Sunday Strategies

Management is an-ever changing discipline, as you know.   And when you set it against a backdrop of changing capabilities distributed around the world, to me it leads to only a few conclusions:
  • We'll always be learning.
  • Good ideas will come from everywhere.
  • When we think we are on top, we're almost surely wrong.
  • Humility and striving are better guarantors of enduring relevance than arrogance and self-congratulation.
So, coffee pots on and let's get at it!
  1. Fresh from today's NY Times – Tom Friedman tells a story of pure necessity-driven innovation: the Aakash, from India.  A bottom-of-the-pyramid story that proves why, when thinking big, that resource constraints rather than resource abundance are essential.  Makes me wonder – what could each of us to do innovate a stripped down-open source product that costs half our current fully-loaded price, but which would open up big markets?
    Relatedly, Mukund Chopra sent along this great story – another about India – that showed how one company, Bharti Airtel, managed to turn the constraints that it faced into huge innovation advantages.
  2. What language will matter most to the future?  English, but with a spin.  See the article from the WSJ to discover how you can learn tomorrow's lingua franca.
  3. Toss out the bad apples.  Bob Sutton continues his campaign against the a-holes that make work awful (and they exist in universities, too!) in this great, short read in the WSJ.  Point: fire these people.  Getting rid of them will raise performance (because the rest of us will be so grateful!).  Forward this one to your CEO…
  4. Steve Jobs is dead but Apple will live on.  But as what? And who can we learn from Jobs' own choices – can Steve Jobs make our organizations better?  A post mortem round up courtesy of two of your fellow readers…
  5. I'm a fan of Occupy Wall St., mostly because of the arguments made in this book about the societal, health and personal consequences of diminished social inequality.  But as business people, we have to probe deeper.  Is there a danger that the inequality that the current system of capitalism has bred will lead to undesirable outcomes?  Read on and you choose…
  6. System crash: how a rogue trader blew up UBS.    Not surprisingly, such individuals are, apparently, more reckless than psychopaths.  So who's in the office next to yours…?
  7. How Apple's supply chain creates advantage.  (So it's not just great design, a terrific OS, and cool stores?)  Point: you can build advantage anywhere.  Apple is what happens when you build it everywhere.
  8. Is a drug dealer's business model ethical?  Or a tobacco company's?  Or gambling, or any other industry where addiction is possible?  Spending is an addiction too.  Here's the science behind it.  On a related note, here's what marketing and advertising do to keep that addiction going.
  9. Reinvention corner:  how to make pizza grow.  Thanks to Niral Vora for finding this one…
  10. Business is about decisions, right?  Often, that's true.  But are there good heuristics available to us about decision making, and should we be aware of mental traps that get in the way? Yes!
  11. That's the good news.  Here's the bad news:  many people are massively and falsely overconfident.  Don't believe me – but believe the guy who changed how the world thinks about rationality and managed to win a Nobel prize in the process
Stay tuned for more next week!
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2 Comments

  1. Sean
    Posted November 20, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Hi Doug, I really love these weekly strategies you send out! Please keep them coming!

  2. Jack
    Posted November 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Hi Doug. You seem very pro "occupy wall street" and while I can understand what they are fighting for, it seems that the people fighting are the homeless and the dislocated. Isn't it time to clean up our streets and cities?

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