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Teaches students to diagnose the circumstances under which time pressure can facilitate or hinder creativity. A team's creative "genius", Miles Grady, who previously conceptualized a revolutionary material for an important new product, must now significantly change that material so that the team can create an entirely new business. This early new business development project, while supported by management, has a looming deadline for proof-of-concept. The deadline has already been extended, but the team does not seem close to the breakthrough it needs. The team's leader, Stanley Carmine, who has managed to get a few weeks' extension from management, needs to figure out how best to manage Grady under the looming deadline. He studies Grady's past "daily laboratory logs" to discover the connections, if any, between time pressure, other circumstances, and Grady's level of creativity.
As any experienced manager will tell you, being an effective delegator is crucial to using everyone's time, skills, and knowledge appropriately. Without it, today's talents go underdeployed, tomorrow's talents go undeveloped, and some people--especially ineffective delegators themselves--get overused or burned out. Many practical guides, however, treat delegation as a technical challenge, or one with tried and true solutions and methodologies, when for most people, delegation is actually an adaptive challenge. This chapter looks at how one manager tackled the delegation challenge, overcoming his immunity to change. This chapter is excerpted from "Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential In Yourself and Your Organization."
This chapter uses the case study of cdnow.com to explore the direct-to-customer e-business model, illustrating the critical success factors and core competencies necessary to maximize this deceptively simple model.
In 1988, the Du Pont Co. is abruptly confronted with solid scientific evidence that chlorofluorocarbons are destroying the earth's ozone shield. Du Pont, with its Freon brand product line serving markets for foam insulation, electronics solvents, and especially refrigeration, was the world's leading producer of these chemicals. Although no substitutes were currently commercially available, or even proven, Du Pont had to decide what to do. The purpose of the case is to examine how changing science and environmental problems affect competitive conditions and corporate strategy. In particular, the case examines the criteria by which companies formulate policy.
Farmacias Similares, serving Mexico's low-income sector, grew to $600 million sales and 3,400 drugstores while deep reforms to help the poor swept the public health system. Adjacent to each store, for $2 per visit, medical clinics provided access to doctors for 2.3 million people a month. Narrates the growth of the chain, examines the reasons for its success, and projects a pro forma of the company's financial returns. Places Farmacias Similares in the context of Mexico's public health system and the pharmaceutical industry.
Creativity, the production of new and useful ideas by individuals or teams, can appear in many forms and many functions within firms of all kinds--from entrepreneurial start-ups to well-established enterprises. This note describes the varieties of creativity in organizations, and dispels common myths about what creativity is. Proposes a method for recognizing creativity, outlines the necessary components for individual creativity, and introduces a model of how organizational influences can affect creativity. Critiques some common methods for enhancing creativity, and discusses how creativity can result in innovation.
Mibanco, a microfinance icon, is for sale and Edyficar, owned by BCP, Peru's largest bank, is evaluating its acquisition. Until recently, such a transaction would have been fanciful given Mibanco's pre-eminent role in Peruvian microfinance which has made it the country's fifth largest bank. The case examines why Mibanco is on the block, while also relating the evolution of Edyficar and its own acquisition by BCP (Banco del Credito) several years earlier. Percy Urteaga, Edyficar's CEO, and Gianfranco Ferrari, the chair of his board and senior BCP executive, must decide whether to go forward and, if so, at what price.
Presents a framework for leading change in institutions or society, showing leaders how to manage political, economic, or social change by mapping their targets (policy, programs, or people/culture) and choice of action vehicle (single organizations or coalitions of organizations).
Examines the decision of a hedge fund manager who is considering investing in a retail stock. The protagonist is concerned about the retailer's inventory level. Explores the relationship between the retailer's inventory and future earnings--and, hence, the relationship between inventory level and stock price.
In May 2012, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) founded edX, a new non-profit joint venture that would provide a platform for massive open online courses (MOOCs). edX did not produce original courses or instructional content-it made a web platform through which Harvard and MIT, and subsequently dozens more "partner" universities, could offer their lecture courses as MOOCs. While the future role of MOOCs in higher education remained a topic of public debate, edX needed to answer concrete managerial and strategic questions. For example, what should edX's scope be? Should edX try to develop a consumer brand of its own, or rely on the brands of its partners? And how could edX monetize its services to recoup Harvard and MIT's investments and reward participating universities? This case presented the history of edX and the online education market as background for a discussion about edX's strategic choices.
The owner of the Fan Pier site in South Boston has been found legally responsible for blocking the efforts of his development partner in attaining the approval necessary to build the $800 million megaproject they had planned together. It was believed that the owner hoped to structure a new relationship with some other partner who would share more of the economic benefits. The feuding partners need to decide how to handle the recent ruling. This case provides an opportunity to expose students to megaprojects: issues of partnership, design, architecture, changing marketing, and local politics play large roles.
In January 2005, China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO) announced it would join the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). At that time, COSCO initiated sustainability reporting practices in line with the UNGC, and over the next six years these efforts evolved into an information technology platform integrating all the company's sustainability processes and indicators. In fall 2011, the company's leadership considered the following strategic questions: To what extent should COSCO refer to international and domestic sustainability standards in the platform framework? How far should COSCO go in promoting the sustainability system as a stand-alone product? What were the next steps in sustainability reporting, and should COSCO try to attain even higher reporting standards in the future? Moreover, related issues facing the company included: What would be the value in reaching higher sustainability and reporting standards, and how would internal and external stakeholders react? What challenges lay ahead for the consistent implementation of higher standards across COSCO's subsidiaries?
