Don’t Reengineer. Reimagine. Reimagining your business means creating many of the conditions of a startup—the sense of freedom, flexibility, and creativity—but at the scale and with the discipline of a large enterprise

Published: May 28, 2013 / Summer 2013 / Issue 71

Don’t Reengineer. Reimagine.

To realize the digital potential of your business, bring the dynamics of a startup to scale.

by Jeff Schumacher, Simon MacGibbon, and Sean Collins

What does it mean to become digital? Companies in all industries are building online businesses, enabling new customer experiences, experimenting with “big data,” and seeking advantage in a digitally enabled business environment. They have tried reengineering their practices; they have set up new technological platforms for customer engagement and back-office efficiency. But these efforts have not yet had the impact that they should. Instead of reengineering, they need reimagining. They need to conceive of their business freshly, in line with the capabilities that digital and business technologies can give them, connecting to customers in ways that have not been possible before.

Reimagining your business means creating many of the conditions of a startup—the sense of freedom, flexibility, and creativity—but at the scale and with the discipline of a large enterprise. You bring together cross-functional teams who can ideate, bring to life, and execute a truly digital user experience. You take a customer-centric approach to everything your company does—including innovation, user experience (UX) design, marketing, promotions, sales, operations, and customer service. You convey a distinctive brand identity and emotional connection that’s present in storefronts, websites, smartphones, connected devices such as high-tech fitness wristbands—and forms of interaction still being conceived. You use big data and analytics in all their forms to deploy insights from customers in real time, designing and marketing products and services that respond instantly after sensing and analyzing what people do online (and off). Reimagining your business also means continually measuring and testing the impact of these products and services, and learning from the results. Read more of this post

China banks seen issuing hybrid debt to cope with bad loans, boost capital; Mainland lenders seen issuing more debt that can convert to equity, force losses onto investors

China banks seen issuing hybrid debt to cope with bad loans, boost capital

Monday, 09 September, 2013, 12:00am

Jasper Moiseiwitsch jasper.moiseiwitsch@scmp.com

Mainland lenders seen issuing more debt that can convert to equity, force losses onto investors

In the dark days of July, as investors digested news of China’s growth slowdown and grappled with an interbank market liquidity squeeze, Tianjin Binhai Rural Commercial Bank quietly raised 1.5 billion yuan (HK$1.9 billion) in new capital. It was seemingly no big deal. But given increasingly alarming talk about mainland banks’ non-performing loans in the context of slowing growth and an imploding shadow banking sector, Tianjin Binhai’s transaction may prove transformational. Read more of this post

Hidden for a century, ‘fake’ is actually a Van Gogh

Hidden for a century, ‘fake’ is actually a Van Gogh

10:49pm EDT

A painting titled "Sunset at Montmajour" is seen in this handout photo received from The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A French landscape painting stored in an attic and kept from public view for a century because it was considered a fake is the work of Dutch master Vincent Van Gogh, a museum said on Monday citing new research. “Sunset at Montmajour”, which shows twisted holly oaks and a distant ruin bathed in the light of the setting sun, was painted in 1888 when Van Gogh was living in Arles, in the south of France. The work, owned by a private collector, will go on show at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam later this month for a year. Museum director Axel Rueger described the discovery of a new work by Van Gogh as “a once in a lifetime experience” as the painting was unveiled at a press conference on Monday. Read more of this post

Learn Willpower With a Sniff and a Nibble; How researchers are helping overweight kids train their brains to resist temptation

September 9, 2013, 7:18 p.m. ET

Overweight Kids Learn Willpower With a Sniff and a Nibble

How researchers are helping overweight kids train their brains to resist temptation

BONNIE ROCHMAN

A recent research program is testing an intriguing hypothesis: Can overweight children be taught to eat less by putting their favorite dishes right in front of them?

Kerri Boutelle, a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at University of California, San Diego’s School of Medicine, calls her willpower-enhancing technique “cue exposure.” The aim is to train the brain of overweight and obese children to reduce the desire to eat when they’re not actually hungry. And since many impulses to eat come from triggers in our environment, such as getting an urge to snack while watching TV, interrupting such automatic responses can help children cut down on mindless eating. Read more of this post

Tennis lessons on winning–in business and life

Tennis lessons on winning–in business and life

By Patricia Sellers September 9, 2013: 11:09 AM ET

Serena Wiliams’ US Open victory reminds us that winning–in sports or business or life–comes down to a few rules. Tennis legend Billie Jean King sums up how to win.

