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In 1996, U.S. Surgical launched a hostile takeover bid against Circon Corp. After building the company for 20 years, CEO Richard Auhll takes a defensive stand that includes inviting an old HBS friend (George Cloutier) to join the fight as a director of Circon. A "poison pill" and a staggered board serve as primary defense measures, leading to the longest-running takeover battle in U.S. corporate history. Issues of loyalty to a friend, executive incentives, executive entrenchment, and duty to shareholders collide as Cloutier realizes crucial corporate governance decisions have to be made.
The 'Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi in 2010' case examines the industry structure and competitive strategy of Coca-Cola and Pepsi over 100 years of rivalry. The most intense battles of the cola wars were fought over the $74 billion CSD industry in the United States, where the average American consumes 46 gallons of CSD per year. In a "carefully waged competitive struggle," from 1975 to the mid-1990s, both Coke and Pepsi had achieved average annual growth of around 10%, as both U.S. and worldwide CSD consumption consistently rose. However, starting in the late 1990s, U.S. CSD consumption started to decline and new non-sparkling beverages become popular, threatening to alter the companies' brand, bottling, and pricing strategies. The case considers what has to be done for Coke and Pepsi to ensure sustainable growth and profitability. A rewritten version of an earlier case.
Built to Win: 3. Assess Current Challenges and Opportunities: The Role of Assessment in Successful Negotiationby Movius H Susskind L
Following her husband's death in 1994, Carol Brewer took over the management of her family's investments. This case describes the decisions Brewer made during this process, including her choice to seek active account management, her selection of an investment firm, and her determination of asset allocation within her portfolio. In 2003, Brewer is reassessing her previous investment choices and considering changes she might need to make in the future in light of her plans to retire in six years and live on the income from her investments.
Dr. Yusuf Hamied, head of the Indian pharma and generics manufacturing company Cipla, is weighing options for how to continue to support the global fight against HIV/AIDS while positioning his company for growth in a changing regulatory landscape.
This case is set inside IBM Research's efforts to build a computer that can successfully take on human challengers playing the game show Jeopardy! It opens with the machine named Watson offering the incorrect answer ""Toronto"" to a seemingly simple question during the championship match. Was the answer a reflection of a strategic weakness, or was it actually consistent with design principles established by the development team? The case seeks to expand students' view of the product development process. Traditional software development projects begin with the gathering of requirements and analysis of the problem, and the writing of a detailed specification. The Jeopardy! problem is different-it requires a probabilistic approach where there is no closed form solution. Instead statistical patterns in the data are important and there is no obvious mapping to the way queries are expressed. Such problems are increasingly common in data mining, optimization problems, or Internet applications where the goal is to find an acceptably good solution in a short amount of time, when a deterministic approach might be less fruitful or impractical. We aspire for students to recognize that product development can take many forms, and that these are enabled by creativity and the right organizational flexibility and mindset. This abridged version of the case focuses on the choice of Jeopardy! as the development target, and the approach taken by the development team. The original case is HBS No. 612-017, and has much more detail on the design strategy for the Watson system.
Highlights the potential value of customer data and the choices and challenges the firm faces when attempting to capture this value. Carnival collects a significant amount of individual-level behavioral and demographic customer data. Senior management must now decide how to leverage such a wealth of data to improve firm performance through customer targeting and acquisition, customer retention, and customer profitability strategies.
A shift from the make-and-sell to the sense-and-respond business model encompasses a true transformation because it involves changing a firm's basic function from making offers to responding to customer requests, and also changing its structure from that of an efficient machine to that of an adaptive social system. The larger the organization, the more complex the transformation challenge will be, but given the pervasiveness of unpredictability, the survival of organizations will depend on meeting this challenge. This chapter explores the question of how to get there from here.
The head of Cipla, a $325-million-dollar Indian pharmaceutical company and seller of low-cost AIDS drugs to South Africa, must decide what to do about Cipla's future. With India poised to enforce international patents in only two years, much of Cipla's product line could become unsaleable (given that it is based on product patents protected in industrialized countries). Describes Cipla's role in forcing global pharmaceutical companies to lower their prices for AIDS drugs.
Examines the industry structure and competitive strategy of Coca-Cola and Pepsi over 100 years of rivalry. New challenges in 2006 include boosting flagging carbonated soft drink (CSD) sales and finding new revenue streams. Both firms also began to modify their bottling, pricing, and brand strategies. They looked to emerging international markets to fuel growth and broaden their portfolios of alternate beverages like tea, juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, and bottled water. Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola had vied for the "throat share" of the world's beverage market. The most intense battles of the cola wars were fought over the $66 billion CSD industry in the United States, where the average American consumes 52 gallons of CSD per year. In a "carefully waged competitive struggle," from 1975 to 1995, both Coke and Pepsi had achieved average annual growth of around 10%, as both U.S. and worldwide CSD consumption consistently rose. This cozy situation was threatened in the late 1990s, however, when U.S. CSD consumption declined slightly before reaching what appeared to be a plateau. Considers whether Coke's and Pepsi's era of sustained growth and profitability was coming to a close or whether this apparent slowdown was just another blip in the course of a century of enviable performance.
