Perhaps most important, the Japanese economy is still the second largest in the world, representing more than half of the entire Asian economy. Its new ventures can reach critical mass quickly, which gives them an advantage over new ventures in, for example, China and India. When the new Japan is noticed, the attention is often negative. People point to allegations of securities fraud made against the Internet service provider Livedoor, or to insider trading charges brought against the flamboyant financier and shareholder-rights activist Yoshiaki Murakami.
Yoshito Hori yhori globis. The typical brand manager is an ageist. It goes with the territory, because whatever the formal customer segmentation driving a brand strategy, the segments will almost certainly be differentiated by age.
Its main product, a nutritional supplement called Firmness, targets women aged 45 to Like Firmness, most brands target a specific age group, either explicitly or implicitly, through the choice of media used to advertise them. To serve customers outside that age group, the company has to create new brands. As customers mature, the company must replace them with younger ones and encourage the previous customers to switch to an allied brand rather than to a competitor.
Instead of seeking to build immortal brands that generations mature into and then out of, they could create brands around a given cohort of customers. As the customers matured, the brands would evolve with them. The aim would be to match the needs of that cohort at any moment in time. Like Harry Potter, the fictional schoolboy wizard who grows older with his readers, brands that mature with their users can prove particularly durable.
How would it look in practice?
Because this customer pool would not change over time, the company could explicitly manage for brand loyalty, responding to the actual preferences of its customers rather than trying to sell them a predesigned set of preferences. For example, the brand could continue to capitalize on the fact that many of its consumers grew up in the age of disco or thrilled to the tunes of ABBA.
Various components of the marketing mix would be affected. Unlike traditional brands, Souplesse would face a certain death. Would this constant churn be expensive? For one thing, evolving Harry Potter brands would presumably profit from greater brand loyalty. But it could be used for food, health care, clothing, and the media.
One last word: A world of cohort-specific brands will probably favor first movers, because if they do their job well, second entrants will find differentiation difficult. This suggests that fans of Harry Potter should proceed quickly.
Coralie Damay coralie. David Dubois duboisd northwestern. For a powerful perspective on future business, take a hard look at mathematics past.
Companies in several industries are now dusting off these formulas and putting them in the service of new products and processes. Networks like the Web can be expressed as matrices, and a relatively simple calculation gives a ranking of how well each site is connected to the rest of the Web. That formula for automatic ranking—which could be understood and appreciated without a PhD—is one of the most lucrative algorithms ever. The math was there for the taking.
Why should past work, often quite theoretical, be so useful now? Done in the absence of high-speed, low-cost computational capacity, that work put a premium on imaginative quantitative thinking. Disruptive opportunities abound. Here are some examples:. Take, for example, an algorithm that measures the statistics of any queue. This algorithm can automatically assess performance along a wide range of variables.
Larson and his colleagues developed the algorithm in the early s with an eye to improving automated teller machines, but it has gotten little notice otherwise.
Now that companies increasingly automate customer-service management, this algorithm is a natural tool for monitoring the quality of repeated processes. Sometimes the equations come from far afield.
Consider the mathematics developed to help physicists determine the optimal cooling time for crystallizing molecules packed together as tightly as possible. Nokia and a few other companies are exploring them in product development. Genetic algorithms in which solutions are evolved can deliver results superior to those from analytic algorithms in which solutions are designed.
This work offers the possibility of major advances, but an equally large opportunity may lie in simply getting more managers to use existing quantitative tools in their decision making.
To improve the reliability of their individual business plans, Savage observes, managers could even plug into enterprise-wide probability estimates. Only recently have these academic research tools become part of everyday business practice in fields such as engineering and financial services. The rate at which they are intelligently adopted could be a differentiator in the wider marketplace.
Cheap algorithms are like cheap labor and cheap capital—a valuable resource when judiciously employed. The big-box retailers Wal-Mart and Best Buy, for example, are widely regarded as having superior analytic infrastructures. They substitute on-screen representations and visualizations of data for complex numerical equations. Applied systematically, these tools may help solve what is perhaps the biggest challenge facing retailing: how to efficiently sift through the mountains of data that are now being collected. Whether looking for breakthroughs or just trying to improve decision making, companies will benefit from greater sophistication around even simple mathematics.
A decade ago, big firms began to realize that they were sitting on a treasure trove of underutilized patents and know-how that could be commercialized for willing buyers. Rivette and David Kline put it in their book by that name, needed the keen eye of an intellectual property curator to appreciate their value. Technology continues to make that quest faster, easier, and cheaper. Michael Schrage schrage media.
What is hope? Something more than wishful thinking but short of expectation. A rejection of cynicism and dispiritedness. And a state, we believe, quite central to the work of a leader.
Yet work connected to the positive-psychology movement has made hope discussable in new ways. Hope has been shown to be the key ingredient of resilience in survivors of traumas ranging from prison camps to natural disasters. Many studies have shown that people who score higher on measures of hope also cope better with injuries, diseases, and physical pain; perform better in school; and prove more competitive in sports.
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Our contribution has been to outline the elements of hope—possibility, agency, worth, openness, and connection—in a way that guides efforts to nurture it in the workplace. The first two are central to the definition of hope: People must see that change is possible and how they can engage personally in that change. Even so briefly described, these elements suggest why hope can be an energetic force for positive change to a degree that, say, optimism alone could never be.
Our study of effective executives has uncovered many ways in which their decisions, words, and actions make the people they lead more hopeful.
Collectively, these practices are the basis of a leadership tool kit for building and sustaining hope. But the most important change comes when a leader is simply more mindful of this vital part of her or his mission. Harry Hutson harry puttinghopetowork. As the presentation progressed, it became increasingly clear that some members of the audience were restless. Wake up and smell the coffee! Come out to the parking lot and take a look at what we have developed and installed in our cars!