Innovation Requires More Than Systems and Tools

Innovation Requires More Than Systems and Tools

by Cyril Bouquet , Jean-Louis Barsoux and Julian Birkinshaw | Oct 14, 2013

Broad based engagement in innovation has to be carefully nurtured and actively monitored

Innovation ain’t what it used to be. Once the responsibility of a single department with a clear mission — new product development — today, it is everywhere and involves not just products and services, but processes, technologies, business models, pricing plans and performance management practices – the entire value chain.  As a result, innovation is now the responsibility of the entire organization.  Read more of this post

Chasing trends is a dangerous game; Momentum is a losing strategy for long-term investors

October 16, 2013 9:01 am

Chasing trends is a dangerous game

By Paul Woolley

Momentum is a losing strategy for long-term investors

Big investors currently pursue two very different strategies when appointing external managers. Their traditional approach is to hire fund managers for portfolios benchmarked to market indices with risks quite tightly controlled. They are simultaneously increasing their allocations to hedge funds, measured against cash and free to take every liberty under the sun. Both approaches generally produce disappointing results, especially for long-term investors such as pension funds. As it happens, this is for related reasons. Read more of this post

More Holes Than Cheese: Embracing the Growth Imperative

More Holes Than Cheese: Embracing the Growth Imperative

by Hans-Paul Bürkner, Kermit King, and Nor Azah Razali

OCTOBER 08, 2013

Corporate leaders can be forgiven for taking an increasingly cautious view of the future: growth in the developed markets remains slow while growth in the emerging markets is falling from a once-great height. But those who fail to pursue top-line growth and, instead, focus on cost cutting to improve the bottom line risk falling behind more enterprising competitors. Around the world, and in every industry, sector, and business, there are companies managing to grow fast and to build an enduring lead over their rivals.

BCG’s research ( shows that the gap in operating margin between corporations in the top-performing quartile (companies achieving high growth and high operating margins) and those in the bottom quartile has widened dramatically as the global economy has become ever more volatile and unpredictable. In 1950, the gap was 13 percent. Sixty years later, it was 59 percent.

What is the secret of the fast-growing companies?

In essence, leaders at these organizations understand that there is a growth imperative. This drives them forward. They see opportunities everywhere, pursue them relentlessly, and never think that their job is done. For these leaders, there is always more commercial space to be conquered. There are always more holes than cheese. Read more of this post

Lessons on Technology and Growth from Small-Business Leaders: Ahead of the Curve

Lessons on Technology and Growth from Small-Business Leaders: Ahead of the Curve

by David C. Michael, Neeraj Aggarwal, Derek Kennedy, John Wenstrup, Michael Rüssman, Ruba Borno, Julia Chen, and Julio Bezerra

OCTOBER 05, 2013

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Small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) are critical to fueling economic growth and job creation around the world. Their success matters. As SMEs search for ways to grow, they have the opportunity to embrace a new wave of information technologies. With the advent of the cloud, SMEs can access many of the same technologies as giant multinational companies. Yet the adoption of the latest IT by smaller companies has been decidedly uneven. This new digital divide threatens to widen the performance gap of SMEs as the pace of innovation accelerates. Read more of this post

IKEA’s Path to Selling 150 Million Meatballs: The Swedish furniture giant’s IKEA Food division is a behemoth, rivaling Panera Bread and Arby’s

IKEA’s Path to Selling 150 Million Meatballs

Ordering Up a Simple Swedish-Influenced Menu to Fuel Shoppers


Oct. 16, 2013 7:58 p.m. ET


Meatballs are on the menu at an IKEA in Stockholm, shown—and around the world. Ellen Emmerentze Jervell for The Wall Street Journal

When IKEA decided to sell food, it chose to do it in much the same way it sells furniture: a few standardized staples, sold in large quantities. The result: 150 million meatballs. That is the number IKEA estimates will be dished out in store cafeterias this year. Though the Swedish company is better known for its inexpensive, assembly-required furniture, its IKEA Food division is a behemoth, rivaling Panera Bread and Arby’s, with nearly $2 billion in annual revenue. The company estimates about 700 million people this year will eat in one of the cafeterias that are located in 300 IKEA stores world-wide. Read more of this post

EBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar is launching a “new mass media organization “to cover general interest news,” through which he will support “independent journalists,”

EBay Founder Plans News Venture

Pierre Omidyar to Work With the Guardian’s Greenwald


Updated Oct. 16, 2013 6:01 p.m. ET

EBay Inc. EBAY -0.83% founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar is launching a “new mass media organization” to cover general interest news,” he disclosed in a Web posting, the latest sign of how Silicon Valley riches are flowing to the news business. Mr. Omidyar, who remains eBay chairman and the e-commerce company’s biggest shareholder with a stake valued at about $6 billion, is reportedly committing at least $250 million to the venture, according to an interview he gave media academic and blogger Jay Rosen, who wrote about it on his blog PressThink. Read more of this post

The wonderful world of Japanese law: Yōkoso to endless discovery

The wonderful world of Japanese law: Yōkoso to endless discovery


OCT 16, 2013

Having kindly published my intermittent ramblings on Japanese law and the occasional other subject over the years, The Japan Times has seen fit to give me a monthly column.

It seemed appropriate to welcome readers to the inaugural with a couple of headline slogans that the Japanese government has used to encourage tourism. I try to write for “tourists” — the general reader who may be sort of interested in law and the way it affects society but doesn’t do law for a living. Most of my readers are also probably non-Japanese, whose understanding of law is based primarily on what they have learned and experienced in their home country, a background that may make the Japanese system seem very quirky and different. Read more of this post

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