Category: work


Typology Innovation

 

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“People adopt ideas when social, personal and financial trends intersect – a confluence that may seem random but usually happens “by design” “.

– Clement Mok

When you think of artificial intelligence (AI), you might think of dehumanizing interactions. Don’t confuse AI with primitive marketing automation.

Artificial Intelligence Drives Customer Experience, as AI expert and leading keynote speaker Christopher Penn, VP of Marketing Technology for SHIFT Communications says,

There are three levels of machine learning: AI where machines perform tasks normally performed by humans; machine learning.”

There are three levels of machine learning: AI where machines perform tasks normally performed by humans; machine learning.”

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How CEOs Manage Time

The scope of an organization’s managerial work is vast, encompassing functional agendas, business unit agendas, multiple organizational levels and myriad external issues. It also involves a wide array of constituencies—shareholders, customers, employees, the board, the media, government, community organizations, and more. Unlike any other executive, the CEO has to engage with them all.

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The epitome of leadership – The CEO in the lexicom of management

While CEOs are the ultimate power in their companies, they face challenges and constraints that few others recognize. Running a large global company is an exceedingly complex job.

The CEO must be the internal and external face of the organization through good times and bad, of course, having a great deal of help and resources at their disposal. However, they, more than anyone else in the organization, confront an acute scarcity of one resource. That resource is time. There is never enough time to do everything that a CEO is responsible for. Despite this, CEOs remain accountable for all the work of their organizations. 

The way CEOs allocate their time and their presence—where they choose to personally participate—is crucial, not only to their own effectiveness but also to the performance of their companies.

 

Where and how CEOs are involved
In determining what gets done and signals priorities for others it can also affect their legitimacy because a CEO who doesn’t spend enough time with colleagues will seem insular and out of touch, whereas one who spends too much time in direct decision making will risk being seen as a micromanager and erode employees’ initiative.

A CEO’s schedule (indeed, any leader’s schedule), then, is a manifestation of how the leader leads and sends powerful messages to the rest of the organization.

A crucial missing link in understanding the time allocation of CEOs—and making it more effective—has been systematic data on what they actually do.

Research on that has tended either to cover a small handful of CEOs, like the 1973 study in which Henry Mintzberg closely observed five chief executives (some of whom led nonprofits) for five days each, or to rely on large surveys that cover short periods (such as our HBS colleague Raffaella Sadun’s 2017 study based on daily phone surveys with 1,114 CEOs from a wide variety of companies in six countries over one week).


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A healthy economy

 How should a sustainable, universally economy look like?



 

“A healthy economy should be designed to thrive, not grow” sais Oxford economist, Kate Raworth.

 

 

 

Europe’s Road to Growth

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Financial Times is looking for 100 European companies, individuals and organisations that are taking advantage of new technologies in groundbreaking ways.

“There are fears that Europe is falling behind in digital transformation, just as the so-called fourth industrial evolution begins to change the business models of traditional industries in noticeable ways”,

Patrick McGee wrote for the Digital Economy section in the Financial Times June edition. The predicted efficiency gains from the adoption of new technology are so great that, at first glance, they appear to be typos. PwC, for instance, forecasts the shift to contribute as much as 14 per cent to global GDP gains by 2030 — or

about $15tn in today’s value”.

However, digitalisation has so far been patchy. According to PwC, two-thirds of the 1,155 global manufacturing companies they surveyed

have just started or have not yet embarked on their digital transformation”.

Europe, in particular, is lagging behind: just 5 per cent of manufacturers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) are

digital champions,”

PwC says, versus 11 per cent in the Americas and 19 per cent in Asia-Pacific. On the other hand, Europe has strong foundations in fields such as artificial intelligence (AI) and cryptography, says Siraj Khaliq, a partner at Atomico, a technology investment group, which compiles an annual report, The State of European Tech.

Over the past two years, he says, industry has been increasingly tapping into these innovations with small acquisitions happening all the time.

The trajectory is very strong for these areas, especially with government policies of encouraging entrepreneurship with tax breaks and other measures,

Mr Khaliq adds.

More than 30 national and regional initiatives for digitalising industry have been launched across the continent over the past few years. The FT is compiling a list of Europe’s best examples of digital transformation. Find out how to get involved. Please see details for how to nominate a digital transformation champion to be considered for this list.


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This world is moving away from a system of national markets.

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Isolated from one another by trade barriers, distance or culture, advances in technology and mass communication have made it possible, for people in one part of the world to watch happenings in far off places.

Asli Demirguc-Kunt suggested.

