Strategy

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    Naming a firm after its owner is risky, but can pay off handsomely

Naming a firm after its owner is risky, but can pay off handsomely

There’s one choice every business, large and small, must make: what to name itself. It appears that more talented and confident entrepreneurs are more likely to name their firms after themselves, self-selecting into a group taking a risky approach, but one that can pay off handsomely.

We found entrepreneurs who name their firms after themselves are sending a powerful signal […]

Curtailing the market for private prisons: schism or blip?

For nearly 25 years, new prisons built in the UK have predominantly been procured through ‘design, build, finance and operate’ (DBFO) contracts with the private sector. So the opening earlier this year of a new supersized prison to be financed and operated by the public sector – HMP Berwyn in north Wales – puts the future of ‘whole prison’ contracting in […]

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    How multi-agency teams made decisions in a simulated terror attack

How multi-agency teams made decisions in a simulated terror attack

Paris, Brussels, Nice, Berlin, London and Stockholm. If I’d listed these six cities to you a little over 18 months ago, you might wonder if I was considering a weekend away to explore the rich culture, history and tourism that these great European cities have to offer. Today they are synonymously linked as the six cities that were victim to […]

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    Strong consumer data protection can be a disruptive innovation

Strong consumer data protection can be a disruptive innovation

Something regarding big data has recently changed in Brussels which business should take note of. This usually prefaces news of ramping up EU data protection rules, such as the recent Data Protection Regulation, which are not universally welcomed in business circles. In particular, companies coming from the more permissive environment of the US are faced with a sea change […]

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    If Trump’s ‘America First’ takes hold, expect disruptive innovation

If Trump’s ‘America First’ takes hold, expect disruptive innovation

Policymaking often creates unintended consequences. But can disruptive innovation actually be spurred by President Donald Trump’s version of protectionism? Using the language of disruptive innovation, we observe that the long-term negative consequences of isolationism are actually an acceleration of US companies losing their own industries. Perhaps not even protectionism is what it used to be.

When it comes to economic […]

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    The hidden cost of downsizing: demotivating the remaining employees

The hidden cost of downsizing: demotivating the remaining employees

Firms that lay off staff can see a significant reduction in the performance of their remaining workers, according to our experimental study. Our research suggests that firms that decide to ‘downsize’ their workforce should be wary of how the layoff decision is perceived by the remaining (“surviving”) workers. If the surviving staff interpret the decision as a way to boost […]

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    Why are so few companies satisfied with their innovations’ results?

Why are so few companies satisfied with their innovations’ results?

What would happen if a CEO publicly declared that he is against innovation and would never invest a dime on it again? He would probably be fired right away, while the company’s stock plunged! Not to mention, his statement would be quoted in B-schools for decades as an example of business myopia or, in more mundane terms, idiocy. Why? […]

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    What industry incumbents need to know about platform models before it’s too late

What industry incumbents need to know about platform models before it’s too late

Portland cab drivers protest, by Aaron Parecki, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
Amazon, Airbnb, Uber, Facebook have been hogging the news. The headline figures are arresting. Amazingly, Uber has already surpassed BMW’s market capitalization. A seven-year old upstart company with a mere 6,700 employees is valued more highly than a hundred-year old company with one of the world’s best known automotive brands […]

The malling of America may be history

Mall of America interior, James Patterson, under a CC BY 2.0 licence, via Wikimedia Commons
Is the great American suburban shopping mall a dinosaur?

If you visit the site of Northland Center in suburban Detroit, you come away thinking so, because Northland was a trend-setter throughout its life cycle. It was the world’s largest shopping center when it opened in 1954, just as […]

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    If you do not have a unique insight, you do not have a strategy  

If you do not have a unique insight, you do not have a strategy  

008/366 – Einsichten / Insights, by Boris Thaser, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
A famous philosopher once said that if you do not know who the patsy is at a poker table, you are the patsy.  In card games, relying on maximising your winnings when you are dealt good hands and limiting your losses when you are dealt bad ones serves […]

Apple has a business strategy behind the iPhone 7

Apple’s corporate strategy is changing and, once again, not in a way that benefits customers. Here are some of Apple’s latest decisions. Making the iPhone 7 just an incremental improvement over the iPhone 6. Developing a brand new iWatch with several new features. Introducing the Earbuds and in the process removing the earbuds jack and, perhaps the most important […]

How to come up with a strategy under true uncertainty

What is true uncertainty?

This has been a pleasant summer for London. The sun’s up, the sky is clear, and people are out. But London’s economy doesn’t feel as pleasant as the weather, as it still grapples with the “Brexit shock”. The Friday morning of 24th June, after the EU referendum, was supposed to be business as usual. However, the […]

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    Does flopping have an upside? Business rethinks the meaning of failure

Does flopping have an upside? Business rethinks the meaning of failure

Teresa Kohl knows from failure. Her parents’ family farm filed for bankruptcy. So did her first employer, a major accounting firm. Two other companies she worked for either folded or restructured. Today, Kohl puts her experience with the downside of business life to use, earning her living by advising faltering companies on how to turn things around. She says failure, […]

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    Plans for future scenarios are hard to communicate to employees

Plans for future scenarios are hard to communicate to employees

Scenario planning is a well-known and commonly used strategy tool. Despite such widespread use (and its presence in business school curricula), there exists little consensus over what it actually involves, how and when it is done (or should be done), and how it can help organisations. My research attempts to address these issues and develop a more thorough understanding […]