Archive for the ‘Business Strategy’ Category

41HMT8msViL._SX352_BO1,204,203,200_In Economics for Business, Ivan K. Cohen argues that in order to develop effective business strategies for their companies, leaders must first gain a fundamental understanding of the complex global economy in which they operate. With such knowledge it becomes possible to make better pricing, branding, and investment decisions. To that end, Economics for Business provides a comprehensive guide to the myriad forces, institutions, and concepts of micro- and macroeconomics.

To make successful business decisions, leaders must understand the essential principles of the economic environment, including:

  • Microeconomics: The study of independent economic entities like a company, industry, or market.
  • Macroeconomics: The study of the economy as a whole.
  • Supply: The quantity of a product that a supplier is willing to sell at a given price.
  • Demand: The lifeblood of any business; the consumer desire and ability to make purchases.
  • Forecasting: A strategy leaders use, informed by historic and market data, to estimate future conditions, such as demand for specific products.
  • Globalization: An economic phenomenon in which national economic systems grow more interconnected through international trade and investment.

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1469790828.jpgHenry M. Paulson Jr. has spent much of his career working with leaders in China to reform China’s unique economic system. As CEO of Goldman Sachs, he helped corporatize elements of the state-run economy. As U.S. Treasury secretary, he worked to resolve economic differences with China. Now, as head of the Paulson Institute, he continues to lend his expertise to improve China’s economic system. In Dealing with China, Paulson recounts his history of unprecedented access to China, offering insights to the system’s strengths and weaknesses, and the possible future of this economic superpower.

The author believes that:

  • China continues to undergo tremendous changes due to the economic reforms started by Deng Xiaoping.
  • Political and business success in China hinges on building strong relationships and identifying issues of common interest.
  • Financial reform remains a vital step for China. Additional reforms of its economic system are required for it to fully participate in the global markets.
  • Despite instituting reform, China retains its Party hold on citizens’ lives.
  • The urbanization of China has resulted in numerous and serious environmental concerns.
  • China and the United States must work together to solve issues in a mutually beneficial way.

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guidesuccessfulnegotiationNegotiations are the most difficult, dynamic, and even uncomfortable aspects of doing business. Reaching a deal that adds to the bottom line and builds lasting trust demands a thorough understanding of the process. In The Negotiation Book, Steve Gates draws on his 20 years of experience to help readers gain the skills and adopt the mindset of Complete Skilled Negotiators. He highlights the importance of self-awareness, emotional detachment, insight, and creativity to reaching a deal. He presents practical steps for maximizing opportunities in every negotiation while still building trust with the other party.

The author believes that:

  • Negotiation is one of the most challenging aspects of business. It sets up adversarial relationships that must be overcome to reach a successful deal. However, skillful negotiation contributes significantly to a company’s bottom line.
  • Whichever party has the most flexibility has the most power. Larger parties, particularly those with strong brands, have power over smaller ones. Skilled negotiators understand power and what factors influence its balance.
  • Skilled negotiators have 10 key traits: nerve, self-discipline, tenacity, assertiveness, instinct, caution, curiosity, numerical reasoning, creativity, and humility.
  • Skilled negotiators check their egos at the door, yet understand how ego drives the other party. They remain calm and manage their emotions.
  • Every negotiator enters each negotiation with a particular amount of authority to make a deal. More authority brings greater risk. Negotiating with someone who does not have the authority to make a deal is counterproductive.
  • Personal and organizational values necessarily influence negotiators. Those values may not be shared between the parties, which may place the party striving for a value like fairness at a disadvantage.
  • Negotiators always deploy certain tactics in making a deal. Skilled negotiators understand how their values impact the tactics they are willing to use. They also understand how the other party’s values determine the tactics available to them and recognize those tactics when they are used.

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119613433Companies that spend their entire time focused on their core products or on introducing new products to new markets seem to be the norm. However, a less risky, less volatile way to increase revenues and profits involves edge strategies. In Edge Strategy, strategy experts Alan Lewis and Dan McKone help leaders recognize and capitalize on these opportunities. By exploring the permission they have earned with existing customers, and the latent value of existing assets, businesses can capitalize on new profit centers without investing a lot of capital or changing the visions of their companies.