“Pressure is a privilege. Champions adjust.” Watching Serena Williams score her fifth US Open women’s singles title last evening, I couldn’t stop thinking of Billie Jean King’s advice on winning. During the first two sets of Sunday’s nearly three-hour thriller vs. Victoria Azarenka, Williams could hardly get out of her own way, committing double faults and unforced errors as nasty wind gusts visibly rattled her. How does a champion adjust—and pull out the victory? Here’s wisdom that King, who won the women’s singles title at the US Open four times 40 years ago, shared in an interview that I did with her in June at Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women conference in London. King’s advice is as applicable to business–and life–as it is to tennis: Read more of this post

Li Ka-shing withdrawing from mainland property market

Li Ka-shing withdrawing from mainland property market

Staff Reporter

2013-09-10

Hong Kong property tycoon Li Ka-shing has been selling his assets in mainland China, with Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong Holdings recently announcing plans to sell off a large shopping mall in Guangzhou, the Shanghai-based National Business Daily reports. The two companies, both owned by Li, announced that they will sell their respective 50% stake in Metropolitan Plaza in Guangzhou’s Liwan district to an offshore company called GCREF Acquisitions 22, for HK$3 billion (US$390.7 million). The deal is scheduled to be finalized on Nov. 29. Read more of this post

McKinsey Clients Shrugged at Scandals, Ignored Greed

McKinsey Clients Shrugged at Scandals, Ignored Greed

McKinsey & Co., the global fix-it firm for companies and governments, labored in Tanzania in the late 1960s and charged fees so high that they merited a line item in the country’s budget, according to “The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business.” Hard-core capitalists might consider McKinsey’s big bills and say hooray for the free market. Demand a price the market will bear and all that. Astonishingly, author Duff McDonald considers this and other dazzling examples of McKinsey’s greed and concludes that “in large part” the firm’s people aren’t motivated by money. They aren’t? McDonald, a contributing editor at Fortune and the New York Observer, has put together an instructive history of McKinsey, but on key points he leaves us scratching our heads. He says it’s an “open question” whether McKinsey has transformed the way businesses are managed, but a page later allows that McKinsey “has certainly made the world a more efficient, rational and objective place.” Nearly 200 pages into the book he wonders about McKinsey’s boast of having smart guys who can fix any client problem even as the firm suffers high-visibility failures, such as its ill-fated advice on the restructuring of General Motors Co. (GM) in the 1980s. “Is it a con?” he asks. The maddening answer: “Maybe.” Read more of this post

New life in the idea of the big company; Companies are still bent on increasing their size – for good reason

September 9, 2013 4:55 pm

New life in the idea of the big company

By Andrew Hill

Companies are still bent on increasing their size – for good reason

The life and career of Ronald Coase, whodied last week aged 102, spanned the century in which modern management developed. That is appropriate, because Coase contributed immeasurably to our understanding of the potential and limits of the basic management unit that is the modern company. Even so, a few thinkers are taking a chisel to the solid foundations he laid. Author John Hagel has blogged that it is time to reassess Coase’s view of the corporate world and come up with “a new rationale . . . to drive institutional success”. In “The Nature of the Firm”, the 1937 paper that helped earn Coase his Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, he sought to penetrate the corporate “black box” and define why companies are needed. In brief, it is because by co-ordinating activity internally, they avoid the high transaction costs that would apply if everybody did business directly with one another in the “perfect” market beloved of “blackboard economists”. Read more of this post

Build it like Rockefeller; “Most small businesses are job replacements at best. They’re doing nothing to move the needle of the economy.”

Build it like Rockefeller

September 9, 2013

Adam Courtenay

Businesses can learn a lot from ‘history’s greatest entrepreneur’. If entrepreneurs around the world could claim a guru it might well be the man they call “the growth guy”, the founder of the US-based Entrepreneurs’ Organisation, Verne Harnish. Harnish is the chief executive of Gazelles Inc, an education and coaching company in the US which specialises in educating entrepreneurs on how to grow their businesses and how to manage the difficulties of growth. Harnish represents something you’re unlikely to find in Australia: an SME evangelist who champions the right of mid-cap companies to grow sans bureaucracy in a laissez faire economy with few constraints.  He will be preaching his growth strategy – and the pitfalls of hyper growth – across Australia over the next two weeks. Harnish says he doesn’t represent the little company and he is definitely not interested in corporate behemoths – his mandate is the fast-growing “gazelles”. Australians like to think of small business as the backbone of the economy, but not Harnish. “Most small businesses are job replacements at best,” he says. “They’re doing nothing to move the needle of the economy.”  Read more of this post