Encouraging creativity is an important element to successful innovation. This chapter debunks certain myths about creativity and discusses the role of individual creativity and creative groups. The chapter offers six steps you can take to be more creative yourself and encourage creativity in your work groups.
A second-year Harvard MBA student considers the pros and cons of three job offers. He identifies several concerns and evaluates each job in terms of how well they meet these concerns. He assesses probabilities for whether the jobs will be successful for him.
In May 2012, a young employee at Google's London office, Markus Berger, was thinking whether he should quit his job and go after his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Berger's idea was to create Dinr, a company that would offer an upscale food ingredient delivery service in London. A customer would choose a recipe on Dinr's website and would receive all premeasured ingredients the same evening at their doorstep. Contrary to many existing similar companies, Dinr would not require a weekly subscription, but would operate one-off orders like other traditional food delivery services. Berger had already carried out an Alpha-test of the service and completed an in-depth survey of potential customers to explore the market. Most of the feedback was positive, which confirmed Berger's intuition about this market opportunity. Berger had found a more experienced co-founder with technical expertise, who was willing to join Dinr part-time and gathered 40,000 of initial capital. Yet, making the decision to leave his corporate job and become an entrepreneur was not easy: was Dinr a good business opportunity? Would it be attractive to outside investors? What were the risks involved?
In 1996, a meningitis epidemic swept across Nigeria. Thousands of children were struck and, lacking appropriate medicine, were liable to die from the disease. Doctors at Pfizer had an antibiotic that could probably save most of these children's lives. The drug was new, however, and had not yet undergone clinical trials with children. The company must decide whether to use the Nigerian outbreak as the site for a new and potentially risky trial.
In April 2014, Hector Guerra (GMP 16) was discussing his company's dilemma with his living group of the General Management Program (GMP) at the Harvard Business School. Guerra was Vice President of Operations at Evans Food, a $100 million company, which produced pork rinds - salty snacks made out of pork skin - and sold at some of the largest US retailers such as HEB, Meijer, ALDI and Wal-Mart. In the last few years, the cost of pork skin had increased dramatically but Evans Food's selling price to its customers had not kept pace with the increase in raw material costs. The company was losing money on some of the largest accounts but it seemed difficult, if not impossible, to seek price increase from multibillion-dollar retailers.
The Cosan case introduces students and executive education participants to political economy and business strategy in the biofuels industry. Cosan, based in Brazil, is the largest grower and processor of sugarcane in the world, and the largest sugar and ethanol producer in Brazil; it is also the world's largest exporter of ethanol for vehicle fuels. Rubens Ometto, Cosan's CEO, has staked out a leading position in the Brazilian ethanol and sugar industries by virtue of his efficiencies in agricultural production and in downstream logistics. He now needs to consider whether, and how aggressively, to expand abroad, either with production facilities or by exporting Brazilian output. He also needs to decide the appropriate vertical structure for the firm: whether he should be involved more extensively in agriculture, processing, distribution, or retail. The answers to these questions depend on his views of the future of the industry, and on the governmental institutions that will affect the distribution of value along the value chain.
This chapter focuses on the chemical-based photography industry--where both product and process technology were key factors in eventual success--in its discussion of the power of innovation in the creation of an industry and a growing market.
Two entrepreneurs have just been told by their venture capital backer to prepare a list of possible cuts to help them weather the 2008-2009 economic downturn. The impact on each firm is very different: one is a later-stage company with revenues in excess of $100 million; the other a pre-revenue company trying to raise its first institutional round. The entrepreneurs must consider their options and the impact on their companies' growth and, perhaps, survival.
Understanding the types of change programs and approaches that organizations use is critical to managing a change initiative effectively. This chapter provides an overview of the different approaches and their effects on business performance.
Select your format based upon: 1) how you want to read your book, and 2) compatibility with your reading tool. To learn more about using Bookshare with your device, visit the Help Center.
Here is an overview of the specialized formats that Bookshare offers its members with links that go to the Help Center for more information.
- Bookshare Web Reader - a customized reading tool for Bookshare members offering all the features of DAISY with a single click of the "Read Now" link.
- DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) - a digital book file format. DAISY books from Bookshare are DAISY 3.0 text files that work with just about every type of access technology that reads text. Books that contain images will have the download option of ‘DAISY Text with Images’.
- BRF (Braille Refreshable Format) - digital Braille for use with refreshable Braille devices and Braille embossers.
- MP3 (Mpeg audio layer 3) - Provides audio only with no text. These books are created with a text-to-speech engine and spoken by Kendra, a high quality synthetic voice from Ivona. Any device that supports MP3 playback is compatible.
- DAISY Audio - Similar to the Daisy 3.0 option above; however, this option uses MP3 files created with our text-to-speech engine that utilizes Ivonas Kendra voice. This format will work with Daisy Audio compatible players such as Victor Reader Stream and Read2Go.