Theses are regularly utilized traded but they allude to distinctive forms. The method of integration on a around the world scale of markets and generation, features a single acknowledged definition utilized for it, globalization. For it, national boundaries are not important economicaly, free trade and movement of labour and other resources result in the breakdown of these boundaries and one big european marketplace. The regional trade agreements and regionalism are important in this process, where the EU is an example. The main international organisations concerned with this proces are the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the OECD. A result in the increased exposure to global forces and businesses, operate under the process of globalisation, that is constantly changing. It used to mean the westernisation of the developing world but the newly emerging economies such as Brasil, China and India are redefining processes and institutions.

Businesses require an understanding of the forms within the worldwide setting and even in case they don’t trade directly with other nations, they may well be influenced by household deficiency of talented work or may be subject to advancements on the european money related markets.

All businesses need to be aware of their european context. Despite apparent retreat into nationalism in light of economic conditions in 2008.
Branco Milanovic says:

“In 1980, the share of the developing countries in world trade was 22 per cent, by 2005 it was 32 per cent and the World Bank predicts that their share will be 40 per cent by 2030.”


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There is an old-fashioned word for the body of skills. Character, writes Amitai Etzioni, the George Washington University, social theorist, is the

Psychological muscle that moral conduct requires.”

The bedrock of character is self-discipline, the virtuous life, since Aristotel have observed, is based on self-control. A related keystone of character is being able to motivate and guide ourselves, whether in doing homework, finishing a job, or getting up in the morning. As we have seen the ability to channel one’s urges to act is a basic emotional skill, one that in a former day was called will.

We need to be in control of ourselves – our appetites, our passions to do right by others”,

notes Tomas Lickona, writing about character education.

It takes will to keep emotion under the control of reason.”

Being able to put aside one’s self-centered focus and impulses has social benefits, opens the way to empathy, to real listening. to another person’s perspective. Empathy as we have seen, leads to caring, altruism and compassion.

Seeing things from another’s perspective breaks down biases stereotypes, and so breads tolerance and acceptance of differences.

These capacities are ever more called on in our increasingly pluralistic society, allowing people to live together in mutual respect and creating the possibility of productive public discourse. Theses are basic arts of democracy.


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If people’s long-held biases cannot be so easily weeded out what can be changed is what they do about them. But everything we know about the roots of prejudice and how to fight it effectively suggests that precisely this attitude, turning a blind eye to acts of bias allows discrimination to thrive. To do nothing, in the context, is an act of consequence in itself, letting the virus of prejudice spread unopposed.

More to the point than diversity training courses or perhaps essential to their having much effect, is that the norms of a group be decisively changed by taking an active stance against any acts of discrimination, from the top echelons of management on down. Biases may not budge, but acts of prejudice can be quashed, if the climate is changed.

As an IBM executive put it,

We don’t tolerate slights or insults in any way; respect for the individual is central to IBM’s culture.”

If research on prejudice has any lesson for making a corporate culture more tolerant , it is to encourage people to a peak out against even low-key acts of discrimination or harassment offensive jokes, say, or the posting of girlie calendars demeaning to women coworkers.
To stop at battling prejudice in the workplace is to miss a greater opportunity; taking advantage of the creative and entrepreneurial possibilities that a diverse workforce can offer.

As we shall see, a working group of varied strengths and perspectives, if it can operate in harmony, is likely to come to better, more creative and more effective solutions than those same people working in isolation.


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Business Strategy Practise

News & Contemporary Developments

The Artful Critiques

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Consider the alternative

 

An artul critique can be one of the most helpful messages a manager can send. For example, what the contemptuous vice president could have told the software engineer – but did not- was something like:

 

” The main difficulty at this stage is that your plan will take too long and so escalate costs. I’d like you to think more about your proposal, especially the design specifications for software development, to see if you can figure out a way to do the same job more quickly.”

 

Such a message has the opposite impact of destructive critisism instead of creating helpessness, anger and rebellion, it holds out the hope of doing better and suggests the beggining of a plan for doing so.

As Larson observes,

 

“A character attack- calling someone stupid or incompetent- missed the point. You immediately put him on the defensive, so that he’s no longer receptive to what you have to tell him about how to do things better.”

 

The basic belif that leads to optimism, remember, is that swtbacks of failures are due to circumstances that we can do something about to change them for the better.

 

As as corporate consultant, Levinson gives the following advice on the art of critique, which is intricately entwined with the art of praise:

  1. Be specific
  2. Offer a solution
  3. Be present
  4. Be sensitive

 

Important for critisism are counceils as:

 

  1. See the criticism as valuable information about how to do better, not as a personal attack.
  2. Watch for impulse towards defensiveness instead of taking responsability.
  3. See criticism as an opportunity to work together with the critic to solve the problem, not as an adversarial situation.



