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    1. The Dark Side of Efficient Markets

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Oct 15 2014)

      It is generally accepted that efficiency represents the optimal, aspirational state for any market. Efficient markets, which feature many buyers and sellers and perfect information flowing between them, determine the “right price” and hence allocate society’s resources optimally.

      Those are indeed positive features. But every good thing is like a face caressed by the sun. The rays that light and warm the face automatically cast a dark shadow behind it. The shadow of an efficient market is increased price volatility — quite the opposite of what we expect from efficient markets.

      Think about how markets evolve. We’ll take the ...

      (Read Full Article)

    2. Stop Trying to Control How Ex-Employees Use Their Knowledge

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Oct 9 2014)

      Stop Trying to Control How Ex-Employees Use Their Knowledge

      The free flow of workers between companies is central to economic growth and innovation. Yet employers are increasingly taking legal action to prevent former employees from using knowledge and skills learned on the job.

      More and more frequently, firms are asking new hires to sign post-employment agreements, which prevent former employees from working at rival firms or starting up their own companies in the industry.

      (Read Full Article)

      Mentions:   IBM   Apple   California

    3. How the Internet Saved Handmade Goods

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Aug 28 2014)

      How the Internet Saved Handmade Goods

      A recent article in The Economist, citing the work of Ryan Raffaelli at Harvard Business School, points to what it calls a “paradox” in the aftermath of disruptive innovation. Some old technologies, after being rendered obsolete by better and cheaper alternatives (indeed even after whole industries based on them have been decimated), manage to “re-emerge” to the point that they sustain healthy businesses. Think mechanical Swiss watches, now enjoying strong sales.

      (Read Full Article)

      Mentions:   Sony   Boston

    4. Employers Aren’t Just Whining – the “Skills Gap” Is Real

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Aug 25 2014)

      Employers Aren’t Just Whining – the “Skills Gap” Is Real

      Every year, the Manpower Group, a human resources consultancy, conducts a worldwide “Talent Shortage Survey.” Last year, 35% of 38,000 employers reported difficulty filling jobs due to lack of available talent; in the U.S., 39% of employers did. But the idea of a “skills gap” as identified in this and other surveys has been widely criticized.

      (Read Full Article)

    5. How Africa Is Challenging Marketing

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Jun 27 2014)

      How Africa Is Challenging Marketing

      For the first time, Western stereotypes associating Africa with death, disease, poverty, and war are being replaced by the reality of demanding, brand-conscious consumers who happen to live in a challenging environment. For too long, “Africa” has been considered a homogenous mass rather than a multicultural continent of diverse citizens.

      (Read Full Article)

      Mentions:   Africa   South Africa   Kenya

    6. Even Small Negotiations Require Preparation and Creativity

      Explore HBR Blog Network (May 30 2014)

      Even Small Negotiations Require Preparation and Creativity

      Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re negotiating all the time. When you ask your boss for more resources, agree with a vendor on a price, deliver a performance evaluation, convince a business partner to join forces with your company, or even when you decide with your spouse where to go on your next vacation, you’re taking a potentially conflict-filled conversation and working toward a joint solution.

      (Read Full Article)

    7. Why Silicon Valley Rules Don’t Work for So Many Older Companies

      Explore HBR Blog Network (May 22 2014)

      Why Silicon Valley Rules Don’t Work for So Many Older Companies

      We all have a lot to learn from the new generation of companies that have come out of the Silicon Valley revolution. Many of these entrepreneurial lessons have been codified in books, the new bibles for innovation — not just for entrepreneurs but also for managers looking to create new and innovative innovation businesses inside existing corporations.

      (Read Full Article)

    8. Will China Bring Your Firm New Owners, Partners, or Competitors?

      Explore HBR Blog Network (May 13 2014)

      Will China Bring Your Firm New Owners, Partners, or Competitors?

      Consumers in the United States are used to buying products that are made in China. American multinational firms are accustomed to selling to Chinese customers within China. But what happens when China goes West? What are the implications for corporate America when Chinese firms begin doing business in the U.S. and other developed markets?

      (Read Full Article)

      Mentions:   America   Africa   China

    9. Leaders Can No Longer Afford to Downplay Procurement

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Mar 28 2014)

      Leaders Can No Longer Afford to Downplay Procurement

      If you were asked to identify the most strategic and valued unit in your corporation, the procurement department would probably not come to mind. The term procurement itself has a very administrative connotation: It’s associated with buying ‘stuff’ for the lowest prices possible. Today’s corporations are directing more and more of their budgets toward a complex web of global specialist providers and suppliers to help deliver on their businesses’ core strategies.

