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Goldman Sachs: The 10,000 Women Initiative

by Christopher Marquis Catherine Ross V. Kasturi Rangan

Goldman Sachs' five-year, $100 million philanthropic initiative to provide practical business and management education to 10,000 women around the globe recently celebrated its first anniversary and over 1,200 women were either enrolled in, or graduated from sponsored certificate programs. The case describes the conception, development and implementation of the initiative and outlines some key strategic decisions facing the firm as they roll-out the program over the coming years. These include: how to organize the network of schools that deliver the educational services, how to determine the best outside partners to provide additional services for the women entrepreneurs, how to best assess the impact of the program, and finally the extent to which the initiative provides contributions to the long-term strategy of the firm.

The Home Depot, Inc.

by Catherine Ross Zeynep Ton

Home Depot popularized the concept of "do-it-yourself" for customers eager to build, repair, and improve their own homes. Home Depot stores were stocked with a wide range of home-improvement goods and had knowledgeable employees ready to help customers choose the right products, tools, and materials and even explain how to use them. To some extent, Home Depot store managers "did it themselves" as well. For its first 20 years, Home Depot was known for its entrepreneurial spirit and was run rather informally. Store managers, who tended to be experts in home improvement, made their own merchandise-planning decisions and had considerable autonomy in running their stores. Purchasing was also decentralized. As it grew in size, many in the company believed that a more disciplined approach to operations would be important for further growth. In 2000, the company hired Bob Nardelli, a former GE senior executive, to lead the change. As chairman and CEO, Nardelli centralized merchandising and purchasing and brought process discipline to store operations, simplifying and standardizing store processes and introducing Six Sigma quality methodology. Nardelli's changes led to higher profitability. Nevertheless, Home Depot's stock price remained nearly unchanged during his tenure and certain aspects of customer service suffered significantly. These results raise an important question not only for Home Depot, but also for other companies in which employees perform both routine production-related activities and nonroutine customer-service activities: Is there a trade-off between process discipline and customer service? If so, what aspects of customer service?

HP: The Computer is Personal Again

by Catherine Ross Rajiv Lal

In September 2008, Todd Bradley, executive vice president of Hewlett-Packard Company's Personal Systems Group (PSG) gathered his thoughts before a meeting with his top executives and managers for product design and marketing. On the agenda was a discussion of strategic next steps for the group. Hewlett-Packard (HP), a technology company providing a wide range of products and services including computers, handheld devices, servers and digital entertainment, employed 172,000 people and posted $104 billion in sales in 2007. PSG, one of HP's three major divisions, offered notebook and desktop personal computers, handheld mobile computing devices, monitors, workstations, and related support services. Bradley's PSG had played an important role in HP's financial success over the previous three years.

JBS Swift & Co.

by Catherine Ross David E. Bell

Brazilian meat packer JBS surprised many in the U.S. beef industry when it acquired Swift & Co.--a company more than five times its size--in 2007, then moved to acquire the U.S.'s fourth and fifth largest beef producers in 2008. The new JBS Swift slashed costs and restructured, turning around a quarterly loss of $99 million to a gain of $140 million within 6 months. JBS aimed to position itself to supply beef markets around the world, but it faced a perfect storm of rising feed and fuel prices, a global credit crisis and industry analysts skeptical about the company's debt load.

Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness

by Catherine Ross Cheryl K. Contant Jason Barringer Scott Cmapbell Adjo A. Amekudzi Tridib Banerjee

The concept of "the city" --as well as "the state" and "the nation state" --is passé, agree contributors to this insightful book. The new scale for considering economic strength and growth opportunities is "the megaregion," a network of metropolitan centers and their surrounding areas that are spatially and functionally linked through environmental, economic, and infrastructure interactions. Recently a great deal of attention has been focused on the emergence of the European Union and on European spatial planning, which has boosted the region's competitiveness. Megaregions applies these emerging concepts in an American context. It addresses critical questions for our future: What are the spatial implications of local, regional, national, and global trends within the context of sustainability, economic competitiveness, and social equity? How can we address housing, transportation, and infrastructure needs in growing megaregions? How can we develop and implement the policy changes necessary to make viable, livable megaregions? By the year 2050, megaregions will contain two-thirds of the U.S. population. Given the projected growth of the U.S. population and the accompanying geographic changes, this forward-looking book argues that U.S. planners and policymakers must examine and implement the megaregion as a new and appropriate framework. Contributors, all of whom are leaders in their academic and professional specialties, address the most critical issues confronting the U.S. over the next fifty years. At the same time, they examine ways in which the idea of megaregions might help address our concerns about equity, the economy, and the environment. Together, these essays define the theoretical, analytical, and operational underpinnings of a new structure that could respond to the anticipated upheavals in U.S. population and living patterns.

