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How well does the case-in-point approach teach the art of adaptive leadership on behalf of the common good in today's world? This chapter examines the central strengths of this approach, its limitations, and the questions that remain for further inquiry.
In November 1999, 11 of Goldman Sachs' finest gathered to put the final touches on a revolutionary leadership development plan. Following Goldman's explosive growth during the 1990s and its eventual IPO in 1999, a diverse group of leaders from across the firm were selected to "assess the future training and development needs of Goldman Sachs, with a particular focus on the need for a more systematic and effective approach to developing managing directors." After six months of brainstorming, holding discussions with Goldman Sachs colleagues, interviewing experts, and benchmarking best practices, it was finally time to present their findings to the management committee. The briefing contained an integrated leader development plan with concrete recommendations on how to resolve several critical design issues, including: location, faculty, content, format, method, target audience, governance, and sponsorship. No one sitting on the management committee had relied on a formal leadership program to reach the top. How skeptical might they be? How do you convince hard-nosed bankers to leave their desks and invest precious time focusing on what many perceived as "soft" issues?
WildChina (A) tells the story of Mei Zhang, a Chinese-born HBS alumna, and her pursuit of a dream: to share her passion for travel, her appreciation of China's beauty and culture, and her desire to start her own business. Describes the startup of WildChina, a tour company targeting a high-end clientele with unusual and high-quality products, and its survival of two business crises. The focus is on Zhang's decision to bring in a COO, transition him to CEO, and assume the position of Chairperson. Also describes communication and control challenges faced when Zhang moves to Los Angeles with her family, and tries to remain involved in her Beijing-based business. The decision Zhang faces is how to proceed when, in the midst of sales and operational problems and financial pressures, her CEO announces that he will be leaving the company in a matter of months.
Jim McCusker must guide a group decision-making process aimed at getting input and buy-in from key people in California, Mexico, and Austria to choose a shop floor IT system for Flextronics. McCusker is Flextronics' account manager for the Microsoft Xbox project. Geographical distance and time pressure make it difficult for all the relevant parties to assemble in person in one location. In a company culture that values fast, decisive action, McCusker wonders whether he has the authority to make the decision himself and, if not, how he should involve the other parties who are keenly interested in the outcome.
Over-all, 17 percent of employees are currently seeking a more flexible schedule, and 14 percent want to work more from home-which is why today's corporations should begin changing their employment deal now to implement flexible work arrangements. This chapter is an introduction to this process.
Learning is integral to an organization's capability and productivity, recruiting and retention, and leadership and capacity for change, but with the coming shortage of skills and labor, learning also becomes a business performance imperative. In this chapter, the authors provide the tools necessary for building a learning organization, and address diverse learning opportunities for the three worker cohorts.
Compensation and benefits should work for employees and for the business-as levers with which the company can meet employee needs, enable their productivity, and improve their performance. This chapter addresses the challenge of managing compensation and benefits and getting all the facets of the deal "right."
The CFO of Fleetwood Enterprises is considering whether to recommend a large share repurchase to the board of directors. Fleetwood's core businesses, manufactured housing and recreational vehicles, are very sensitive to business cycles and oil prices. Following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Fleetwood's stock price dropped more than 20%, but Fleetwood appears strong enough to both survive a severe downturn and repurchase a large block of shares. Designed to permit a thorough review of basic capital structure, dividend payout, and share repurchase theories, in the context of a large firm facing both a potential crisis and a valuable opportunity.
Paul Kennedy, executive director of Fleet's Managed Asset Division, must decide whether to extend further credit to Polaroid Corp. in the fall of 2001. Polaroid's credit rating had been declining rapidly, but it was a major employer in the Boston area with many employees who were Fleet Bank customers.
The CFO of Flash Memory, Inc. prepares the company's investing and financing plans for the next three years. Flash Memory is a small firm that specializes in the design and manufacture of solid state drives (SSDs) and memory modules for the computer and electronics industries. The company invests aggressively in research and development of new products to stay ahead of the competition. Increased working capital requirements force the CFO to consider alternatives for additional financing. In addition, he must also consider an investment opportunity in a new product line that has the potential to be extremely profitable. Students must prepare financial forecasts, calculate the weighted average cost of capital (WACC), estimate cash flows, and evaluate financing alternatives. This case is especially recommended as a final exam case for a standard MBA-level course in corporate finance.
