“Driving Radical Change” by Josep Isern and Caroline Pung

The article gave two necessities for experiencing and initiating successful change in the company. The two necessities to change are setting an appropriate and inspiring aspiration or vision, which allows the benefits of change to come alive to everyone in organization. The second is mobilizing ans sustaining the transformation engine by infusing energy. The majority of the article of outlined the guidelines for these necessities to change. I have outlined them below:

Guidelines:

Setting Aspirations – Getting off to a good start.

  • Define – Underline the importance of the change.
  • Design – Develop the architecture of the change to unsure understanding and mobility.
  • Focus – Bring the well defined and architected aspiration to reality by setting goals that allow people to be the right page.
  • Story – Communicate the story so to inspire and allow others to understand.

Energy and Ideas—to fuel the engine!

  • Ideas – Asking the who, what, how, why questions will open brilliant doors of opportunity for change
  • Energy – Catalysts to react with burst of energy!
  • Impact – Measure impact by initiating smaller set of high impact energy
  • Embed – Make change a commitment.
  • Personalize – Inspire through role models of changers.
  • Capabilities – Build new capabilities when things feel stale and stagnant.
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Keep the Brand, Keep the Customer by Kumar

As a marketing major, I enjoyed reading about the importance of brand strategy. The article began by describing how companies have had to create extensions and multiple brands due to niche and global marketing. With this extension, many times the brand and it importance is lost in translation. To keep the brand and its strategy held on high regard consider these steps:

  1. Make the Case: by understanding the brand weakness, strength, etc so that profitable brands are recognized and promoted (found profitable).
  2. Audit the brand: use the auditing information as a springboard for the future.
  3. Prune the Portfolio: Use different tactic, to asses the portfolio of brands and promote what is most profitable or develop in gapping areas.
  4. Liquidating the brands: by possible mergers or sell-offs
  5. Growing the Core brand: By creative in implementing new ways to grow and seek opportunities.

The DNA of Innovation by Dobni

In this article from the Journal of Business Strategy, a survey was taken among business management that concluded that innovation is important in discovering and developing a competitive advantage. It breaks down the make up of innovation and calls it the DNA. The sequence of innovation DNA is the following: Knowledge Management, Cluster Management, Value Management, and Alignment Management. From these splices of DNA, outcomes and impact occur which stimulate sustainable competitive advantage.

When You Shouldn’t Go Global by Marcus Alexander and Harry Korine

Although globalization of a strategy can save companies, launching a global move can be detrimental if it does not align with strategic options in the future. Senior managers can conduct a simple self assessment to gauge the likeliness of success globally. Look at the ideas of assessment and practice below:

Part 1: Ill-Fated Strategies

  1. Are there potential benefits for our company? – Aligning opportunities to benefits.
  2. Do we have the necessary management skills? – Aligning opportunities with resources.
  3. Will the costs out weigh the benefits? – Aligning the benefits with financial stability.

Beyond the test questions, understanding the industry and the needs for globalization and dangers of entering is important too.

Part 2: Globalization’s song

-Deregulated industries: many businesses today face growth opportunities that frequently cost far too much to enter.

– Service Industries

– Manufacturing Industries: Globalization is about the only way for them to grow beyond their means (many times but not every time).

Part 3: Continuing Danger

As companies recklessly pursue global expansion, the challenges and dangers of monetary loss and brand dismissal must be recognized.

Is Yours a Learning Organization? By David Garvin and Amy Edmondson

In this article the authors outline the tools used to pinpoint areas where a company needs to foster knowledge, idea development, learning from mistakes, and holistic thinking. In the volatile and unpredictable business  environment and competition, the tool set listed below can help organizations learn from others and their past.

Beginning with Building blocks,

Building block 1: A supportive learning environment: Physiologically safe, openness of ideas, appreciation of differences and reflection.

Building block 2: Concrete learning processes and practices: the cultivation should be effortless and be a process  and practice within the company.

Building Block 3: Leadership that reinforces learning.

Four principle of moving forward,

  1. Leadership alone is insufficient. – the company culture must reflect an atmosphere that values leaning the progress that comes from learning.
  2. Organizations are not monolithic. – Leaders must realize that a one-size-fits-all strategy for implementing learning is not successful.  
  3. Comparative performance is the critical scorecard. – Openness to new ideas and education/ training allow for higher scorecards.
  4. Learning is multidimensional. – Solving a single area of learning difficulty will not make an organization learn.

The tool of building blocks and four steps to moving do not define a learning organization but rather a mere report card of where a company lies in fostering learning fundamentals.

Customer Focus article: “Customer-Centered Brand Management” by Rust, Zeithaml, and Lemon

Brand management still trumps customer management in most large companies because it is seen as growth stimulant. When brand management is emphasized within the scope of customer service, the large corporate goal of growing customer equity is gained. Customer equity is focus of any successful brand because it no longer becomes about the brand but rather making the brand what the customer wants. Customer equity is defined as “the sum of the lifetime value of all the firm’s customers, across all the firm’s brands.” The value of the brand ultimately depends on the customers opinion of the brand or equity in the brand. The authors give ways to craft customer focus in the branding:

  1. Make brand decisions subservient to decisions about customer relationships.
  2. Build brands around customer segments, not the other way around.
  3. Make your brands as narrow as possible
  4. Plan brand extensions based on customer needs, not component similarity
  5. Develop the capability and the mind-set to hand off customers to other brands in the company.

When building customer equity, building brand equity is an important event in sequence to the process. By overcoming the blind spots in the brand management,  executives can deliberately form customer point of views that elevate the importance of the customer in the brand development.

Decision/ Intuition article:“Decision Making: going forward in reverse” by Einhorn and Hogarth

To understand thinking forward, an understanding of thinking backward is important. Thinking backward involves looking for patterns, making links, testing possibilities, and finding metaphors or theories. Thinking forward is not intuition based but depends on making predictions based on variables and mathematical formulations.  The authors suggest that many think backwards but there is a better way to thinking backwards. They give several approaches to improve thinking, which include the following: use several metaphors to experiment with, do not rely on one cue alone, sometimes go against the cues, assess causal chains, generate and test alternative explanations. When thinking forward, the authors give the following advice about following physiologically tested models : models make errors, models are static, and models are not worth their cost. Einhorn and Hogarth describe the two forms of thinking (backwards and forwards), and find that the two modes are not two dependant forms of decision making but interdependent. By putting the two modes of thinking as in interdependent form of decision making, allows managers and executives to make decisions with the best form of intuition and understanding.

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