Workers Nudged to Health Exchanges Seen Costing Taxpayers

Workers Nudged to Health Exchanges Seen Costing Taxpayers

U.S. retirees being pushed out of company-sponsored health plans may prove a harbinger for existing employees as well. About $6.7 billion in taxpayer money may be at risk if companies raise premiums by as little as $100 a month. That may spur as many as 2.25 million people to drop company coverage and enroll in plans under the Affordable Care Act, Stanford University researchers said. Read more of this post

Research renaissance offers new ways out of depression

Research renaissance offers new ways out of depression

6:53am EDT

By Kate KellandHealth and Science Correspondent

LONDON (Reuters)- As Susan sits chatting to a nurse in a London clinic, a light tapping sound by her head signals that parts of her brain are being zapped by thousands of tiny electro-magnetic pulses from a machine plugged into the wall. The 50 year-old doctor is among growing ranks of people with so-called treatment-resistant depression, and after 21 years fighting a disorder that destroyed her ability to work and at times made her want to “opt out of life”, this is a last resort. Read more of this post

A Common Test to Screen for Stroke Risk Is Under Review; Health panel takes a new look at carotid-artery ultrasounds, which can produce false positive results

September 8, 2013, 5:22 p.m. ET

A Common Test to Screen for Stroke Risk Is Under Review

Health panel takes a new look at carotid-artery ultrasounds, which can produce false positive results.

LAURA LANDRO

After a career driving custom buses for touring rock bands, Ken Goins felt like he was in good shape to enjoy retirement, having lost weight and quit smoking years earlier following a bypass operation at age 50. But on his 69th birthday, an ultrasound test showed an 85% blockage in his left carotid artery, one of the two large blood vessels in the neck that supply blood to the brain and can become clogged with cholesterol. A vascular surgeon performed a carotid endarterectomy—a procedure to remove plaque and restore normal blood flow—to lower the risk of stroke from a blood clot or piece of plaque that can get stuck in a smaller artery in the brain. Read more of this post

PBOC’s Zhou Says LGFV Reliance on Land Sales Is ‘Problem’

PBOC’s Zhou Says LGFV Reliance on Land Sales Is ‘Problem’

Chinese local government financing vehicles’ reliance on land sales and rising land prices to repay debt creates “problems,” People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan wrote in a commentary. LGFVs are similar to municipal bonds in more mature markets, with both relying on future income to fund repayments, Zhou said in comments published on the central bank’s website yesterday. The difference is that Chinese financing platforms rely on land sales and not tax revenue for income, he wrote. Read more of this post

Day-Trippers Underpin Hong Kong Mall Rents

Day-Trippers Underpin Hong Kong Mall Rents: Real Estate

Jane Hu, a financial adviser from the Southern Chinese city of Huizhou, travels to the outskirts of Hong Kong to shop with her friends at least once a month. They rarely venture into the city center or stay overnight. “It’s only a two-hour bus ride so we’re not wasting our money on hotels,” said Hu, 30, hauling around a suitcase stuffed with pharmaceutical drugs and snacks she bought in the New Town Plaza shopping mall in the Sha Tin district, about 16 miles (26 kilometers) from Hong Kong’s border with mainland China. “These are like grocery-shopping trips.” Read more of this post

Regulator Mulls Paving the Way for Private Banks

09.09.2013 18:12

Regulator Mulls Paving the Way for Private Banks

CBRC plans to unveil a model by end of year, a development private companies and cities around the country are eagerly anticipating

By staff reporter Wu Hongyuran

(Beijing) – It has been two months since the State Council said the government will explore the establishment of private banks invested by private capital and bearing risks themselves. The move is widely viewed as real progress toward opening the financial industry to private investors because though non-state companies have been allowed to be the controlling shareholder of a bank, they do not manage the bank’s operations independently enough to be considered running a business at their own risk. Read more of this post

As Chinese Farmers Fight for Homes, Suicide Is Ultimate Protest

September 8, 2013

Picking Death Over Eviction

By IAN JOHNSON

As she drove down a busy four-lane road near her old home, Tang Huiqing pointed to the property where her dead sister’s workshop once stood. The lot was desolate, but for Ms. Tang it lives. Four years ago, government officials told her sister that Chengdu was expanding into the countryside and that her village had to make way. A farmer who had made the transition to manufacturer, she had built the small workspace with her husband. Now, officials said, it would be torn down. Read more of this post

