project is taking away from the job. But most white-collar work is projects,” he said in an interview.

However, that isn’t recognized by companies or their staff. Instead of organizing work around projects, it is organized around jobs. Essentially, each job is based on the amount of work a person faces at their busiest moment – on projects, actually. But when that project is completed, workers aren’t immediately transferred to a new venture, since the just-finished project is seen as something they took on for a time. They return to their normal work, now quite reduced, between projects.

Mr. Martin drawns an analogy to power plants, which are built to handle peak demand on the hottest day in July, even though for much of the year they operate at much lower demand. “Organizations do that with people: They staff to peak load. Since people don’t want to seem not busy in slack periods, they fill it up with various initiatives. That’s why the day before the 10,000 people are let go, it seems like you need them all. But you really don’t,” he said .

In his article, he cited the example of a marketing vice-president, who is busy during the launch of an important project or when a competitive threat arises. But between those events, she will have few decisions to make, and may have little to do . The same is true throughout the knowledge factory.

The key to breaking the binge-and-purge cycle in knowledge work and making more efficient use of employees, Mr. Martin argues, is to redefine the employment contract and hire people for project work rather than specific jobs. He believes that in such a framework, we would need only 70 per cent of the people we currently have in a given decision factory.

So instead of being hired to handle a specific job for 52 weeks of the year, people would be hired for a specific level of work. They would still be working for the full year – they aren’t freelancers or contract workers – but would be scheduled to different projects and work with different leaders.
Harvey_Schachter  Roger_Martin  HBR  projects  knowledge_workers  project_management  project_work  employment_contracts  freelancing  gig_economy  peak_load  peak_demand  busywork  binge-and-purge_cycles  on-demand 
november 2013 by jerryking
The future of the Firm
September 21st 2013 | The Economist | Schumpeter.

Life is getting tougher for professional-services firms. Midsized consultancies are already suffering: Monitor Group went bankrupt last year—Deloitte later bought it for $120m—and Booz & Co and Roland Berger are agonising about their futures. If the legal profession is anything to go by, worse is to come: Dewey & LeBoeuf collapsed last year after borrowing heavily in a dash for growth, and other elite law firms are struggling to win business....Are McKinsey’s best days behind it? Two new publications offer some interesting answers. “The Firm”, by Duff McDonald, is a generally admiring book that nevertheless asks hard questions about the organisation’s future. “Consulting on the Cusp of Disruption”, by Clayton Christensen and two colleagues, is a penetrating article in the October Harvard Business Review, arguing that the comfortable world of the strategy consultancies is about to be turned upside down....Eden McCallum cuts costs by deploying freelancers, most of whom once worked for the big three. BeyondCore replaces overpriced junior analysts with Big Data, crunching vast amounts of information to identify trends.
McKinsey  capitalism  professional_service_firms  barbell_effect  HBR  Clayton_Christensen  books  BCG  Bain  alumni  management_consulting  mid-sized  law_firms  hard_questions 
november 2013 by jerryking
Wake up, Canada: It’s okay to fail - The Globe and Mail
JAMES MARTIN

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Aug. 15 2013,

In 2011, the Harvard Business Review devoted an entire issue to failure – yet, in Canada's risk-averse business climate, the belly-flop is still something people believe should be avoided at all costs. So we put this question to four Canadians who have thrived in different fields: ‘How can we learn from our failures in order to ensure future success?'
ideaCity  failure  HBR  Canada  competitiveness_of_nations 
august 2013 by jerryking
The Ingenuity Imperative: What Big Data Means for Big Business - Harvard Business Review
by Mihnea C. Moldoveanu

Source: Rotman School of Management

5 pages. Publication Date: May 01, 2013
ingenuity  innovation  massive_data_sets  HBR  Rotman  Mihnea_Moldoveanu 
august 2013 by jerryking
Inventing HBR
November 2012 | HBR | Julia Kirby.

