Operational Secrecy – Innovating in “secret”

A growing trend among companies is innovating in secret or maintaining operational secrecy. Reputed companies like Apple, Nike and Google foster an internal culture of secrecy and even leak information strategically to fuel public excitement before a product launch.

Boomerang CEOs aka Founder Recall

Lately, planned CEO successions wherein many companies have replaced CEOs with their predecessor or founders are on the rise. These returning CEOs or founders are preferred as they are insiders with previous CEO-level experience and charisma.

How companies listen to their customers

Customer insight matters to every company. But how does a company listen to its customers? A few examples on how some companies – Apple, HP and Xerox listen to their customers.

Developers as Happiness Engineers

Developers avoid being in a support role and make a big mistake. By communicating with customers, developers can make sure that their creation has met the end user’s needs and gain vital feedback on improving the software or application.

Management Gurus and what they are known for

There are many business leaders and management thinkers who have contributed and introduced various management theories or terms over the years. Here is a partial list of Business Strategy gurus or Management leaders and the term they coined or the strategy/management concept they are known for.

Apple’s Innovation Strategy

Apple is perhaps the most innovative company in the world, but how has it achieved such success and what is its approach to design thinking and innovation? This case study highlights the ingredients of Apple’s success and its strategy to innovation.

Nike – ERP Implementation Saga

In June 2000, Nike’s new supply-and-demand software planning system implementation from i2 Technologies had hiccups and led to losses of $400 million. This case study highlights the failure and subsequent success of ERP implementation in Nike’s supply chain project.

Ticket pricing strategy at the London 2012 Olympic Games

The London Olympics Organizing committee had to price over 8.8 million tickets for 26 sporting events. It was termed as the the daddy of all ticket strategies. This article highlights some important elements of the ticket pricing strategy.

Pricing Strategy – A few pointers

This article highlights a few pointers on pricing strategy used by companies like P&G, American Airlines, Starbucks and jcpenney. Some got it right and some wrong.

The Business Model A/B Test

Many successful businesses have demonstrated how you can test your business model before you take the plunge in the real world. This article highlights various examples and gives insights into building a successful business model.

The TOP program at Philips

Philips undertook various restructuring moves to improve the poor performance of the company in 2001. This article highlights the ‘Towards One Philips’ and ‘Strategic Conversations’ initiatives aimed at company-wide efficiency, integration and synergy-creation.

Best Buy’s radical experiment (ROWE) in workplace flexibility

This HR article talks about Best Buy’s radical experiment, a corporate culture initiative in workplace flexibility called ROWE. ROWE stands for “results-only work environment” and judges employees on output than the number of hours they spend in office.

A brand extension mistake by Harley Davidson

In the 1990s, Harley Davidson introduced a perfume to capitalize on the heritage brand. This was a mistake, as even the loyal H-D customers did not like it. H-D’s brand extension was a failure.

Pepsi’s Crystal Fiasco

In 1992, Pepsi introduced Crystal Pepsi in the market. However, after a very successful launch and $470 million in sales in the first year, it left the consumer confused. Pepsi learned a lesson and the product was quickly discontinued.

To create or compete

Companies today are stuck in the dilemma – whether to create or compete and are afraid that competitors will take away their market share. This article distinguishes between creating and competing and provides some examples.

Repeatability model for success

This article highlights the three principles of the Great Repeatable model with examples. Companies that adopt these principles can repeat their success, hence the name repeatable model.

Apple’s Four Quadrant product grid

This article highlights Apple’s Four Quadrant product grid revealed by Steve Jobs at the MacWorld Expo in 1998. Many companies like Google and HP are reducing their product complexity to focus on key areas and speed up decision making.