April 2006 Archives

Jonathan Schwartz gets his day in the Sun!

Scott McNealy's still around, but Schwartz now gets a chance to lead.

"Scott has a short haircut,'' says Schwartz. "And unless he pulls something out that mandates it as a part of my employment contract, I'm keeping my haircut.''

Here, on his blog, Schwartz meets Brazil's Lula to discuss the World Cup which starts in 45 days, 14 hours and 56 minutes. Any tips for Bruce Arena, Jonathan? Be sure to send them on to our soccer blog!

I wonder what the first post as CEO will be? Let's hope he doesn't stop blogging... my guess is he'll be the CEO to change the landscape of corporate communications - using his blog!

Mira this Miro!

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Last Thursday's Google logo had painted versions of each letter in the Google name -- allegedly incorporating images from Miró's ``The Escape Ladder,'' 1940; ``Nocturne,'' 1940; and ``The Beautiful Bird Revealing the Unknown to a Pair of Lovers,'' 1941.

The artist's family showed their true colors by demanding Google take down image.

Morons. They don't care about art at all, simply money.

Google actually did them a great service. Now millions more know who Miro is. They should be paying Google!

Next we'll have the Earth suing Google as well - for Earth Day copyright violations! :-)

Question: What would happen to the world if the CEOs of ExxonMobil, the NY Times, Wal-Mart, GE and Microsoft were all women?

The Economist tells us that women are now the most powerful engine of global growth. Apparently over the past decade, the increased employment of women in developed economies has contributed much more to global growth than China has.

Listen to this:

Making better use of women's skills is not just a matter of fairness. Plenty of studies suggest that it is good for business, too. Women account for only 7% of directors on the world's corporate boards—15% in America, but less than 1% in Japan. Yet a study by Catalyst, a consultancy, found that American companies with more women in senior management jobs earned a higher return on equity than those with fewer women at the top. This might be because mixed teams of men and women are better than single-sex groups at solving problems and spotting external threats. Studies have also suggested that women are often better than men at building teams and communicating.

To make men feel even worse, researchers have also concluded that women make better investors than they do. A survey by Digital Look, a British financial website, found that women consistently earn higher returns than men. A survey of American investors by Merrill Lynch examined why women were better at investing. Women were less likely to “churn” their investments; and men tended to commit too much money to single, risky ideas. Overconfidence and overtrading are a recipe for poor investment returns.

Is anybody listening?

I posted about this a while back: Advice to Women who would be CEOs: "Stay away from HR"

I usually think of "business-women" in two camps - the toady - a conservative woman who moved up the ranks by reinforcing the stereotypes (eg. Kay Bailey Hutchison) or - the trailblazer - a talented woman who created her own way despite the barriers and obstacles thrown in her way by the good-old boys (eg. Anita Roddick).

Of course some people in certain parts of the world still think of women as property. Is it a coincidence that our problems with terrorism stem from these same places?

The Boston Consulting Group and BusinessWeek tell us that these are the 100 most innovative companies in the world:

Rank Company
1 Apple
2 Google
3 3M
4 Toyota
5 Microsoft
6 General Electric
7 Procter & Gamble
8 Nokia
9 Starbucks
10 IBM
11 Virgin
12 Samsung
13 Sony
14 Dell
15 IDEO
16 BMW
17 Intel
18 eBay
19 IKEA
20 Wal-Mart
21 Amazon
22 Target
23 Honda
24 Research In Motion
25 Southwest
26 Porsche
27 Genentech
28 Cisco
29 Nike
30 Motorola
31 DaimlerChrysler
32 Infosys
33 Ryanair
34 Pixar
35 SonyEricsson
36 Whole Foods
37 Capital One
38 Tesco
39 Danone
40 BP
41 PepsiCo
42 Hewlett Packard
43 Disney
44 jetBlue
45 W.L. Gore & Associates
46 Skype Technologies
47 FedEx
48 Bang & Olufsen
49 Renault
50 L'Oreal
51 ExxonMobil
52 Siemens
53 Johnson & Johnson
54 Shell
55 Pfizer
56 Singapore Airlines
57 Nissan
58 DuPont
59 Zara
60 TiVo
61 Yahoo!
62 Macquarie Bank
63 Audi
64 Harley Davidson
65 Progressive Insurance
66 Volvo
67 Philips Electronics
68 ING Bank
69 Nestle
70 Boeing
71 Matsushita Electric Industrial
72 easyJet
73 UPS
74 Coca-Cola
75 Cirque du Soleil (tied)
75 McKinsey (tied)
75 Woolworths (tied)
78 Hutchison Telecommunications
79 Salesforce.com
80 ACS
81 ITC
82 Time Warner
83 Danaher
84 Costco Wholesale
85 LG Electronics
86 bankinter
87 Amgen
88 Caterpillar
89 Accenture
90 SAP
91 SK Telecom
92 Home Depot
93 LVMH
94 Gap
95 Unilever
96 Goldman Sachs
97 John Deere & Co.
98 Whirlpool
99 Entel
100 McDonald's

To me this makes no sense. This is in fact a list of the world's most innovative dinosaurs. Massive companies which are still able to create value using new ideas. But these companies (w/ the exception of IDEO and a few others) are NOT at the forefront of innovation. Rather, that honor belongs to small companies, often at the periphery, which introduce the dinosaurs to these innovations.

