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XM Satellite Radio is a radically new way to listen to radio. Management must develop a marketing strategy to launch the firm and the category. A crucial aspect of the strategy is to determine which of two business models the company will pursue. Should it focus predominantly on charging customers a monthly subscription fee or on selling advertising time to advertisers? This decision is closely related to target market selection and to the choice of optimal price points for subscription fees and radio receivers. Market research commissioned by XM provides rich insights into these issues. In addition, XM management needs to figure out how to establish partnerships with the leading electronics manufacturers. A consideration of its market share and channel presence are essential to XM's ultimate success in integrating satellite radio into home and car audio systems. As it formulates its plan, XM needs to take into account the competitive landscape, primarily comprised of broadcast radio (AM and FM) that has been in existence for many years and is offered for free, as well as a second satellite radio provider (Sirius). Includes color exhibits.
Is it possible to create a great business and a company? Wim Roelandts sets out, in the context of Xilinx, to create a high-performance organization without sacrificing the human dimension. Roelandts experiences additional pressure when the company is affected by a downturn in business.
Robert Adams, president and CEO of Xerox Technology Ventures (XTV), confronts several changes in his organization. Established by the Xerox Corp. to invest in fledgling organizations, XTV is now being offered the opportunity to undertake buyouts of many of Xerox's units.
In order to increase revenues, develop new technologies, and manage information technology more efficiently, Xerox decided to sign a 10-year, $3.2 billion contract with Electronic Data Systems (EDS). This case describes the events that preceded Xerox's decision to outsource information technology.
Describes the "Leadership Through Quality" effort undertaken by Xerox in the 1980s. Includes the history of Xerox in the 1970s and its need to make major changes in quality by the 1980s. Most of the remainder of the case details the step-by-step process by which Xerox created and designed the strategy called "Leadership Through Quality" to change its basic culture and its performance on quality from 1983-86.
In August 1990 the president and executive vice president of Xerox are reviewing the progress made on its customer satisfaction program. The emphasis placed on the program, the success of the program to date, and the drive to achieve the corporate goals of customer satisfaction motivate this review. At Xerox customer satisfaction is the number one priority, ahead of return on assets (ROA) and market share. The case focuses on analyzing the strategic role of the customer satisfaction program, its goals, and the action steps for implementation. Also described are the customer satisfaction measurement system, the data analyses, and follow-up. To increase customer satisfaction and to drive the organization to higher levels of performance top management believes that Xerox should offer a satisfaction guarantee. Market research has been conducted on customer responses to four different types of guarantees. A decision has to be made regarding the type of guarantee to introduce.
Book-In-Time, developed at Xerox, can dramatically reduce the cost of printing "one" book. Combined with the possibilities of digital content storage and transmittal, the new technology has vast opportunities. Xerox needs a commercial plan. The case describes the state of the book publishing industry and the potential for a new technology.
Describes the growth and development of Fuji Xerox, Xerox's joint venture in Japan, and the evolving relationship between Fuji Xerox and Xerox. Focuses on the technological development of Fuji Xerox, and on the contributions that Fuji Xerox has made to Xerox's competitive position worldwide. Presents a number of options for modifying the relationship between Xerox and Fuji Xerox in the future, when the two firms will face increasingly serious competition from global competitors. Fuji Xerox is a $4 billion company and arguably one of the most successful joint ventures ever between an American and Japanese firm. In some ways the evolution of Fuji Xerox has been a microcosm of the broader United States-Japan relationship.
Xedia, a networking equipment manufacturer that helps provide high-speed Internet service for corporate clients through access routing, wants a bridge loan to fund daily operations until it raises its next round of equity financing.
Can one of Hollywood's biggest flops magically turn into a Broadway hit? Xanadu, an adaptation of a 1980 Olivia Newton-John roller-disco film described by one critic as "the epic failure to end all epic failures," opened on Broadway in July 2007. Producer Rob Ahrens, the driving power behind the resurrection, anxiously awaited the verdict of audience members. Was the choice to produce Xanadu the Broadway musical the right choice?
In today's unstable, innovation-driven business environment, effective executive leadership alone isn't sufficient for organizational success. In the distributed leadership model, leadership must exist at all levels of the firm, and anyone who feels as if he or she can make a contribution is able to take a leadership role. This allows organizations to tap the intellectual, interpersonal, rational, intuitive, conceptual, and creative capacities of its people. This chapter describes the benefits of instituting distributed leadership in your organization and how to use X-teams-high-performing teams that are externally as well as internally focused-as a vehicle for spreading leadership across the firm.
No matter what activity a team is assigned, whether it is creating a new product, suggesting a new organizational process, consulting to a particular geographic region, selling complex products, or writing software code, members need to shift their core focus over time. As the demands of the task change, team members must be flexible enough to shift gears and change what they do and how they do it. As this chapter illustrates, X-teams-high-performance teams that are externally focused-move through three phases, each with a different focus: exploration, exploitation, and exportation.
High-performing teams, or "X-teams," combine high levels of external activity outside the team with extreme execution inside the team. This chapter examines what it takes to build a culture of extreme execution and provides tools that foster the internal processes that are needed to coordinate, integrate, and reap the benefits of the external activities of X-teams.