This case is set inside IBM Research's efforts to build a computer that can successfully take on human challengers playing the game show Jeopardy! It opens with the machine named Watson offering the incorrect answer "Toronto" to a seemingly simple question during the championship match. Was the answer a reflection of a strategic weakness, or was it actually consistent with design principles established by the development team? The case seeks to expand students' view of the product development process. Traditional software development projects begin with the gathering of requirements and analysis of the problem, and the writing of a detailed specification. The Jeopardy! problem is different - it requires a probabilistic approach where there is no closed form solution. Instead statistical patterns in the data are important and there is no obvious mapping to the way queries are expressed. Such problems are increasingly common in data mining, optimization problems, or Internet applications where the goal is to find an acceptably good solution in a short amount of time, when a deterministic approach might be less fruitful or impractical. We aspire for students to recognize that product development can take many forms, and that these are enabled by creativity and the right organizational flexibility and mindset. The case highlights the key role of performance metrics in building a flexible system that could be refined through experimentation and testing, steadily improving performance with the incorporation of new algorithmic ideas and new data sources. The case then delves extensively into the analysis of the "Toronto" failure and why the answer that Watson produced was a rational product of a sound strategy. This leaves students to judge the generality of the strategy and its applicability to important business problems.
In 2012, CarMax was the leading retailer of second hand cars in the United States and a fast-growing competitor in the used car auction market. After their founding in 1993 by Circuit City's management, CarMax had grown rapidly. They had been profitable since 2000 and independent from their parent company since 2002. While Circuit City went bankrupt in 2009 under pressure from Best Buy and challenging economic conditions, CarMax flourished and expanded through the economic crisis. Fiscal 2012 revenue reached $10.5 billion and net income, a record $413 million. However, CarMax still only accounted for less than 3% of the fragmented second hand car market. Additionally, they were keen to avoid the fate of their parent and to stay ahead of copy-cat competitors. What should CarMax do to grow its market position and continue its success in used car retailing and auctioning?
The business landscape in China has changed drastically within the last few years, and it continues to evolve at a rapid pace. This chapter shows how this changing landscape requires multinational companies operating here to urgently apply more managerial attention to execution.
"The Adventures of an IT Leader" invites readers to "walk in the shoes" of Jim Barton, the new CIO of the fictional IVK Corporation, as he spends a difficult year learning effective information technology leadership, sidestepping the pitfalls that make the CIO job the most volatile, high-turnover job in the business. This chapter joins Barton has he pulls together his IT management team to ascertain present and future challenges and risks, and try to establish a shared vision for how IT ought to contribute to the success of the company. The new CIO learns very quickly that some of his assumptions about general management do not hold true in the domain of IT. This chapter is excerpted from "The Adventures of an IT Leader."
In the highly competitive information technology outsourcing industry, Cognizant Technology Solutions has developed a strategy to differentiate itself by emphasizing building very close client relationships through its "Two-in-a-box" (TIB) model. This model is based on having two people share complete responsibility for the client. In the U.S. or Europe, the "on-site" person, along with his or her relationship management team, is responsible for understanding the client's needs, obtaining projects and properly scoping out the work. The "offshore" person in India or elsewhere, along with his or her delivery team, is responsible for completing the project in a high quality and timely way. The same top- and bottom-line metrics are used to evaluate the performance of both the on-site and offshore managers. This strategy (as opposed to ones based on things like low cost and innovation used by Cognizant's competitors) is intended to build deep and strong client relationships that will maximize Cognizant's "share of wallet." One interesting aspect of TIB is Cognizant Business Consulting, a 1,700-person group which advises clients in the context of helping them develop IT solutions for their business challenges. More recently, and as the next evolution of the TIB model, Cognizant is developing what it calls "Cognizant 2.0" or C2. C2 is a delivery platform based on Web 2.0 technology that enables Cognizant to subdivide work into tasks that can be allocated wherever in the world the best resources within Cognizant exist based on cost, expertise and availability while at the same time maintaining collaboration and integration to ensure timely and high quality delivery.
Building the Ecosystem: A Lesson from the Biosphere-Your Business's Green Growth Can Cause Creative Destruction in Your Industryby Gregory C. Unruh
The process of release and restructuring-of creative destruction-is what keeps the biosphere productive and allows it to fill even the most extreme environments. As you steer your business toward green growth, you may be undertaking innovations that can foster similar destruction in your industry. You don't have to wait for conditions to change, however, because business doesn't respond only to the external environment. This chapter outlines how your company can encourage its own supportive ecosystem-like using the biosphere's niche strategy to establish a foothold where there wasn't one for your green products and services. To help you foster creative destruction in your industry, this chapter outlines different approaches to influencing and integrating your efforts with peers, suppliers, customers, and even competitors-building the necessary supportive ecosystems so that you end up on the right side of creative destruction. This chapter was originally published as the Conclusion of "Earth, Inc.: Using Nature's Rules to Build Sustainable Profits."