Meanwhile, HBR was growing as a business itself. When the renowned HBS marketing professor Ted Levitt assumed the editorship, in 1985, he saw the magazine as an underleveraged brand that he could manage like a consumer product. He gave it a design makeover, even introducing cartoons, and encouraged a new slate of editors to push more articles to the point that they would ignite debate. He also jacked up the price, nearly doubling the subscription rate, and increased the cost of a full-page ad by more than 50%.
A Shove Toward the Magazine Side
Soon after taking over, Levitt met with HBS colleagues to explain how he saw the challenge. The Review’s content had always been supplied by experts like them, he noted, whose prose was the desiccated, reference-riddled stuff of scholars. Its customer base, meanwhile, was made up of action-oriented managers who were perpetually pressed for time. HBR, he is said to have concluded, was “a magazine written by people who can’t write for people who won’t read.”

The changes he introduced were exciting. It’s probably fair to say that he altered the course of HBR forever, by taking a publication that had sat on the fence between journal and magazine for six decades and giving it a decisive shove toward the magazine side. He essentially declared the customer king. But for a publication owned by a dignified institution of higher learning—HBR’s sole shareholder was and still is the dean of the business school—excitement can spell consternation. A couple of small crises forced the question of whether HBR’s growth as a popular magazine could be reconciled with its Harvard Business School ties.
history  HBR  anniversaries  magazines  thought_leadership  Theodore_Levitt 
july 2013 by jerryking
Keeping Up With Your Quants
July-August 2013 | HBR | Thomas Davenport.

Article places people into two buckets, as either producers or consumers of analytics. Producers are, of course, good at gathering the available data and making predictions about the future. But most lack sufficient knowledge to identify hypotheses and relevant variables and to know when the ground beneath an organization is shifting. Your job as a data consumer is to generate hypotheses and determine whether results and recommendations make sense in a changing business environment—is therefore critically important....Learn a little about analytics.
If you remember the content of your college-level statistics course, you may be fine. If not, bone up on the basics of regression analysis, statistical inference, and experimental design.

Focus on the beginning and the end.
Ask lots of questions along the way.
Establish a culture of inquiry, not advocacy.
HBR  Thomas_Davenport  massive_data_sets  data_scientists  data  data_driven  howto  analytics  decision_making  quants  questions  endgame  curiosity 
july 2013 by jerryking
Which Products Should You Stock? - Harvard Business Review
November 2012
Which Products Should You Stock?
by Marshall Fisher and Ramnath Vaidyanathan



Getting product assortment right isn’t easy, yet it’s absolutely critical to retail success. Unlike inventory management and pricing, where retailers have lots of data and analytical tools to guide decision making, assortment optimization is still much more art than science. And making the wrong call can be disastrous. [insert ref="callout-01"]

A new approach to assortment planning addresses this deficiency. The foundation for the approach is the notion that most of the time customers don’t buy products; they buy a bundle of attributes. For instance, when customers consider buying a TV, they think about screen size, resolution, price, LCD or plasma, and brand. The new method uses sales of existing products to estimate the demand for their various attributes and then uses those estimates to forecast the demand for potential new products on the basis of their attributes.

This technique helps retailers do a better job of replacing slow sellers with new ones, understanding whether customers are likely to settle for another choice if they don’t find their ideal product, and customizing assortments of individual stores or clusters of stores.
analytics  HBR  retailers 
july 2013 by jerryking
Should I Accept that LinkedIn Invitation? - Alexandra Samuel -
June 25, 2013 | Harvard Business Review | by Alexandra Samuel.

the answer to the who-should-I-connect-to-on-LinkedIn question is to use a "favor test." The favor test is simple: Would you do a favor for this person, or ask a favor of them? If so, make the connection. If not, take a pass. VERSUS

an attitude that "It's not about a rule. It's much more about your feeling and beeing. I can accept that Ln invitation just because of a relevant profile; just because of chasing curiosity at moment of reading; just because of why not, he/she has low connections; just because he/she could open gates never expected; just because this is life: sliding doors."
etiquette  LinkedIn  HBR  social_networking  networking 
june 2013 by jerryking
How to Brand a "Useless" Degree
May 8, 2013 | Harvard Business Review |by Dorie Clark

emphasize your skills, not your content expertise.
position yourself as a potential fount of innovation.
cite your work experience.
make meaningful connections with the people around me.
personal_branding  Managing_Your_Career  job_search  HBR  skills  liberal_arts  humanities 
may 2013 by jerryking
How to Write Clearly | TIME.com
By Harvard Business ReviewMarch 06, 2013

