Tag: Harvard Business Review

Surviving Disruptive Innovations

March 15th, 2013   •   3 comments   

Surviving Disruptive Innovations
Was Borders a victim of Disruptive Innovation? (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Tower Records. Borders. Kodak. Maybe even Research In Motion (RIM)?

The list of casualties to disruptive innovations grow longer each day. By clinging to the status quo and failing to recognise the threats of disruptive consumer behaviours, technologies, or business models, these companies have sounded their own death knell.
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7 Management Lessons from Shackleton

February 26th, 2013   •   no comments   

Endurance trapped in ice, 1916
Shackleton’s ship Endurance (source of image)

Imagine being stranded on ice for 19 months in the world’s harshest climate, often without light for months on end.

Imagine being cut off from the outside world without any forms of communication. No smartphones, tablets, laptops, telephones or faxes. Heck, not even a telegraph machine or carrier pigeon!
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HBR’s 10 Must Reads On Change (Book Review)

October 2nd, 2012   •   1 comment   

Harvard Business Review or HBR has always been one of the mainstays of my reading list. I love how its editors seive out business and leadership articles which are meaty enough to provide a good intellectual workout without unnecessary academese.

Its latest compilation “HBR’s 10 Must Reads” is a selection of carefully selected journal articles centred on the most pressing issues of management.
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Why Major Retailers are Largely Local

July 3rd, 2012   •   1 comment   

Why Major Retailers are Largely Local
NTUC FairPrice holds its ground through innovative concepts like FairPrice Express (courtesy of FairPrice)

Wonder why NTUC Fairprice and Cold Storage rules the grocery retail scene in Singapore?

Or why huge players like Wal-Mart and Target have largely stayed away from our shores?
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The Science of Great Teams

June 26th, 2012   •   no comments   

Courtesy of Blaze Institute

Why do some teams produce outstanding results while others lag behind given similar resources?

The secret, according to “The New Science of Building Great Teams” in Harvard Business Review, is that successful teams have higher energy, are more engaged, and spend more time exploring outside the group. These patterns of communication and interaction are strongly correlated with performance metrics such as the average handling time in a bank’s call centre.
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Why “Repeatable” Business Strategies Work

May 23rd, 2012   •   4 comments   

What is the secret of enduring business success? The answer, according to Bain & Company’s Chris Zook and James Allen, is to develop repeatable business models. This is described in Bain’s website on Repeatability and highlighted in a recently published book by the authors.

Source of image

In this podcast on HBR Ideacast, Chris shares that businesses which keep changing courses and introduce unnecessary complexity in their systems are actually killing themselves. To cope with a fast changing, highly complex and unpredictable world, businesses shouldn’t introduce increasingly convoluted systems that add layers of bureaucratic layers that slow down work processes unnecessarily.
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Why Leaders Should Embrace a Higher Calling

December 9th, 2011   •   no comments   

Michael Beer (courtesy of Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute)

To rise above the vagaries of the uncertain economy, what should companies do? How can they manage the wrath of Wall Street and the severe backlash of a liquidity crunch?

Well according to Michael Beer from Harvard Business School, the answer is that companies should embrace a higher purpose. In an excellent podcast from HBR Ideacast, Beer shares some of the characteristics of these firms and the leadership styles that they embody.
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The 5 Skills of Great Innovators

October 13th, 2011   •   no comments   

Steve Jobs (bless him) associated calligraphy with beautiful fonts in the Macintosh (source)

Ever wondered how disruptive innovators like Steve Jobs (Apple), Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com) and A.G. Lafley (P&G) behave?  What are the traits of these great entrepreneurs and business leaders?

According to INSEAD Professor Hal Gregersen (who co-authored the book “The Innovator’s DNA” with Jeffrey Dyer and Clayton M. Christensen), they have what are called the five discovery skills as follows:

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How to be Extremely Productive

August 29th, 2011   •   2 comments   

Unfortunately, most of us do not have 8 arms (Source of image)

From organisational speed, let’s move on next to individual productivity.  Once again, Harvard Business Review’s Ideacast features good ideas worth considering.

In “Productivity Secrets of a Very Busy Man“, Bob Posen, a senior lecturer at Harvard and executive chairman of a major investment firm, offers some great tips. Other than holding down two jobs, Posen sits on a few boards and manages to write a couple of articles a year.
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The Premium on Corporate Coherence

March 6th, 2011   •   no comments   

I was listening to HBR’s Ideacast recently and came across an interesting idea by Booz & Company’s Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi urging companies to “have the discipline to focus intensely on what they do best”. Titled the “Coherence Premium”, the central thesis of Leinwand and Mainardi is that “sustainable, superior returns accrue to companies that focus on what they do best”.

Gaining the Coherence Premium can be done if a company aligns and interlocks internal capabilities (or core competencies ala Hamel and Prahalad) with the right external market position. This can be graphically represented as follows:

Image source
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