Carmax is the largest multi-market used car dealer in the U.S., and has no format-to-format competitor in the $375 billion used car market. CarMax is trying to do what some analysts believed to be impossible: sell used cars profitably on a national scale, and at the same time revamp the tarnished image of the used car salesman.
"The Adventures of an IT Leader" invites readers to "walk in the shoes" of Jim Barton, the new CIO of the fictional IVK Corporation, as he spends a difficult year learning effective information technology leadership, sidestepping the pitfalls that make the CIO job the most volatile, high-turnover job in the business. In this chapter, Jim thinks about his first concrete steps in his new role--how will he distinguish himself from his unsuccessful predecessor and disprove the naysayers? predictions that he won't last a year as CIO? What can he do to learn more about IT leadership? This chapter is excerpted from "The Adventures of an IT Leader."
Knowledge management has been a high priority for Cognizant Technology Solutions since its inception since its global delivery model requires the global sharing of knowledge. Its first major tool was called the Knowledge Management Appliance but as Web 2.0 tools came into wider use, this evolved into what the company called "Cognizant 2.0" (C2) which was designed to ensure that the KM Appliance capabilities for storing documents and participative tools such as blogs and wikis were directed towards supporting business goals. This required the development of a set of structured work process guidelines and tasks for each major type of work performed internally and for clients. Increasing awareness amongst its clients about C2 has led the company into considering whether it should turn this into a client-facing service offering itself. As its clients become more interested in knowledge management within their own companies, the interest in a C2-based offering could grow.
Balanced Scorecard strategy maps help organizations see their strategies in a cohesive, integrated, and systematic way, overcoming the limitations of purely financial measurement systems by clearly portraying the value-creating processes and critical roles for intangible assets. This chapter introduces the task of building a strategy map, which describes the process of transforming intangible assets into tangible customer and financial outcomes, and provides executives with a framework for describing and managing strategy in a knowledge economy.
This case describes the investment philosophy, organizational structure, management processes and culture of the largest private equity firm in the world measured in terms of assets under management ($89 billion). The Carlyle Group is distinctive in several ways, including its origins in Washington, D.C. and its early commitment to organizing the firm and its investment decision-making process along industry lines. The latter enables the firm to build deep knowledge and capabilities in particular sectors which makes it possible for it to identify investment opportunities that will not be apparent to others, such as in industries where the fundamentals do not look promising. Carlyle is also very geographically diverse with 33 offices around the world, giving it a higher overhead structure than some of its peers. Through the "One Carlyle" approach which emphasizes collaboration, information sharing and knowledge transfer across sectors and geographical locations, the firm seeks to leverage the vast array of capabilities it has built over time. It is attempting to improve on this through the use of information technology. The case describes the firm's foray into financial services, an industry largely neglected by PE firms due to the inability to use leverage to improve returns, and professional services, another largely-neglected sector because the primary asset is human capital. The case also describes how the firm had to learn to develop a different approach to PE investing in Asia. Looking forward, the firm faces huge challenges in delivering attractive returns to its investors given its size and the size of the PE industry as a whole. These challenges are compounded by the financial crisis happening at the time of the case and the prospects of a potentially severe economic recession, raising questions about the future prospects of the PE industry and its role in the capital markets.
This note presents a framework and tool for leading fundamental systemic change in organizations and beyond. It identifies the 10 key elements of systemic change and arrays them along the spokes of a wheel, which suggests momentum and an interconnected rather than linear process for changing systems. All spokes must be engaged and then re-engaged to keep change moving. The practical model shows how spokes are related and reinforce one another and also presents a logical order for connecting them.
A recent Cuban immigrant establishes a new notions store. The initial 3-month, GAAP-based income statement differs from one prepared by an economist friend. The store owner wants to know why one shows a profit and the other a loss.
The case describes an organization's use of the science of improvement to transform their process quality from below average to the top 10% in their industry. The case outlines the protagonist's strategy of developing internal experts who are trained in a common methodology for making improvement and spreading these ideas in their work units.
An offspring of French catalog marketer 3 Suisses, and a popular sponsor of Tour de France, Cofidis sells consumer credit over the phone, defying conventional banking with a product policy and a communication strategy that perfectly fits the company's comparative (dis)advantages. This case describes: Cofidis' product and value proposition; the evolving competitive context and cultural complexity of the European credit market; the adaptive marketing strategy of the company, which evolved from bundling with the 3 Suisse catalog, to direct mail, to print advertising in TV guides, to bicycling sponsorship, the results of the strategy; and the challenge and opportunities posed by the Internet. Based on the lessons of the past, can we advise Michel Guillois, CEO of Cofidis, on the best way for him to preserve Cofidis' competitive edge?
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