Here are three ways to ensure your ideas aren’t misinterpreted:

Adopt the reader’s perspective. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes to assess your clarity. Better yet, ask a colleague to summarize the main points of your draft from a quick read-through.
Keep your language simple. Strive to use short words and sentences. Aim for an average of 20 words or less in each sentence. With every one, ask yourself whether you can say it more briefly.
Show, don’t tell. Be specific enough that readers draw their own conclusions (that match yours, of course), as opposed to expressing your opinions without support and hoping people will agree.
Communicating_&_Connecting  writing  howto  HBR  memoranda  clarity  empathy  misinterpretations  brevity  concision 
march 2013 by jerryking
Winning Legally: How to Use the Law to Create Value, Marshal Resources, and Manage Risk - Harvard Business Review
Winning Legally: How to Use the Law to Create Value, Marshal Resources, and Manage Risk
by Constance E. Bagley
Source: Harvard Business Press Books
204 pages. Publication date: Dec 12, 2005. Prod. #: 192X-HBK-ENG
Write the First Review

The rash of corporate scandals in recent years underscores a fact too often ignored in the business world: flouting the law holds serious consequences. Indeed, all it takes is one rogue trader, one greedy executive, or one misinformed manager to place an entire organization at risk. But respected legal expert Constance E. Bagley argues that staying out of trouble is only part of the picture when it comes to legality in business. In Winning Legally, Bagley shows how managers can proactively harness the power of the law to maximize corporate value, marshal human and financial resources, and manage risk. Through scores of classic and contemporary examples across the business landscape, this no-nonsense guide completely reframes the relationship of law to business. Bagley explains how managers can use the law as a strategic tool to help select and work effectively with legal advisers, spot legal issues before they become problems, weigh the legal risks of specific opportunities, and more. Ultimately, the responsibility for making tough business decisions lies with managers--not with lawyers. This timely book shows how managers can combine business audacity and vision with integrity and respect for the law to build truly great and enduring firms. Constance E. Bagley is an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. She was formerly a partner of Bingham McCutchen LLP and co-author of The Entrepreneur's Guide to Business Law.
books  legal_strategies  law  HBR  audacity  vision  integrity  value_creation 
february 2013 by jerryking
If You Were the Next Steve Jobs...
September 3, 2012 | Harvard Business Review | by Umair Haque.

Imagine, for a moment, that you (yes, you) were the next Steve Jobs: what would your (real) challenges be? I'd bet they wouldn't be scale (just call FoxConn), efficiency (call FoxConn's consultants), short-term profitability (call FoxConn's consultants' bankers), or even "growth" (call FoxConn's consultants' bankers' lobbyists). Those are the problems of yesterday — and today, here's the thing: we largely know how to solve them.

Whether you're an assiduous manager, a chin-stroking economist, a superstar footballer, or a rumpled artist, here's the unshakeable fact: you don't get to tomorrow by solving yesterday's problems.

To solve today's set of burning problems, you just might have to build new institutions, capable of handling stuff a little something like this...
Singularity. Scale is a solved problem. We know how to do stuff at very, very large scale — if by stuff you mean "churning out the same widget, a billion times over". What we don't know how to do is the opposite of scaling up: scaling down an institution, to make a difference to a human life.
Sociality - something resembling the advanced dating stage of the courtship ritual.
Spontaneity - the act of human potential unfurling in the moment — and if it's human potential you wish to ignite, then it's spontaneity you need to spark.
what distinguishes organizations that achieve enduring greatness is teamwork and collaboration — and those are words so overused, they make my teeth ache just saying them. Here's my bet: it's time to drop the fourth wall of the "team" — and go beyond collaboration, to something like what Jung called synchronicity: a kind of uncanny intersection of seemingly unrelated lives.
Solubility. But the biggest lesson — and the one hidden in plain sight — is this: creating institutions capable of not just solving the same old problems, forever.... the greatest challenge for tomorrow's would-be problem-solver renegades is this: building institutions that don't keep solving the same old solved problems, like profitability, scale, efficiency, productivity, and the like. Over and over again, like algorithms of human organization run amok. Institutions that are capable of taking a hard look at unsolved problems around the globe — as big as climate change, sending humans to Mars, and redesigning the global financial system, and as small as Umair's perfect coffee — and then accepting the difficult, often painful, always fulfilling, work of attempting to solve them.
living_in_the_moment  creativity  Steve_Jobs  HBR  problems  problem_solving  umairhaque  political_infrastructure  ideas  value_creation  wealth_creation  threats  scaling  institutions  spontaneity  human_potential  superstars  financial_system 
february 2013 by jerryking
The Business of Free Software
January 15, 2007 | HBS Working Knowledge | Julia Hanna
software  free  HBR 
january 2013 by jerryking
Diamonds in the Data Mine
May 2003 | HBR | By Gary Loveman.