      (Read Full Article)

    10. More CEOs Should Tell Anti-Environment Shareholders to Buzz Off

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Mar 11 2014)

      More CEOs Should Tell Anti-Environment Shareholders to Buzz Off

      Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said something to a shareholder that you very rarely hear: take a hike. I’m paraphrasing, but only slightly.

      At the company’s latest shareholder meeting, a think tank, NCPPR, pushed Apple to stop pursuing environmental initiatives like investing in renewable energy. Cook went on a tirade — or at least what passes for one from the very cool and collected CEO. He made it clear that he makes choices for reasons beyond just the profit motive.

      (Read Full Article)

      Mentions:   Apple   Walmart   Tim Cook

    11. Should Big Companies Give Up on Innovation?

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Mar 11 2014)

      Should Big Companies Give Up on Innovation?

      “Why bother?”

      It’s a common question thrown at me by entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, or the more cynically minded corporate leaders.

      That is, why bother trying to innovate if no matter what they do, large companies can no longer maintain a sustainable advantage and their life spans are just getting shorter and shorter?  Isn’t it better to hasten Joseph Schumpeter’s process of creative destruction and move capital and employment from inefficient dinosaurs to more vibrant and agile upstarts?

      (Read Full Article)

      Mentions:   Australia   India

    12. How Much Do Companies Really Worry About Climate Change?

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Mar 4 2014)

      How Much Do Companies Really Worry About Climate Change?

      Are managers particularly concerned about the impacts of climate change on their businesses? If we believe the results of a recent MIT Sloan and BCG survey, the answer is no. But it may not be that dire.

      First the sobering survey results: Only 27% of respondents agreed strongly that climate change is a risk to their business — which is frightening when you think about what that says about companies’ level of readiness for the significant changes that are upon us already (extreme weather, disruptions to operations and supply chains, and the changing expectations of customers and employees). Additionally, only 11 ...

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      Mentions:   Nike   Coca-Cola   Thailand

    13. Established Companies, Get Ready for the Collaborative Economy

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Mar 4 2014)

      Established Companies, Get Ready for the Collaborative Economy

      As more and more startups like Airbnb, Etsy and Kickstarter crowd into the space of the collaborative economy, big brands are starting to get in on the action, too.  Staples sells products developed on Quirky; Avis has acquired Zipcar; Walgreens has partnered with TaskRabbit for delivery.

      (Read Full Article)

      Mentions:   Canada

    14. Make the Most of Scarce Data-Mining Talent

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Jan 17 2014)

      The immense promise of big data to reveal new opportunities and deliver practical business results has so far been focused on technologies and models, and less on the human challenges of staffing roles and  processes to take advantage of big data’s promise. The technology may be abundant, but developing, recruiting and hiring the people to use it is becoming an acute challenge for Fortune 1000 companies.

      (Read Full Article)

    15. Is There Hope for Small Firms, the Have-Nots in the World of Big Data?

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Dec 10 2013)

      Is There Hope for Small Firms, the Have-Nots in the World of Big Data?

      Here’s a wishful vision of the future that’s even more radical than Amazon’s concept of delivery drones or Google’s robots: One day, small businesses will have access to affordable consumer data.

      Don’t yawn. This is a life-and-death issue for small businesses. Anyone who has worked in or around a supplier to a big consumer company—to a supermarket chain, for example—knows the value of information on shoppers’ preferences. If a supplier can use consumer data to shape its offerings and marketing strategies, it has a significantly better chance of survival than its data-deprived competitors.

      (Read Full Article)

      Mentions:   Google

    16. How Chinese Companies Can Develop Global Brands

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Nov 20 2013)

      How Chinese Companies Can Develop Global Brands

      China leads all emerging markets with 89 companies on the latest Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s largest. Yet it does not have a single representative on Interbrand’s list of the top 100 global brands. Also, while China’s outward-bound foreign direct investment (FDI) has grown from an annual average of below $3 billion before 2005 to more than $60 billion in 2010 and 2011, only one third of Chinese companies have seen international revenue meet expectations, according to Accenture.

      To many skeptical consumers in developed markets, Brand China still means lower quality. As has been the ...

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      Mentions:   Texas   Beijing   Asian

    17. Six Drucker Questions that Simplify a Complex Age

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Nov 6 2013)

      Six Drucker Questions that Simplify a Complex Age

      In 1981, Peter Drucker delivered a lecture at New York University titled “Managing the Increasing Complexity of Large Organizations.” Drawing on lessons from the auto industry, banking and beyond, he offered provocative prescriptions for coping in a world in which “the real challenge is to decide what you are doing” in the face of tremendous “technological change or market change.”