A large restaurant chain undergoes a leveraged buyout and subsequent recapitalization. Financial and operating problems at the company force it to consider various restructuring options, including a "prepackaged" Chapter 11 exchange offer to its public bondholders. A rewritten version of two earlier cases.
A large restaurant chain undergoes a leveraged buyout and subsequent recapitalization. Financial and operating problems at the company force it to consider various restructuring options, including a prepackaged Chapter 11 exchange offer to its public bondholders. Two investment bankers hired by senior and junior creditors present competing company valuations to the bankruptcy court that differ by $700 million.
Are there people working for you who feel stressed out? Overloaded? Disconnected? Afraid? These are not "problem" employees; they don't have disciplinary issues, and they're not untalented. But they're not achieving at their peak level in the pressure-cooker that is today's workplace. In this chapter, bestselling author and practicing psychiatrist Edward Hallowell describes in detail the five steps of the Cycle of Excellence and explains how you, as a manager, can use brain science to help your people-your stars as well as your stalwarts-perform at high levels every day, over years of time. Key to Hallowell's approach is the plasticity of the human brain: it can develop, adapt, and change-at any age. Using rich examples from his own work with individuals and his study of companies like Google, Whole Foods, and Cisco Systems, Hallowell explains how you can promote intellectual vigor, encourage positive emotional energy, minimize stress, and put people in a state of "flow," where they can perform at their absolute best. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 1 of "Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People."
A five-stage framework will help owners to determine their company's stage of development and how to ensure a profitable future. It is also useful to consultants and accountants in diagnosing problems and matching solutions to smaller organizations. The five stages are existence, survival, success (with the substages of disengagement and growth), take-off, and resource maturity. Each stage has an index of size, diversity, and complexity.
This chapter reviews the five key decisions that must be made for effective IT governance and discusses the management issues associated with each decision. This chapter was originally published as chapter 2 of "IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Results."
A Fitting Test: Real World Strategies for Moving from Innovation to Application, Protecting Intellectual Property, and Avoiding Imitationby Jay Barney Patricia Gorman Clifford
"What I Didn't Learn in Business School" is a fictional account that follows new consultant Justin Campbell as he joins an elite consulting team hired by a chemical firm to assess the potential of a newly developed technology. As Justin and his team are given a glimpse into the many possible applications for this new technology, he realizes the gravity of their mandate. This is no business school exercise; the recommendation they make about which strategic direction their client should choose will determine the future of the company. In this chapter, Justin and his team get to work testing ideas, evaluating the risks of imitation by competitors. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 10 of "What I Didn't Learn in Business School: How Strategy Works in the Real World."
Introduces the concept of fiscal policy.
Reviews new product introduction and pricing decisions for a riding toy designed for preschool children. Designed to provide background in buyer behavior, market analysis, and corporate strategy.
Provides a brief introduction to fiscal policy, including the fiscal multiplier. Uses Ireland's experience in the 1980s to explore the possibility that fiscal contractions--tax rises and expenditure costs--can stimulate economic growth (contrary to conventional Keynesian wisdom) via confidence effects and the establishment of a credible framework for fiscal stability over the medium term. A rewritten version of an earlier note.
Presents two situations: 1) two graduating MBAs from Harvard Business School compare and contrast their strategies for getting off to a good start in consulting, and 2) a junior consultant has to deal with of difficult feedback in his very first performance review.
Executives at First National Bank in South Africa are considering whether to launch a potentially exciting, but rather unorthodox, new savings product. Instead of paying interest, this product gives depositors the chance to win large cash prizes each month. Michael Jordan, CEO of the bank's Consumer Solutions Division, must decide whether to approve the product, weighing the potential benefits against large upfront investment, uncertain market demand, and the complication that the product might face legal challenges.
Concerns a loan that has gone bad.
First National Bank Corp., a major regional bank in the Northeast, must decide how large a provision for credit losses to accrue in its 1990 financial statements. The recession in New England has caused serious problems in its loan portfolio.
A summer intern is asked to perform a financial value analysis of a company's financial report for the period 1987-1994.
The global economy was expected to suffer from negative growth for the full year in 2009, a phenomenon not seen since World War II. While the U.S. subprime mortgage disaster was blamed as the original instigator, it was noted that the "global imbalances" of the U.S. current account deficit funded for many years by other nations such as China was also a chief culprit of the crisis as well. Policymakers around the world recognized that the scope and scale of the financial crisis required a coordinated global response. Yet there were conflicting views on what kind of action was needed to address the first global financial crisis of the 21st century.