In China, being retweeted 500 times can get you three years in prison

In China, being retweeted 500 times can get you three years in prison

By Gwynn Guilford @sinoceros September 9, 2013

Details of a new law issued by China’s supreme court are bound to make loose talkers on Sina Weibo and other social media platforms think twice before speaking freely. The law says that any libelous posts or messages will be considered “severebreaches of the law if they are visited or clicked on more than 5,000 times or forwarded (or “retweeted,” in Western parlance) more than 500 times. Those found guilty could face up to three years in jail, reports Reuters, citing Chinese state media. Read more of this post

China SOEs — How They Think and Why

China SOEs — How They Think and Why

2013-09-09 18:26:15

Peter Fuhrman, Chairman and CEO China First Capital

There are many flavors of State-Owned Enterprise (“SOE”) in China, from polluting monster chemical factories to quaint dumpling houses that date from before the revolution. Since coming to China, I’ve seen up-close quite a number SOEs, probably more than most other non-Chinese. No two are quite alike. But, equally, SOEs in China, from the largest centrally-administered “national champions” (known as 央企, or “yangqi”, in Chinese and include such familiar names like Sinopec,China MobileICBC) that earn billions in profits every year to smaller local loss-making industrial companies with a few hundred employees, share a similar genetic code. Or more precisely, provide the same iron rice bowl. Read more of this post

China Needs Beijing to Be Even Bigger; China accounts for 30 of the 50 largest cities in east Asia with half a dozen megacities with populations of more than 10 million and 25 “large” cities exceeding 4 million

China Needs Beijing to Be Even Bigger

One of the most critical and controversial economic debates in China today revolves around how the country should urbanize. Already, more Chinese live in cities than on the land, a proportion that is expected to rise to 70 percent by 2030. Proponents of further urbanization are hoping that Premier Li Keqiang will announce reforms this fall that will make it easier for migrants to move to cities and receive the same rights as locals. This, they believe, will unlock the productivity gains needed to sustain growth over the coming decades. They’re right about the need for more city dwellers — but not about the need for more cities. Read more of this post

Alibaba’s Jack Ma Says Partnership Best Way to Protect Business

Alibaba’s Jack Ma Says Partnership Best Way to Protect Business

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. founder Jack Ma said a partnership system is the best way to protect the company’s value, and it is “not concerned” about where to hold potentially the largest initial share sale since Facebook Inc. Ma said in an e-mail provided to Bloomberg News that the current 28 partners are most likely to create value for customers, employees and shareholders. The partnership system “is not a mere profit sharing mechanism, nor is it a vehicle of power to exert greater control over the company,” he said. Read more of this post

How Does Alibaba Make Money?

Sep 9, 2013

How Does Alibaba Make Money?

By Juro Osawa

To get a glimpse of how Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s e-commerce sites work, meet Steven Wong. Mr. Wong, a 39-year-old entrepreneur who lives in Hong Kong, is a regular shopper on Taobao, China’s largest online marketplace run by Alibaba. His most recent purchase was a black T-shirt that said “New York” in white letters, which cost a little over $3. The transaction took place between Mr. Wong and the merchant who sold the T-shirt on Taobao, which serves as a platform where sellers and shoppers find each other. Read more of this post

Why Apple remains king of the mobile game; Samsung may be winning in device volume, but Apple’s App Store attracts paying customers and makes developers’ lives a little easier

Why Apple remains king of the mobile game

September 9, 2013: 12:27 PM ET

Samsung may be winning in device volume, but Apple’s App Store attracts paying customers and makes developers’ lives a little easier.

By John Gaudiosi

FORTUNE — The tech world’s attention will turn to Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. Tuesday, where the company is rumored to debut the enhanced high-end iPhone 5S and the lower-cost iPhone 5C. Other devices, potentially the long-rumored iWatch, could also be showcased. While new Apple products at press events multiple times a year are now common in the cutthroat mobile industry, this week’s event is especially important for Apple (AAPL) and its investors, as well as for the company’s rivals like Samsung, Microsoft (MSFT), Nokia (NOK), Google (GOOG), and Motorola. Read more of this post

Western Digital buys flash memory maker Virident for $685 million, focus now on Fusion-io

Western Digital buys flash memory maker Virident, focus now on Fusion-io

1:34pm EDT

By Neha Alawadhi

(Reuters) – Western Digital Corp said it would buy Virident Systems Inc for $685 million as the hard drive maker and Seagate Technology Plc battle for a piece of the fast-growing market for solid-state drives used in servers. Shares of Virident rival Fusion-io Inc were up 20 percent at midday, with analysts saying the storage drive maker was a likely acquisition target for Seagate, one of the backers of Virident. Read more of this post

