A costly lesson

28. August 2010

Date: 28-08-2010
 Source: The Economist

If “executive” MBA programmes are not much different from their full-time counterparts, how do business schools justify charging twice the price? 

IT STARTED with a little-reported court judgement in an American backwater. In 2007 Ruth Creps, a resident of Idaho, was made redundant by her employer. She applied for funds from the Federal Trade Adjustment Assistance programme, a scheme designed to help retrain workers who lost their jobs due to international trade competition. Ms Creps wanted to take an MBA at nearby Boise University, but decided that she would rather do the $41,000 part-time “executive” MBA (EMBA)—which is usually paid for by employers who are looking to train up their high potentials—instead of the full-time programme which cost just $14,000. When her request was turned down Ms Creps fought them all the way to the Idaho Supreme Court, only to lose because the court decided the more expensive programme was not significantly different from its traditional alternative. Read the rest of this entry »

HCL’s CEO on its ‘Management Makeover’

26. August 2010
Gary Hamel’s Management 2.0

A look at new ways of managing, August 24, 2010, 5:14 PM ET

A couple of weeks back I provided you with a synopsis of Vineet Nayar’s new book, “Employees First, Customers Second,” which has been recently published by Harvard Business School Press. In it, Vineet, CEO of HCL Technologies, talks about the progress his company has made in making managers more accountable to those on the front lines. Having posted my summary, I invited you to submit your questions to Vineet, and many of you did, along with plenty of piquant comments. Herewith, Vineet’s reply. He begins by providing a bit of context, and then takes on a few of the most-asked queries.

Vineet Nayar on the challenges of leading a management makeover

Transforming an organization takes you on an interesting journey, without a map. There are wrong turns, surprising discoveries and moments of both exhilaration and discouragement. Not everyone agrees on the destination – at least in the beginning – much less on how to get there. When you reach an important milestone, you risk mistaking it for your goal. Instead of stopping at that point, you need to review what you’ve collectively learned – some of it the result of passionate debate – and continue on the quest to make your organization far better than ever seemed possible.

This is the journey we’re on with “Employees First, Customers Second,” or EFCS. It is based on the realization that value – for both customers and company – is created by employees working in the “value zone,” where employees and customers interact. One consequence of this realization: Managers need to be accountable to these customer-facing employees, just as employees are accountable to managers.

It’s gratifying, and perhaps not surprising, that a concept as radical as this inspires often passionate discussion and debate within our company and without. Let me address five important questions that emerge from that dialogue: Read the rest of this entry »

Where Capitalism is a Thing of Beauty

23. August 2010

13. August 2010, 18:06:13 | Chris Meyer & Julia Kirby

Over the past year, we’ve been researching a book on how capitalism will evolve now that its center of gravity is moving away from mature, western economies. Looking around the world for companies that hint at capitalism’s next phase, we’ve tended to focus on businesses that an economist would say belong to an “emerging” stage of development — an ambulance service in Mumbai, for example, or aircraft manufacturer in Brazil. It hadn’t occurred to us that the cosmetics industry might be a source of inspiration.

It’s an industry, after all, that is so easy to see as representing the ugly excesses of the old capitalism. Made up of large companies who spend billions to create brands that delude us with illusions of eternal youth, its main achievement has been to create marketing channels capable of selling elaborate packaging (as well as some useful products, we acknowledge) at huge margins. If the best argument for capitalism is that it allocates resources efficiently, the cosmetics industry would not seem to be Exhibit A. Read the rest of this entry »

It looks like: if you are stupid, become a politician

17. August 2010

Date: 17-08-2010
 Source: SPIEGEL
Subject: Steamrollered by Google Street View

Internet Challenges Overwhelm German Government

Google has been talking about introducing its Street View service in Germany for years. But now that the launch has officially been announced, the German government appears to have been taken by surprise.

 It’s just another example of how the authorities are struggling to meet the challenges of the Internet age.  Read the rest of this entry »

Finanzkrise entzaubert die Consulting-Branche

13. August 2010

Handelsblatt.online 13.08.2010 Hans-Jürgen Klesse, Julia Leendertse 

Die Finanzkrise hat den Markt für Unternehmensberater verändert, das Geschäftsmodell der Branche ist in Gefahr. Die Ratgeber der Manager müssen sich auf tief greifende Umwälzungen einstellen. 

