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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

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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

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