Harrah's Entertainment has outplayed its competition and won impressive gains, despite being dealt a weak hand by the economy The secret? Mining the company's rich database to develop compelling customer incentives. in the Las Vegas Strip, and all of the neighbors are making spectacles of themselves. The $750 million Mirage boasts a Vesuvian volcano that erupts...
HBR  predictive_modeling  Las_Vegas  databases  gaming  CEOs  Harrah's  casinos  yield_management  data_mining  incentives 
january 2013 by jerryking
Entering China: an unconventional approach
March 1997 | Harvard Business Review | Wilfried Vanhonacker.
If you're thinking about doing business in China, you've heard the conventional wisdom that the best way to enter China is through an equity joint venture (EJV) with a well-connected Chinese partner. China is changing, and so are the opportunities and challenges facing foreign companies that want to operate within its borders. Although EJVs are still necessary in some regulated sectors, and foreign investment is prohibited in others, there is a growing trend toward a new and possibly much more effective way of doing business in China - as a wholly foreign-owned enterprise, or WFOE. EJVs and WFOEs are substantially the same in terms of taxation and corporate liability. They also operate under similar foreign-exchange rules and comparable import and export regulations for licencing, quotas, and duties. Their only real technical differences are that WFOEs take less time to establish than EJVs, are not required to have a board of directors and are prohibited in some sectors in which EJVs are approved.
China  market_entry  howto  guanxi  HBR  unconventional 
january 2013 by jerryking
Darwin and Demon: Innovating within Established Enterprises
July-August 2004 | HBR | Geoffrey A. Moore

Innovation comes in many forms--products, processes, marketing, business models, and more. Which kind should you be pursuing? It depends where are you in your product category's life cycle.
innovation  HBR  product_launches  taxonomy  life_cycle  market_windows  sales_cycle  Geoffrey_Moore  intrapreneurship  product_category  new_categories 
december 2012 by jerryking
Growing at a Smart Pace
Growing at a Smart Pace