Purolator Courier Ltd.

by Catherine Ross Rajiv Lal

On a fall day in September 2003, Robert Swanborough made his way down a thickly carpeted hallway in Purolator's headquarters in Toronto, Canada, toward a meeting with his two deputies. Several months earlier, Swanborough, then vice-president of Marketing, had been named vice-president for Sales Effectiveness atop a transformed sales division. The previous week, the team had presented to top management the results of the customer segmentation research that Swanborough had contracted while in marketing. The research identified customers that would be willing to pay more for the services that Purolator was or could potentially provide to them. The new Sales Effectiveness team planned ....

The Robin Hood Foundation

by Catherine Ross Alnoor Ebrahim

Created by hedge fund and financial managers, the Robin Hood Foundation fights poverty through grants to nonprofit organizations. As the global financial crisis continues to impact the poor disproportionately, the Foundation needs to ensure that its funds are being spent on the most effective poverty-fighting programs. The organization's senior vice president, Michael Weinstein, has developed a benefit-cost (BC) approach to analyze the performance of program grants. How effective is the method? Is funding programs with the highest BC ratios a good way to fight poverty? In three or five years, how will Robin Hood know whether it is succeeding?

Roll Back Malaria and BCG: the Change Initiative

by Catherine Ross Rachel Gordon Nava Ashraf

Roll Back Malaria, a global partnership dedicated to fighting malaria has not met its founders' expectations of effectively combatting malaria. In 2005, after several internal evaluations, RBM leadership has decided to engage the Boston Consulting Group to work on a Change Initiative that when completed will enable RBM to address the eradication of malaria both more effectively and through larger scale efforts. However, the Initiative has become derailed after BCG's first major presentation to the RBM board. Will this end the Change Initiative prematurely?

Sex At Work Bundle

by Kimberly Kaye Terry Megan Hart Catherine Ross

A radio call-in talk show host has an after-hours caller who offers the best phone sex she's ever had. A bodacious personal trainer fulfills her wildest sexual fantasies...by astral projection. A drab office worker transforms herself at night into the sex goddess of the blogosphere. These passionate ladies make the astonishing discovery that the most tantalizing, exciting sex of their lives can be enjoyed from afar. Here are three delecatably naughty erotic tales from Spice Briefs available at one low price. Bundle includes Come Back to Me by Kimberly Kaye Terry, Psychic Sex by Cathleen Ross and This is What I Want by Megan Hart.

Target: Responding to the Recession

by Catherine Ross Ranjay Gulati Rajiv Lal

Within 10 months of Gregg Steinhafel's taking over as CEO at Target, the U.S. was mired in the most significant economic downturn in 50 years. Top competitor Wal-Mart had positioned itself well for the crisis, while Target's same store sales began to slide. While Steinhafel believed that Target's long-term strategy and positioning were right, he pondered a set of strategic and operational challenges. Did Target have the right mix of offensive and defensive tactics to weather the downturn and position itself for the economy's eventual recovery? How far could Target go in emphasizing low price-the "pay less" side of its slogan-without eroding the company's core promise of offering unique and upscale products that customers would not see at other low-priced retailers? Would the benefits of adding fresh food to Target's general merchandise stores outweigh the associated challenges?

Youth Villages

by Catherine Ross Allen Grossman William Foster

Tennessee-based nonprofit Youth Villages had an impressive record of serving emotionally and behaviorally troubled youth and their families, with higher success rates and lower costs than most child services providers. Yet expanding to offer its services on a broader scale proved challenging.

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