Viki founder Razmig Hovaghimian’s winning bet

Viki founder Razmig Hovaghimian’s winning bet

September 9, 2013

by Terence Lee

Some time before Rakuten’s acquisition of Singapore startup Viki for a reported $200 million, founder Razmig Hovaghimian and SingTel Innov8 CEO Edgar Hardless had a friendly wager on how much the startup could be acquired for. The stakes? Dinner in any restaurant in Singapore. Razmig’s prediction was unbelievably rosy at the time, said Edgar at a panel discussion held at startup accelerator JFDI last week. Innov8, a $200 million venture capital firm, is an investor in Viki. It turned out that Razmig won. But the bet was trivial compared to the series of gambles Razmig and his co-founders had made as entrepreneurs. Read more of this post

PayPal Eliminates Need for Phone or Card in Retail Purchases

PayPal Eliminates Need for Phone or Card in Retail Purchases

EBay Inc. (EBAY)’s PayPal unit has a message for its 132 million users: put away your phones. The digital payments provider introduced technology today that lets consumers enter a store and pay without touching a credit card or smartphone. Retailers can plug a new device, called Beacon, into a power outlet and detect phones that have the PayPal application, sending a notification to the cashier. Read more of this post

Virgin Media U.K. Pay-TV Service Adds Netflix in First

Virgin Media U.K. Pay-TV Service Adds Netflix in First

Netflix Inc. (NFLX)’s subscription-video service will be offered on Virgin Media Inc. cable systems in the U.K., marking the first time the Web-delivered product is integrated by major pay-TV provider. Virgin Media, purchased this year by John Malone’s Liberty Global Plc (LBTYA), will begin testing Netflix with 40,000 customers who use TiVo set-top boxes, according to a statement today. The feature, which requires a Netflix subscription, will be available this year to all 1.7 million of its TiVo users. Read more of this post

IPad-Toting Doctors Fuel Publisher Profits as Paper Fades

IPad-Toting Doctors Fuel Publisher Profits as Paper Fades

Ohio doctor Mrunal Shah recently shipped four boxes of medical texts to developing countries because he can’t recall the last time he cracked a book rather than tapping for information on his iPad. “There is no paper chart in any of my hospitals, and it’s rare to see people even using paper and pen,” said Shah, 41. While that’s good news for Apple Inc., the shift has also been a boon for Wolters Kluwer NV (WKL) and Reed Elsevier Plc (REL), academic-journal publishers that trace their roots to the 19th century. Both now employ more technology staffers than editors as doctors trade in dusty volumes of “Gray’s Anatomy” for digital tools such as UpToDate, an online medical encyclopedia from Wolters Kluwer or a similar product from Reed Elsevier called ClinicalKey. Read more of this post

It’s all in the wrist – Who has vision to crack the ‘smartwatch’?

It’s all in the wrist – Who has vision to crack the ‘smartwatch’?

11:19pm EDT

By Jeremy Wagstaff

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The smartwatch could be as revolutionary as the smartphone – an intelligent device on our wrist that connects our bodies to data and us to the world – but only a handful of companies have the heft and vision to be able to pull it off. It’s not through lack of trying. Watchmakers and others have been adding calculators, calendars and wireless data connections to wrist-straps for at least 30 years. Read more of this post

Israeli startup Outbrain, whose main product is a content recommendation service, expected to go public at $1 billion value

Israeli startup Outbrain expected to go public at $1 billion value

The firm, whose main product is a content recommendation service, is expected to try to raise some $200 million to $300 million.

By Orr Hirschauge | Sep. 9, 2013 | 11:36 AM

Israeli software company Outbrain is nearing an initial public offering. The firm, whose main product is a content recommendation service, has started preparing a prospectus for the IPO at a company value of about $1 billion, and is expected to try to raise some $200 million to $300 million. Outbrain’s technology is used by websites to recommend other content and links the reader might find interesting using. the idea is to keep readers on the site and increase traffic to sites – and in doing so increase revenues. Outbrain also allows advertisers to distribute marketing content alongside the recommendations. Read more of this post

Facebook Unveils Tools for Showing Posts About TV News

Facebook Unveils Tools for Showing Posts About TV News

Facebook Inc. (FB) is rolling out new tools that integrate posts from the world’s most popular social network with television broadcasts, stepping up competition with rival Web companies. News organizations such as CNN and NBC’s Today Show will be able to display real-time comments from Facebook users and companies that have designated their posts as public, the company said today. The features will also offer aggregated information on what’s generally being discussed on the social network based on gender, age and location. Read more of this post

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