Unternehmensberater sitzen zusammen Schwarze Anzüge und 16-Stunden-Tage: Berater bei der Arbeit Foto: © Kzenon – Fotolia.com

Es kommt selten vor, dass Gerd Kerkhoff und Sven Marlinghaus mal einer Meinung sind. Der Gründer und Geschäftsführer von Kerkhoff Consulting in Düsseldorf und der Partner von Brainnet aus dem schweizerischen St. Gallen sind sich normalerweise in herzlicher Abneigung verbunden. Die beiden sind Konkurrenten und treffen häufig aufeinander, wenn Unternehmen Einkauf oder Lieferketten von einer auf diese Disziplin spezialisierten Unternehmensberatung optimieren lassen.  

Doch inzwischen gibt es etwas, was Kerkhoff und Marlinghaus verbindet: ein neuer gemeinsamer Feind. Seit Beginn der Wirtschafts- und Finanzkrise im Herbst 2008 müssen sie bei ihren Präsentationen vor potenziellen Kunden immer öfter gegen die ganz Großen ihrer Branche antreten. Was die beiden besonders ärgert: Die Mitbewerber drängen mit Kampfpreisen unter dem Niveau der Spezialisten in das für sie neue Geschäft. Read the rest of this entry »

Women and the Uneasy Embrace of Power

10. August 2010

 HBR Blog, 11:15 AM Wednesday August 4, 2010

by Jeffrey Pfeffer  |

Although women now attend college at a higher rate than men, and have for the most part closed the gap in achieving advanced and professional degrees, women are not occupying the real power positions in corporations, academia, or the professions in anywhere near the same proportions as men.Catalyst, among many other organizations, bemoans this reality. The fact of the underrepresentation of women at the top begs the question of why. One part of the answer is women’s reluctance to embrace power. Read the rest of this entry »

The Hurd Mentality: HP’s Mark Hurd and the Big Traps in Small Lapses

10. August 2010

 Rosabeth Moss Kanter Blog, 10:15 AM Monday August 9, 2010  |

The news is astonishing. HP’s high-performing CEO Mark Hurd has been ousted for what seems, from news reports, to be a modest amount of expense account fudging associated with a relationship with a contractor that he apparently wanted to keep secret. With Hurd’s mega-million dollar compensation, he could have afforded to pay for the $1000-20,000 in expenses out of his own pocket in the first place, a gesture that he offered to make later in lieu of resigning. But he didn’t. Undoubtedly additional facts will be revealed in coming days. Meanwhile, this situation raises a important question: How can very smart, accomplished people do such stupid things? Read the rest of this entry »

Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation

6. August 2010

Daniel Pink, der ausgezeichnete Autor von z.B. “A whole new mind” hat ein neues buch geschrieben über Motivation 3.0. “Drive”. Er gab dazu eine noch dazu lustige (weil ein American in Oxford) Präsentation.


Google Wave Decision Shows Strong Innovation Management

6. August 2010

11:26 AM Thursday August 5, 2010
by Karim R. Lakhani  | Comments ( 11)

Some tech pundits were surprised that Google decided to shut down Wave yesterday just a year after its launch and chastised the company for its decision. But I’m not surprised and I applaud the company’s decision to pull the plug after it was clear the market wasn’t interested in Wave. From my vantage point as someone who studies innovation, Google’s decision was exactly the right move and provides some very important lessons for managing innovation in both small and large organizations.

The first lesson, of course, is that uncertainty haunts all innovation attempts. Charles Kettering, inventor and VP of R&D and Board Member of GM (1920-1947) famously noted that when it comes to innovation: “You don’t know when you are going to get the thing, whether its going to work or not and whether its going to have any value whatsoever.” In essence Kettering implied that any innovation attempt faces a combination of temporal, technical and market uncertainty. Even a company like Google, recognized for its wealth of intellectual talent in its employees, was not able to figure out before hand if there would be a market for Wave. Some types of uncertainties are simply not resolvable before the fact, and the only true way to find out is to make the investment and launch an innovative product in the market place. Google should be applauded and rewarded for pioneering a risky project and publicly launching it so that it can learn from the market.
Read the rest of this entry »

The Art of Leading Well

6. August 2010

 9:00 AM Monday August 2, 2010  | 

Featured Guest: Warren Bennis, professor at the University of Southern California and author of Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership.

An interesting Audio Interview. http://blogs.hbr.org/ideacast/2010/08/the-art-of-leading-well.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+harvardbusiness+%28HBR.org%29