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Strategy Practise

Contemporary Developments

News

 

 

 

Real-Time Insight

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Predicting and innovating faster for real time wave analytics using information, predicting and personalizing in a mobile way, contextualize all data for devices, customers and the location data connected in real-time.

“Extending the value chains on mobile communities for suppliers, partners and customers, and after all proactively driving the customer journey, it’s very, very powerful.”

A great example is what Caterpillar does by collecting data for such a long period of time. But looking in the present time, collecting data not only for fluids and oils, tiers, pressures, this movement of equipments are mobilising and extending in purchasing all this provided concepts delivered into the next chain, becoming suitable in their persistence and able to assume more information into deciding a simple and predictable way.

So, achieving more powerful tools can be an impressive touch, even more attempting than just a look at the internal insights, versus all the operations that consists outside the box perspectives.



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Infinite Map

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The dividend policy

A company will have a direct impact on the amount of retained earning available for investment. A company which consistently pays out a high proportion of distributable profits as dividends will not have much by way of retained earnings and so is likely to use a higher proportion of external finance when funding investment projects.

“Corporations with more diverse boards of directors are less prone to take risks and more likely to pay dividends to stockholders than firms whose boards are more homogenous.”

Firms need to take risks to run business. However, excessive risk taking may endanger their survival. Therefore, investors and regulators have broadened the board’s role to include corporate risk oversight, especially since the wake of the financial crisis in the late 2000s.

Most research on board diversity has focused only on gender diversity.
We used a broader-than-normal definition of diversity, encompassing gender, race, age, experience, tenure and expertise.

We looked at company records and employed five variables to measure risk: capital expenditures, research and development expenses, acquisition spending, the volatility of stock returns and the volatility of accounting returns.
The first three variables are direct measures of corporate risk as firms can adjust risk by directly altering their investment policies and spending. The last two variables measure corporate risk taking using the volatility of firms’ market and accounting performances.

“Firms with more diverse boards spend less on capital expenditure, R&D and acquisitions, and exhibit lower volatilities of stock returns than those with less diverse boards.”

Additional analysis showed that companies with more diverse boards were more likely to pay dividends and to pay a greater amount of dividend per share than corporations with less diverse boards. In general, risk-averse firms are more likely to avoid investment projects with uncertain outcomes and return cash to shareholders in the form of dividends.
Having this insight can help avoid costly cultural mistakes at both large corporations and small businesses. Studies showes that most corporate boards are relatively homogenous in gender and race – being mostly white and male. There was, however, considerably more diversity when we factored in characteristics such as age, experience, tenure and expertise.

Measuring diversity based only on gender misrepresents the actual diversity in corporate boardrooms.
On the one hand, diverse boards could reduce the level of corporate risk taking, discouraging innovative and risky projects.

On the other hand, if firm management is overly aggressive in its use of corporate funds for investing in risky projects, our results suggest that more diverse boards could perform better oversight of corporate risk taking than less diverse boards.
Rini Laksmana, associate professor of accounting at Kent State University, and Agus Harjoto, associate professor of finance at Pepperdine University, collaborated on the research for the project reviews.


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Help Ecosystems

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Executive sponsorship

In order to change management to help the entire organisation uses marketing people alignment because timing is everything.

Corporate venture capital is picking up speed in the investment industry, as large companies start setting aside funds for external investment in fledgling companies or startups. Tech giants like Intel, Dell and AMD all have strong track records with their proprietary funds, and more companies like Microsoft and Salesforce are now entering the venture-fund game.

During the past four years more than 475 corporate venture funds have started, bringing the worldwide total to more than 1,100, according to Global Corporate Venturing. With this surge comes a lot of uncertainty.

 

How will corporate venture-capital players influence the funding ecosystem?

Entrepreneurs need to know when choosing between corporate and traditional venture-capital partnership. Large companies can be slow moving and bulky, making it tricky to come up with innovative products or services. That’s especially true for the pharmaceutical, technology and telecommunications industries where internal R&D usually means more hiring, higher capital expenditures and increased fixed operating costs, all without the guarantee of a return.

A corporate venture fund, however, provides an opportunity for innovation without paying high R&D costs or incurring too much risk. Corporate venture capital also lets large companies operate on a smaller scale, which lets them innovate faster, conduct research on disruptive technologies and pre-empt competitors. And it’s an efficient way for companies to explore potential acquisition targets.

Data from Crunchbase shows that about one-third of corporate venture-backed startups have been acquired, versus 10 percent of startups with funding only from private venture capital.

Corporations can use their venture arms to influence their industry’s ecosystem by identifying new markets and building up their existing businesses. According to a recent Volans report,

“Corporate venture capital accounted for 1,068 investment deals worth $19.6 billion last year.”