X-Team Principle 1: External Activity--Achieving High Performance by Managing Teams Across Their Boundariesby Deborah Ancona Henrik Bresman
High-performing teams manage across their boundaries, reaching out to find the information they need, understand the context in which they work, manage the politics and power struggles that surround any team initiative, get support for their ideas, and coordinate the myriad other groups that are key to a team's success. This chapter describes some strategies for helping teams break out of their often myopic internal focus to become X-teams: teams that engage in high levels of external activity.
Involves a start-up, X-IT Products LLC, whose founders had designed an innovative, lightweight, and easy-to-use--yet strong--escape ladder. After X-IT had filed a patent application for the ladder in the United States, X-IT was approached by Kidde PLC, one of the largest vendors of fire protection products in the world. Negotiations to license X-IT's invention or to buy X-IT ensued. The parties entered into a confidentiality agreement, which gave Kidde's patent counsel access to X-IT's confidential patent application for the narrow purpose of reporting to Kidde whether the patent claims were weak or strong. After the X-IT founders saw Kidde representatives displaying a ladder at a major trade show that was almost identical to X-IT's ladder, X-IT's CEO had to decide what to do next. Although suing Kidde for violating the confidentiality agreement was an option, X-IT barely had sufficient cash to fill orders, not to mention pay attorney fees.
X-Factors: The X-Team Support Structure--Designing a Team to Maximize Your Company's Innovative Capacityby Deborah Ancona Henrik Bresman
It takes an X-team, a high-performing team that is externally as well as internally focused, to engage in distributed leadership through its ability to innovate, adapt, and bring life to corporate strategies. But the X-team is not a simple solution: it requires melding internal and external activities, shifting activities over time, and linking the passion and voice from below to the big picture on high. Given such complexity, how is it possible to structure a team to make all of this happen? This chapter outlines the design features of a successful X-team.
Examines a hotel chain's attempt to use information technology to achieve market dominance and build customer loyalty during a period of global industry decline.
Describes the reorganization of the drug discovery organization at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and focuses on the decisions to: (1) centralize decision-making within drug discovery and (2) institute numerical metrics--jointly affecting all R&D scientists--for the progression of compounds through the Wyeth pipeline. Highlights issues concerning the degree to which scientific activity can be evaluated via numerical metrics, the extent to which R&D can be structured as a process, and the degree to which decision-making should be centralized in commercial R&D activities.
This chapter discusses how writing a charter authorizes a particular project by providing a clear sense of the project's scope, value-added benefit, and overall objective. Having a clearly defined plan is important when allocating resources, and without a formal charter, a plan is likely to deviate from its intended path. This road map should be unambiguous and not act as a rigid plan. It should spell out the ends, not the means.
Every entrepreneur is encouraged to write a business plan; those who don't quickly learn that future operations can be derailed without a cohesive printed mission and that obtaining outside funding is nearly impossible without one. This chapter discusses the managerial purposes of a business plan and describes the key points that potential investors look for.
Wriston Manufacturing is a broad-line maker of components for the automotive industry. It has developed a network of nine plants as its product line has grown. Newer, higher-volume products tend to be made in newer, focused, high-volume plants, while older product lines tend to be assigned to the Detroit plant, the oldest one in the system. Because Detroit produces such a wide variety of products, its overhead costs are very high. Management needs to decide whether to close the Detroit plant or find a way to make it profitable. A rewritten version of an earlier case.
Wilbur (1867-1912) and Orville (1871-1948) Wright were fascinated by the mystery of flight and they built on the ideas of prominent earlier figures such as Octave Chanute (1832-1910) the French-born American who was influential in fostering the free exchange of ideas surrounding aeronautics. Information exchange between practical tinkerers from across the globe led to a process of cumulative innovation unhindered by rivalry operating through the intellectual property rights system. Yet in 1903, the year the Wright Brothers achieved controlled sustained flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, they applied for and were subsequently granted a US patent for a "flying-machine" which changed the industry irrevocably. While American manufacturers diverted resources from science and technology to patent wars and legal disputes, European aeronautics advanced more rapidly.
A restaurant chain based in California offers made-to-order sandwich wraps using fresh, healthy ingredients. The founders of the company take a very active role in day-to-day business and tightly control every aspect of the restaurant operation from hiring store managers to planning the menu. Management is concerned that employee turnover is high, customer satisfaction is decreasing, and revenue growth is flat. The newly hired human resources leader believes addressing employee turnover can help solve the other problems. She develops a profit-sharing program as a pilot at two restaurants. The managers in the pilot program have their compensation tied directly to restaurant profits. The program also allows managers to customize menus, work with local suppliers, and try different promotion ideas. After six months, profits at the pilot locations improve while customer reviews are mixed. The HR manager must review the complete results and decide whether to roll out the pilot program to more locations, modify the program, or abandon it altogether. Students consider the operational challenges of running a service business and the issues related to compensation, change management, and employee autonomy.
Martin Sorrell has used WPP to acquire a large portfolio of marketing service firms including J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather. How did he make this minnow-swallows-many-whales trick work, and can he make the whole into something bigger than the parts?