Business use of “social network analysis” is in the news — and is a topic featured in the Winter 2009 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review.
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As the airline industry struggles — again — through a new round of challenges, some experts still see a profitable way forward. Is management-employee collaboration still possible? Long-time observer Thomas Kochan weighs in.
“Political influence may come at the cost of lower productivity,” explains Anders Olofsgård, a senior fellow at the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics at the Stockholm School of Economics. “Politicians are expecting something in return from you. One way to pay back politicians is through jobs. So you may be locked into keeping higher employment than you otherwise might be.” Olofsgård and co-author Raj M. Desai, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, argue that bloated staffs are no bargain for any company.
Obesity in the United States has reached crisis proportions. Is this yet another societal problem to be loaded onto the shoulders of business leaders? For several reasons, the answer is yes — and some companies are already showing what can be done to turn the tide.
Clashes between bottom line-oriented managers (stewards) and creative technical employees (creators) may be inevitable. But when those conflicts aren’t managed well, a company’s ability to innovate may be at risk.
Reaping the elusive productivity rewards of information technology requires that an organization must change the way it does business. Schneider National took that dictum to heart and became a trucking and logistics powerhouse.
Although IT portfolio management has been a best practice for some time now, many companies are still getting returns from IT investments that are below their potential. New studies show that a measurable premium can be gained by implementing a set of interlocking business practices and processes, collectively called “IT savvy.”
In many organizations, the corporate marketing function has lost budget, head count, influence and confidence, resulting in strategic consequences that run deeper than many senior managers may realize. The question is not how to rebuild the marketing center, but how to disperse marketing competenceacross the organization.
People commonly talk about the energy (or lack thereof) associated with certain individuals or company initiatives. Managers can translate such talk into action that creates more energy, improves performance and fosters learning.
The more companies outsource, the more they approach virtual organization, with knowledge centers interacting through mutual interest and electronic systems. To mitigate the risks associated with reduced authority, companies must develop “best in world” capabilities, leverage the capabilities of others and innovate constantly. The author shows how to slash innovation cycle times and costs by 60%-90% and develop the full potential of intellectual outsourcing.
A platform is a collection of components, processes, knowledge, people, and relationships shared by a set of products, allowing companies to efficiently develop differentiated products and to better meet customer needs. The authors describe the benefits and challenges of platform planning, presenting three underlying ideas, a method for planning a new product platform, and recommendations for managing the process.
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