Furthermore, innovation is relative, and needs to be measured in the industry or marketspace of the company. IDEO is more innovative than McDonald's in absolute terms, but what really matters is how innovative McDonald's is against its competitors.

What I enjoyed was the cover story:

Today, innovation is about much more than new products. It is about reinventing business processes and building entirely new markets that meet untapped customer needs. Most important, as the Internet and globalization widen the pool of new ideas, it's about selecting and executing the right ideas and bringing them to market in record time.

In the 1990s, innovation was about technology and control of quality and cost. Today, it's about taking corporate organizations built for efficiency and rewiring them for creativity and growth. "There are a lot of different things that fall under the rubric of innovation," says Vijay Govindarajan, a professor at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business and author of Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators: From Idea to Execution. "Innovation does not have to have anything to do with technology."

Here's an article from Tom Davenport on the types of innovation. I think it helps make the point that product innovation is just one type of innovation.

Another great insight comes to us from John Hagel, who talks about the limits of western thinking in his critique of Gary Hamel's latest thinking. Hagel tells us to focus on understanding the continuous management innovations across enterprises that are emerging in Asia.

Question: How does one link innovation to brand? to shareholder value? to sustainability? Branding, design, eco-imagination. They're all linked...


At first glance I have no chance.

How can my puny soccerblog.com site take on the likes of Joga.com from Nike + Google?

Answer: It doesn't have to.

Joga.com from Nike + Google is too commercial, period. So it's no contest.

Communities have to be open - in spirit and intent. They cannot exclude players, teams, or participants. I'm sure Nike + Google will learn. Until then, I'm having fun!

John Hagel: Joga.com and the Return of Community

William Dunk's Global Province: Agile Companies #281

The Economist:

The pressure Microsoft is facing in its core businesses is similar to one confronted by IBM—another firm that was once synonymous with computing. At the beginning of the 1990s IBM had to face up to the shift from a computing world dominated by mainframes to one dotted by personal computers. In this new world hardware became a low-margin commodity and Microsoft's operating system took the privileged position. Today, Microsoft still dominates the PC market. But like IBM before it, today's giant knows that its position is under threat.

and

So Microsoft now plans to graft subscriptions, downloadable add-ons and advertisements on to its core products. Again, it portrays this as an opportunity to open up new revenue streams, rather than a defensive tactic. “There are three ways to pay for anything in this business: ads, transactions and subscriptions,” says Craig Mundie, one of Microsoft's chief technology officers. “You'll see the company offer a full range of different ways to buy our product.” The difficulty will be getting the timing right, so that new products do not undermine existing cash cows.

For now, however, too many Microsoft managers are still measured by their success with yesterday's business model—selling boxes of software. Microsoft is still formulating its response to the rise of online software. As one former Microsoft executive explains: the company's problems are not just technical but organisational. “It has a vision but not a roadmap; it can see the peaks but doesn't know how to cross the foothills to get there.”

C'mon Gates! Show us what MS can do - get funky! You guys are too big, too top-driven, too reactive... Unleash your employees! Start leading! Let's see some disruptive innovation from within...

Read the article>>

Sing along:

We don't really need...

There's no time to beat around the BUSH
Now all the world is living in fear
The consequence a great disaster zone
The thought alone I cannot bear
And now that war has raised its ugly head
And all I can predict is woe yeah!
This claim for power paints the city red
I isolate the Status Quo.

We no want no weapons of mass destruction
We no want no weapons of mass destruction
No we no really need
No no weapons no

This has got to be the final conflict
Bestowed upon humanity
So much for a global coalition
A false sense of security
We are just pawns in the scheme of things
No matter what our race or creed
Survivors of this holocaust
We international refugees

We no want no weapons of mass destruction
We no want no weapons of mass destruction
No no no lethal weapons
No no lethal weapons
No weapons no weapons

This crave for power
Is one disaster, destruction's in the air
These ego trips, by heads of states, who giveth not a care
For all your children and all my children
The future's in despair

No no no No no no
We do want no weapons no...

Rules for Innovators?

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From the Talentism blog, a great list for wanna-be innovators:

(1) Innovation starts with "And"
(2) Not Just Smart, But Always Focused
(3) Make Sure You Have the "No But" Critic in the Room
(4) Build Crappy Prototypes Fast
(5) Don't Listen To Customers, Watch Them
(6) If It's Right, Change It
(7) Sell it Like you Play It
(8) Iterate 'Till You Drop
(9) Appoint One Person Bad Cop and Follow Their Command
(10) Innovation Is About Learning, not Genius

Here's one more:

(11) Constancy of Purpose!

Question: Where does one find the most incompetent collection of managers and leaders in America today?

Answer: The Bush White House.

Ouch!

Doug Smith, one of America's smartest consultants, doesn't mince words...

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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