Emerging Markets

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Innovation Lessons From China

China is becoming the best place to learn how to make ideas commercially viable, even as many multinational companies are growing increasingly wary of doing business there because of concerns about unfair competition and theft of intellectual property. Chinese companies excel at cost reduction, accelerated product development and networked production — and know how to assess what they can do and quickly find partners to fill the gaps.

Image courtesy of chotuKool.

How Disruptive Will Innovations from Emerging Markets Be?

Companies located in developing countries are currently serving billions of local consumers with innovative and inexpensive products. But what happens when more of those companies make the leap into more developed markets? Is it inevitable that these companies will overtake the more developed companies? Using historical examples, this article looks at how disruptors and incumbents compete. For incumbents, knowing that much of their fate rests in their hands is half the battle won.

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Is It Time to Rethink Your Manufacturing Strategy?

Since the mid-1990s, many companies have outsourced or offshored their manufacturing operations. For most, one crucial enabling factor was cheap oil: Long supply lines were economically feasible because transportation costs were relatively low. Hence, companies emphasized reducing manufacturing costs through (1) offshoring or outsourcing; (2) plant rationalization; and (3) consolidating distribution centers and warehouses to reduce inventory levels and minimize fixed facility costs.

Image courtesy of KONE Corp.

The Art of Piloting New Initiatives

Successful multinationals get that way by finding better ways to leverage operational improvements across the entire company. But developing such superior processes is not easy. New operational ideas fail for many reasons. One of the most common is not that the idea was bad, but that the developers set up a pilot that failed to persuade managers in the units that the process was an improvement. Successful pilots share three qualities: credibility, replicability and feasibility.

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Image courtesy of Flickr user gak.

Flat World, Hard Boundaries – How To Lead Across Them

While technological innovations have revolutionized the workplace, it is ironic that relational boundaries — obstacles to productive human interactions — remain largely unchanged. This article identifies five types of such boundaries, and suggests that all five of them may be overcome when collaborative and creative leaders engage in six boundary spanning practices: buffering, reflecting, connecting, mobilizing, weaving and transforming.

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Innovation’s Silver Lining

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Innovation consultant Scott D. Anthony, author of a new book called “The Silver Lining: An Innovation Playbook for Uncertain Times,” calls the era we’re in “the great disruption” — a period when competitive advantage is temporary. And “no matter how tough the times, innovation happens,” Anthony observed.

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Learning from emerging markets

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Looking for new strategies for doing business in the recession? Consider strategies employed by companies from emerging markets — where economic volatility and constraints on consumer disposable income are commonplace.

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Networks of innovation

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Two innovation experts see great potential in “creation networks” that include companies from a variety of regions with specialized technical expertise.

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Innovation in emerging economies

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A recent National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper sheds light on the relationship between innovation and globalization in emerging economies.

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A company without headquarters

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The Economist this week highlights Lenovo, the Chinese computer company that some years back bought IBM's PC business, as an example of the new era of business innovation emerging from developing economies.

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How to Win in Emerging Markets

Though competitive barriers in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe are many, a look at the companies that are thriving there reveals some secrets that make success more likely.

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The Beneficent Dragon

Many pundits characterize the Chinese economy, now the world’s fourth largest, as a juggernaut that threatens America’s economic leadership. After all, China’s GDP growth in recent years has been three to four times our own, and its share of global exports has skyrocketed.

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Developing Leaders for the Global Frontier

Almost all companies polled by the authors in a three-year study that spanned firms in Europe, North America and Asia claim they lack an adequate number of globally competent leaders. The authors outline four strategies that are particularly effective in developing global leaders, who, their work reveals, cannot succeed without several core characteristics.

Showing 1-20 of 23