What Every CEO Should Know About Creating New Businesses
1 Ultimately, growth means starting new businesses.
Most firms have no alternative. Sectors decline, as they did for Pullman’s railroad cars and Singer’s sewing machines. Technology renders products and services obsolete—the fate Polaroid suffered, as digital cameras decimated its instant photography franchise. Markets saturate, as Home Depot is now finding, after establishing more than a thousand stores nationwide.
2 Most new businesses fail.
3 Corporate culture is the biggest deterrent to business creation.
New ventures flourish best in open, exploratory environments, but most large corporations are geared toward mature businesses and efficient, predictable operations.
4 Separate organizations don’t work—or at least not for long.
5 Starting a new business is essentially an experiment.
6. New businesses proceed through distinct stages, each requiring a different
7. New business creation takes time--a lot of time.
8. New businesses need help fitting in--"bridging"--with established systems and structures.
9. The best predictors of success are market knowledge and demand-driven products and services.
10. An open mind is hard to find.
growth  Thomas_Stewart  HBR  CEOs  Junior_Achievement  hard_to_find  start_ups  failure  organizational_culture  experimentation  trial_&_error  life_cycle  tacit_data  entrepreneurship  dedication  obsolescence  demand-driven  infrastructure  new_businesses  bridging  large_companies  customer-driven  market_saturation  Home_Depot  Fortune_500  mindsets  open_mind  decline  Michael_McDerment  Polaroid  digital_cameras 
december 2012 by jerryking
Big Data's Human Component
September 17, 2012 | HBR | by Jim Stikeleather.
HBR  massive_data_sets 
september 2012 by jerryking
Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century
October 2012 | Harvard Business Review | by Thomas H. Davenport and D.J. Patil
HBR  data_scientists  21st._century  career_paths 
september 2012 by jerryking
The Focused Factory
May-June 1974 | HBR | Wickham Skinner
HBR  manufacturers  focus 
august 2012 by jerryking
Watermill Ventures
397010 HARVARD , Case (Field)
Watermill Ventures
Teaching Note: 398062
Watermill Ventures acquires and turns around an under-performing businesses. The case describes the criteria the company uses to identify acquisition candidates. its screening and selection process, and the way it introduces strategic thinking at the business it acquires. Steve Karol, Watermilll's founder, is concerned because the company has only acquired two companies in its three years of operation He is considering a number of actions, including establishing a Web site to broaden the base of contact.
Teaching Purpose: To expose students to a screening and selection process for acquiring companies, as well as the strategy development process used to turn them around and improve their performance.
Industry: acquisitions; steel
Issues: Acquisitions;Strategy formulation
Setting: Massachusetts, Alabama, 8 employees, $480 million revenues. 1993 Length: 21 page(s)
case_studies  turnarounds  HBR  under-performing  screening  buying_a_business  strategy  selection_processes 
august 2012 by jerryking
Listening Begins at Home
November 2003 | HBR | by James R. Stengel, Andrea L Dixon,and Chris T.Allen
listening  P&G  HBR  marketing  career_paths  employee_engagement 
august 2012 by jerryking
Making Sense of Ambiguous Evidence
September 2008 | HBR | A Conversation with Documentary Filmmaker Errol Morris.

The information that top managers receive is rarely unfiltered. Unpopular opinions are censored. Partisan views are veiled as objective arguments. Honest mistakes are made. The manager is then left to sort it all out and come to a wise conclusion.

Few people know how to get an accurate read on a situation like documentarian Errol Morris. He is the award-winning director of such films as The Thin Blue Line and this year’s Standard Operating Procedure, an exploration of the elusive truth behind the infamous photographs taken at Abu Ghraib prison. The Guardian has ranked him among the world’s top 10 directors, crediting him with “a forensic mind” and “a painter’s eye.”

In this article, Morris talks with HBR’s Lisa Burrell about how he sorts through ambiguous evidence and contradictory views to arrive at the real story. “I don’t believe in the postmodern notion that there are different kinds of truth,” he says. “There is one objective reality, period.” Getting to it requires keeping your mind open to all kinds of evidence—not just the parts that fit with your first impressions or developing opinions—and, often, far more investigation than one would think.

If finding the truth is a matter of perseverance, convincing people of it is something of an art, one with which Morris has had much experience not only as a documentarian but also as a highly sought-after director of TV ads for companies like Apple, Citibank, Adidas, and Toyota. He holds up John Kerry’s 2004 bid for the U.S. presidency as a cautionary tale: Kerry struck voters as inauthentic when he emphasized only his military service and failed to account for his subsequent war protest. Morris would have liked to interview him speaking in his own words—natural, unscripted material—so that his humanity, which seemed to get lost in the campaign, could emerge.
anecdotal  HBR  executive_management  CEOs  contradictions  information  information_flows  evidence_based  information_gaps  authenticity  sense-making  ambiguities  uncertainty  persuasion  forensics  postmodern  filmmakers  documentaries  judgment  cautionary_tales 
august 2012 by jerryking
How We Built a Strong Company in A Weak Industry
February 2001 | HBR | Roger Brown.

The chairman and founder of Bright Horizons Family Solutions heeded the wisdom of visionary real estate developer James Rouse: Make your passions central to your life. By doing that, she has created a highly successful company with employees who are driven by its mission to give children the best possible start in life.
children  HBR  SWOT  micro-markets  microtargeting  daycare  mission-driven  decline  visionaries 
august 2012 by jerryking
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