Since 5,753 venture-capital transactions worth $48.5 billion occurred in 2013, corporate ventures comprised nearly 20 percent of all deals and 40 percent of transaction value worldwide.

A traditional venture-capital firm raises money primarily from institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals, while corporate venture capital uses cash reserves from a parent company to fund new endeavors. This difference is significant because it means more external pressure is typically put on independent venture-capital firms to generate above-average returns.

Since corporate ventures are typically considered R&D alternatives, expenses are already built into the business structure. And separate revenue-generating businesses help offset any corporate venture-capital losses. That’s a safety net that traditional venture-capital firms don’t have. Corporate venture-capital efforts also have the advantage of involvement with startups at the early stages, when they can most benefit from access to a large, established customer base, credibility through brand association and a larger network of partner companies and advisors.

Corporate venture-capital efforts can make good co-investment partners with traditional venture capital firms because each brings different expertise to the table. Venture-capital firms have the drive and know-how to realize financial results while corporate-venture capital groups provide industry knowledge and a talent pool.

 

Given all these advantages, why isn’t a larger proportion of total deals in the venture-capital space taken up by corporate funds?

For one, independent venture-capital firms still hold a competitive advantage over their corporate counterparts due to their flexibility, speed and experience in helping companies succeed financially. Corporate venture-capital firms that benefit from high cash flows might be willing to spread out their investments over a few similar companies and take a back seat in terms of driving their growth, while a venture-capital firm is typically motivated to take a more focused and hands-on approach for its portfolio companies.

Corporations have been actively investing in venture capital since the mid-1960s, when the venture capital industry itself was just emerging. But as more corporations become involved, the emphasis on how to build the next generation of businesses could shift away from high valuations and quick exits to creating a nurturing environment for bigger and better ideas.


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Leadership Capabilities


Organisational challenges, tasks and decisions are distinguishing the long term direction for:

  1. The companies activity & scope
  2. Advantages
  3. A strategic fit with the business environment
  4. The organisations resource and competence
  5. The values and expectations

As an adapted article from “The Economist Guide to Management Ideas and Gurus, by Tim Hindle in The Economist Magazine suggested that:

Scientific management was the first big management idea to reach a mass audience. It swept through corporate America in the early years of the 20th century, and much management thinking since has been either a reaction to it or a development of it.

The idea was first propounded by Frederick Winslow Taylor, partly in response to a motivational problem, which at the time was called

soldiering

—the attempt among workers to do the least amount of work in the longest amount of time.

To counter this, Taylor proposed that managers should scientifically measure productivity and set high targets for workers to achieve. This was in contrast to the alternative method, known as initiative and incentive, in which workers were rewarded with higher wages or promotion. Taylor described this method as poisonous.
Scientific management required managers to walk around with stop watches and note pads carrying out time-and-motion studies on workers in different departments. It led to the piece-rate system in which workers were paid for their output, not for their time. Taylor’s first publication, which came out in 1895, was called “A Piece-Rate System”.
He believed that,

The principal object of management should be to secure the maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with the maximum prosperity of each employee.

The interests of management, workers and owners were, he maintained, intertwined. He wanted to remove “all possible brain work” from the shop floor, handing all action, as far as possible, over to machines.

In the past, the man has been first; in the future the machine must be first,

he was fond of saying.

He ignited a debate about man versus machine that continued far into the 20th century. The famous book in which he enunciated his theories, The Principles of Scientific Management, had a strong impact on subsequent management thinking.

It influenced such people as Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, American time-and-motion experts; it influenced industrial psychologists, many of whom saw it as an insult to the human spirit and set out to show that allowing free rein to human initiative produced superior results; and it influenced industrialists like the Michelin brothers (of tyre fame).
At the core of scientific management lie four principles:

1. Replace rule-of-thumb methods of doing work with ones based on scientific study of the tasks to be carried out.

2. Select and train individuals for specific tasks.

3. Give individuals clear instructions on what they have to do, then supervise them while they do it.

4. Divide work between managers and workers, so that the managers plan “scientifically” what is to be done, and the workers then do it.
Peter Drucker once wrote that Taylor was,

The first man in history who did not take work for granted, but looked at it and studied it. His approach to work is still the basic foundation.

The trade union movement, however, always hated it. A union officer once said:

No tyrant or slave driver in the ecstasy of his most delirious dream ever sought to place upon abject slaves a condition more repugnant.

There is little space for Taylor’s ideas in today’s world of freewheeling teamwork. But the writings of people such as Michael Porter and Michael Hammer, with their emphasis on breaking business down into measurable (and controllable) activities, hold more than a faint echo of Taylor’s ideas.

It led to the piece-rate system in which workers were paid for their output, not for their time. Taylor’s first publication, which came out in 1895, was called A Piece-Rate System“.


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