7
Dec

Lecciones de Estrategia con El Padrino

Written on December 7, 2007 by Guillermo de Haro in Uncategorized

El líder, ¿nace o se hace? Para descubrirlo quiero “hacerles una propuesta que no podrán rechazar”: usar una de las obras maestras del cine, “El Padrino”, comparando los estilos de gestión de Don Vito Corleone y de su hijo Michael.
¿Por qué “El Padrino”? Según Coppola es “una metáfora sobre el capitalismo en América”, y Marlon Brando declaró que “es una película sobre la inteligencia corporativa”.

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5
Nov
4
Oct

Seminario Inteligencia Política

Written on October 4, 2007 by Minerva in Inteligencia politica

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Aprovechando la próxima incorporación a este blog del profesor Pascual Montañes, queríamos informaros de la celebración del seminario exclusivo Inteligencia Politica y Estrategia Profesional, patrocinado por el Instituto de Empresa junto al Diario Expansion
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Tambien invitar a todos los antiguos alumnos del Instituto de Empresa ,al futuro foro de inteligencia política liderada por el mismo profesor, que se abrirá próximamente dentro de iecommunties. Os animamos a participar.

21
Jun

How vulnerable are organizations?

Written on June 21, 2007 by Ianna Contardo in Strategy

In a reflection on the environmental changes happening around and within organizations, I came across a relatively old article. It is the fabulous yet rather unknown piece by Karl Weick on the collapse of sensemaking, an Administrative Science Quarterly paper (1993). Change management in strategy represents a fundamental topic. Its purpose consists in deeply analyzing actions and reactions between organic structures, i.e. organizations and the space in which these unravel, whether their sector, industry, market, internal environment or others. More and more, however, this analytic process meant to bring us closer to a satisfactory, controllable decision making path has forced academics and practitioners alike to question the rational boundaries within which organizational theory is debated.
Once more, my critical or “literary” vein (see the blog on the ZMET approach to strategic marketing) wishes to draw your attention in this other blog to a route that can be located in “contextual rationality” (White, 1988; reed, 1991) or a more emotionally-rooted explanation of phenomena on change.
Why are organizations vulnerable and where do their weaknesses come from? Simply stated, vulnerability can be described as those moments of uncertainty that threatens the existence of a given structure. We could compare organizations to “animals” which need to survive in an eco-system, and we as observers can thus notice their physical – read normally financial – appearance that either improves – the species reproduces itself – or extinguishes itself – usually because from a Darwinist lens they have not been able to adapt or have suddenly succumbed to the forces of changes they did not anticipate.

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19
Jun

This week Kellogg’s announced that it would stop advertising high-sugar and high-calorie content cereals to children.
While we may applaud Kellogg for doing “the right thing”, we would be foolish to think that Kellogg’s action will do very much to fix childhood obesity and nutritional health problems.
The problem is big, complex, and the social harm runs into the hundred of billions of dollars. Economists use the term “externalities” to describe the negative consequences of legal and normal firm behavior. Usually the cost of the negative consequences is paid for by others. The food industry legally goes about its business, while childhood obesity and its associated costs are absorbed within the health care system (private and public) or simply not paid for all, resulting in a diminished quality of life for the children.

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4
Jun

The Age of Real-time Information

Written on June 4, 2007 by siniguez in Enterprise 2.0

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Santiago Iñiguez, Dean and Professor of Strategy

You may have read about the historical episode, which happened at the time of the Battle of Waterloo (18th June 1815), that contributed decisively to build up Rothschild Family’s financial empire. Rothschild had offices in different European capitals and acted as lender to important individuals and institutions, including the British Crown in its efforts to beat Napoleon. They had a potent information network, composed of messengers, carrier pigeons and regional offices, which earned them the reputation of being first with the news. When their informers reported "the scoop" of Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, Rothschild agents in London started to sell stocks, acting as if the French had won. Many other brokers, unaware of the British victory, replicated Rothschild’s initiative, causing the crash of stock prices. Shortly before news about the victory reached London, Rothschild started to buy stocks. As a result, the family amassed a huge fortune.Applestocken

This episode epitomises the economic value of scoops and being first with the news. In the early 19th century, the elapsed time between the occurrence of events and their reporting could be many hours or even days. Nowadays, it may take just seconds. Perhaps a defining moment in the realisation (at least mine) of the power of blogs took place recently when Engadget (no.1 blog according to Technorati) inaccurately reported an Apple product-release delay causing Apple, in six minutes, to lose 4 billion dollars in stock market capitalisation. As you can see from Apple Inc price chart, (Zoom "1m") it quickly recovered.

Futhermore the web and multiple complementary devices, such as instant text messaging and “Twitter”, (Ogilvy PR Interactive Marketing Team´s view of it) have amplified the sources of information and anyone can virtually report about events as they attend them, even providing live pictures or video (e.g. "London Bombing Pictures Mark New Role for Camera Phones"). In addition, the channels of distribution have become massive, cheap and universally accessible. We live in the age of real time information, conditions that changes the way managers understand business and the time and forms of decision making processes.

For example, how much time do you take to respond to an e-mail or a text message? When ordinary mail was the prevalent channel of business communication it took days or weeks to get answers to letters. Facsimile machines reduced response time to hours. Today, agile managers answer text messages in minutes. Moreover, courtesy demands that light messages are answered on the same day and that messages that require elaborated responses take no more than two days –unless they are urgent. My golden rule is that e-mails should be answered, at most, on the same week. In order to comply with this I regularly dedicate the needed time over weekends to get updated.