In business, growth strategies usually include expanding into new core products and services. However, there are strategies many leaders overlook that are easier to implement, less risky, and less costly. These strategies focus on the customers a company has already acquired and assets it has already developed. There are three basic types of these edge strategies:

  1.  Product edge. Giving customers options to add or remove elements of a core offering.
  2.  Journey edge. Adjusting the company’s role to increase its support of the customer’s ultimate objectives.
  3. Enterprise edge. Applying resources that support the core products in a different context for a different offering or set of customers

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strategy-that-worksIn today’s fast-paced business environment, companies are constantly struggling to create value. While some may believe that this is simply due to external forces, many organizations in fact suffer because of the way they are managed that leads to a disconnect between their strategies and execution. In the Harvard Business Review Press title Strategy That Works, Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi discuss how exceptional companies such as Amazon, Apple, Danaher, Haier, IKEA, Lego, Natura, Starbucks, and others have bridged the gap between strategy and execution to become undisputed market leaders.

The authors’ research has revealed that, instead of following conventional business practices, these winning companies embrace five acts of unconventional leadership that allow them to become and remain coherent:

1. Committing to an identity. Instead of chasing growth, the winning companies define themselves by what they do, not just what they sell. They develop a truly differentiating identity based on their key strengths and use those strengths to guide them through today’s rapidly changing business environment.

2. Translating the strategic into the everyday. Instead of focusing on functional excellence, the winning organizations blueprint and build a handful of unique cross-functional capabilities that are at the heart of their strategy and drive profits.

3. Putting the culture to work. Instead of fighting their culture, winning companies identify and leverage the parts that work in their favor. This gives them a culture that reinforces their distinctive capabilities and breeds collaboration across functions. Coherent companies typically have three common cultural elements: emotional commitment, mutual accountability, and collective mastery.

4. Cutting costs to grow stronger. Instead of cutting costs across the board, winning companies cut costs strategically. They make investment decisions based on whether or not the investments will support their value propositions and distinctive capabilities.

5. Shaping the future. Instead of constantly reacting to market changes, highly coherent companies shape their future. They do so by continually recharging their capabilities systems, creating demand based on their privileged access to customers, and realigning their entire industries.

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Risk-Based Performance ManagementAfter the credit crisis of 2008, the business world changed dramatically. Senior leadership in most organizations faced more risk than ever and needed an effective way to manage it. In Risk-Based Performance Management, Andrew Smart and James Creelman have created a framework that helps senior management understand, manage, and control the risks facing their organizations while still gaining a competitive advantage. This guide gives executive teams the specific framework needed to align their risk-taking to strategy, enabling them to achieve success while still operating within their established risk appetites. The risk-based performance management (RBPM) approach and methodology serve as a modern and effective alternative to the past risk management strategies that proved to be less than ideal.

RBPM encompasses the following:

  • Appetite: Organizations that deploy the RBPM approach develop a deep understanding and appreciation of the risk associated with the strategic choices that they decide to take. They also are able to continue operating within their risk appetites while working toward their strategic goals.
  • Indicators: RBPM is designed to work with key performance indicators (KPIs), key risk indicators (KRIs), and key control indicators (KCIs). Indicators can be deployed as effective decision-support tools through the RBPM framework.
  • Performance management: Objectives and their KPIs are continually monitored, root causes of underperformance are identified, and necessary adjustments are made.
  • Risk management: RBPM describes this as understanding and exploiting opportunities and threats.
  • Strategy and risk alignment: Through appetite, an organization can align risk-taking with strategy.
  • Governance, culture, and communication: If an organization fails in these “soft” disciplines, it will disregard risk appetite and cause the risk management strategy to fail.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

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Topic: The Risk-Driven Business Model

Who: Karan Girotra, author, professor of technology and operations management at INSEAD, and founder of Terrapass, Inc.

When: Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Time: 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time

Register Now



Most companies think of innovation as being about new technology or developing new products— but the most disruptive organizations of the 21st century have innovated much more than their products or technology. From Ford Motors to Toyota to Uber the automotive industry among many others has been continually disrupted by companies that change the way they “did things,” or their business model.

This WebEx will explore the following questions:

  • How new business models can be an even more disruptive force than new technology?
  • Where the biggest business model innovation opportunities lie?
  • How to create an organization that identifies these game-changing opportunities

Based on Karan Girotra’s co-authored book The Risk-Driven Business Model. Coming Soon to BizSum.com.

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