      (Read Full Article)

    18. What’s Different About Enterprise IT in Africa

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Nov 6 2013)

      What’s Different About Enterprise IT in Africa

      Anyone following developments in the African IT space from afar can be forgiven for thinking that it’s all about the consumer, and that applications and services for business lag far behind. That’s understandable — the growth of the consumer mobile market in Africa has been spectacular.

      I have held the view for a while, though, that it is mobile enterprise applications, especially when adopted widely by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), that will set off the real IT boom in Africa. Recent tours in several countries have only strengthened this conviction, and made clearer to me how the coming ...

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      Mentions:   Oracle   Africa   SAP

    19. The Pitfalls (and Upsides) of Partnering with Entrepreneurs

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Oct 18 2013)

      The Pitfalls (and Upsides) of Partnering with Entrepreneurs

      To en·gage  ( n-g j ): To pledge or promise, especially to marry; to draw into; to involve; to enter into conflict with

      Corporate executives are exhorted daily by well-meaning public leaders that they should support their local entrepreneurs in order to be good corporate citizens and to bolster local economies. But engagement with entrepreneurs is not a question of conscience or moral imperative; it is a question of strategic self-interest.

      (Read Full Article)

    20. When You’re Innovating, Think Inside the Box

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Oct 8 2013)

      When You’re Innovating, Think Inside the Box

      A company noticed a strange anomaly: One of its manufacturing plants had a significantly lower scrap rate. That little finding and its consequences illustrate a point that managers often overlook in their search for innovation: Sometimes it’s better to think inside the box.

      Companies spend a lot of time and effort trying to adapt ideas from other industries and other disciplines, but I would guess there’s at least one idea lurking within your own company that you could use to great advantage. That’s why I say think inside the box – the box being your organization. Of course ...

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    21. Three Signs That You Should Kill an Innovative Idea

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Sep 24 2013)

      Three Signs That You Should Kill an Innovative Idea

      Whether you’re a digital start-up or an institutional entrepreneur, three simple heuristics offer an excellent way to determine whether a fledgling innovation initiative should be put out of its misery (and yours).  Even if the innovation business case appears compelling and its numbers sound, should these three pathologies appear, don’t hesitate or delay: Kill your innovation effort ASAP.

      1) No Pleasant Surprises

      Almost all innovation efforts have the hiccoughs and bumps in the road. Design schedules invariably slip and that “quick-and-dirty” prototype ends up costing much more than expected. That’s normal. But listen closely for and pay ...

      (Read Full Article)

    22. The Danger of Wellness Programs: Don't Become the Next Penn State

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Aug 20 2013)

      The Danger of Wellness Programs: Don't Become the Next Penn State

      Penn State University's wellness program has become every human resources director's worst nightmare: national news. Partly this is because two of the school's professors — Matthew Woessner and Brian Curran — did a much better job organizing their colleagues in opposition to the wellness program than, for example, CVS employees did when they were subject to a similarly intrusive program.   But also partly this was because Woessner and Curran struck a chord with millions of employees everywhere who have started posting similar stories of invasion of privacy, misinterpreted lab values, unnecessary test expenses, and even loss of low-cost insurance ...

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      Mentions:   Walmart

    23. The Problem with Procurement

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Aug 2 2013)

      The Problem with Procurement

      Back in 1983, in a Harvard Business Review article, Peter Kralijc called for the procurement function to take on a larger and more strategic role in managing the supply chain. Thirty years on, sales people in most large companies are still being trained in ways to actually bypass procurement folks in their customer companies. This is not evidence of people taking the function seriously. What went wrong? To find out, we conducted a survey with close to 200 procurement executives, in Asia and in Europe. We found pretty conclusively that procurement managers are their own worst enemy, both with external ...

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      Mentions:   Asia

    24. Five Ways to Innovate Faster

      Explore HBR Blog Network (Jul 30 2013)

      Five Ways to Innovate Faster

      One of the most common complaints senior executives have about disruptive innovation is its seemingly snail-like pace. How is it, they wonder, that it takes us forever to pursue ideas that promise to create new markets when the world seems to be innovating at a dizzying pace? This frustration is compounded by the fact that the usual levers senior executives use to get things to go faster — creating tight deadlines, flooding the project with resources, checking in more frequently — don't seem to work, and in many cases cause teams working on disruptive ideas to actually go slower. Why is ...

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      Mentions:   IBM

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