In an interesting post published in Harvard Business Online Tammy Erickson explains that the “use of technology is heavily centered in Gen Y today. About half of Y’s surveyed say they sent or received a text message over the phone within the past day, approximately double the proportion of those in Gen X. It’s something that will, however, grow in use and eventually enter the world of business”. I am sure you have heard mentions of the "Blackberry withdrawal", felt by "Crackberries" when they cannot access their email. There is even TwitterBerry,  used to write those previously mentioned Twitter updates on a Blackberry.

I am intrigued about further developments of instant messaging devices. For example, how can mobile telephones, which are truly ubiquitous, (and especially Wifi-enabled ones) be used effectively as an education tool?

23
May

THE LINK WITH STRATEGY

Written on May 23, 2007 by Ianna Contardo in Strategic marketing

Ianna contardo
The method combines neurobiology, psychoanalysis, linguistics, art theory and other social sciences to clarify cognitive mental models that guide consumer behavior. The great advantage consists in exploring not just the analytical, more rational part of the brain but also to finally listen to the “right” side of the brain where emotions, feelings and fears are nested. By adding this dimension marketers may finally achieve intensity, texture or depth in the responses from consumers. They may also organize them as to provide greater clarity in the decision making process in terms of “what it is” that makes their products more attractive, more familiar, more balanced, more enjoyable, more outdated and more universal.

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21
May

Ianna Contardo
Strategic marketing is a luxury product. It can be said to be a result of progress in developed societies that have covered basic human needs like shelter and hunger. Nonetheless, given the quick development of strategic marketing in the last decades, the discipline has suffered from a lack of penetration in the habits of practitioners who can hardly keep up with the changes. The methods therefore rarely fully satisfy those in the marketplace who then have to make vital decisions for their organizations without completely addressing the complexities of consumer behavior. Questions such as: how do I stand out from competitors? How do I lock in my consumers while I explore also new segments or new geographical markets? How can I reinforce the values of my brand and position myself in the maze of the innumerous advertising messages? And how do I expand, innovate or capture greater value with my products? are key questions to any successful firm’s strategy. Yet these interrogations demand great understanding and thorough research tools to reach out for the richness and complexity of the consumer’s mind.

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17
May

The power of networks and knowledge specialization

Written on May 17, 2007 by Néstor Miranda Carús in Innovation

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Néstor Miranda Carús
In the last decade, the importance of knowledge workers and integration networks has increased significantly. We are living a new era of globalization through communication and people interaction, and that is making traditional functional and even matrix organization designs obsolete.
Traditional functional organizations were designed to optimize the allocation of resources and the operational effectiveness of industrial corporations. Professional employees were grouped by functional area, putting all the specialized knowledge to work together and with very little contact with colleges in different departments. Communications between departments was restricted to the top executives in each area, and as companies started expanding into new businesses this organization first became divisional and later with international expansion it became multinational, transnational an finally a territorial/product matrix.
In this complex organizational environment, every knowledge worker has created his own internal and external cross functional interaction network and knowledge shared by employees or by groups of professional with different backgrounds is becoming the new form of specialization that makes every individual inside an organization a valuable asset.
Individuals and groups have the product and market knowledge and are the only ones that can bring innovation and open new markets for the company they are working for.
Companies are now starting to understand the value of these specialized multi-functional networks and realizing its strategic potential. Many enterprises are now adopting a global organizational design and using the best specialized resources no matter where they are located and encouraging them to expand their functions and start bringing in the innovative ideas that will help firms launch new business initiatives.

10
May

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Néstor Miranda Carús
Are you working for a well established enterprise?
Do you share this disquieting feeling that nothing really exciting is happening in your organization, that everything really interesting and cool is happening elsewhere and that you may be missing the opportunity to enjoy the great experience of working for a company that is influencing the life of millions of people and changing the business landscape?
Do you see fear in the eyes of your management team to a sudden change in the market caused by a new small start-up competitor lead by a group of highly motivated and skilled techies that are coming up with a disruptive innovation that was never imagined by anyone in your company and nobody knows how to compete with?
Do you find yourself under an always increasing pressure to cope with the cost structure of a dynamic competitor that has outsourced most of his supply chain, product design and/or non critical IT infrastructure to a low cost offshore location, re-focused its activities to further develop its core competences and capabilities and is eroding your customer base?
Maybe someone in your organization should shout high and loud that it is time to start thinking about what is really happening in the business world and do something about it.
Everything you knew about your business is changing too rapidly; customers are becoming more informed, powerful and organized, the boundaries between industries and markets are disappearing making impossible to predict who will be your next competitor, traditional suppliers are developing new capabilities and escalating up the value chain.
All this is happening simultaneously and in a short period of time while the structure of traditional organizations is not designed to absorb that many changes, it is designed to optimize operations, maintain loyal customer bases whose needs rarely change, develop functional managers always ready to follow the bright mind of a solid and industry proven leader but with very little empowerment, initiative or understanding of their overall business environment.
What is happening out there ?
What can we do to move our company to a new organizational model that allows our people to respond as fast as this new global, hiper-competitive and customer driven market requires?
My view is that the only way to for companies survive such a dramatic change in the business landscape is to try to reproduce internally the social and technical elements that are causing the changes; maybe we should call it environmental adaptation, but most of the driving forces behind the scene described in this article have a lot to do with globalization, Internet and the new social collaboration tools that have configured Web 2.0. Profesor Andrew McAfee has called it Enterprise 2.0. I like the parallelism and though I think that reconfiguring organizations will take a lot more that just using Wikis and Blogs inside the enterprise, I´d like to adopt the term to describe the need for this new approach to organizational design that I´d like to develop further in cooperation with you, members of the IE Communities and readers of this Strategy Blog.

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