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Showing posts from February, 2005

Tear Down That Cubicle!

Terkel wrote: "Work is about a daily search for meaning as well as daily bread; for recognition as well as cash; for astonishment rather than torpor; in short for a sort of life, rather than a Monday-to-Friday sort of dying." -- "Brands need to be sympathetic to the emerging trend of downshifting and demands for a more sympathetic work-life balance. Expectations are changing, making it increasingly tough for employers and brand owners alike. Which brands get it and why?"

Hi-Tech Will Transform In-Store Retail

Think self-scanning is the summit of supermarket gizmos? Think again. -- "From self-scan checkouts at grocery stores to electronic information kiosks at retail chains, businesses are making technology an ever more central part of the overall shopping experience. IBM, which is investing heavily in shopping computerization, reports that shoppers from different countries across the board are increasingly open to using new in-store technologies. The company says that super-shoppers have become empowered by their ability to access data online, and this ability translates into an extremely knowledgeable consumer base, with specific customer-service needs."

Broadband Is Going to Go Boom

eMarketer predicts that there will be nearly 70 million broadband households in the US in 2008 -- "Convergence, once only a futuristic dream, is a growing reality in homes across the continent, and it is changing the character � product offerings and competitive alignment � of some of the most powerful corporations in North America. The broadband market is no longer about only high-speed Internet access, says Ben Macklin, eMarketer Senior Analyst and author of the report. A new market is being created, including voice and video � a market worth nearly ten times the value of the Internet access business alone."

The Eternal Dream for Wireless Data

Next year it will take off, perhaps... -- "It is time to ask ourselves why more and more end-user services and corresponding business models appear misaligned with market realities. Conflicting interests of technology standardisation and market-oriented commercialisation underpin this challenge. There needs to be an overhaul of the way the mobile telecom industry develops and delivers products and services to customers."

Keynote Ranks Shopping Site Experiences

"Internet Retailer reports that a Keynote Systems market study found, and to provide the three best e-commerce experiences. Following the web trails of more than 2,000 users, keynote ranked sites based on more than 200 criteria, including availability, service, brand impact and customer loyalty."

Are You Happy Now?

"Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman has chosen to dedicate the rest of his career to well-being, and not just his own. In the second of a two-part interview, Dr. Kahneman explains why we're never as happy or unhappy as we think we'll be, and why we can adapt to just about any circumstances. He also says he's exploring why the French are never satisfied, though they have perhaps the world's most enviable lifestyle."

Uncovering the Hidden Drivers of Consumer Demand

"There is gold to be mined in understanding the consumer�s decision-making process. -- Cable TV operators, Internet service providers, wireline and wireless network operators, and other mass-consumer communications companies face an array of high-stakes bets in their quest for revenue growth. Mercer�s Customer Value Engineering� approach helps lower the risk of these bets by integrating the insights and interactions of both customer demand and the microeconomics of service delivery."

Automated Self-Service Comes to Telcos

"Telecommunications companies won't be able to afford their expensive call centers much longer, given their shrinking margins. Fortunately, they can cut their customer service bills in half by following the lead of airlines and retailers that have successfully moved many of their transactions to the Web. Many customers are willing � and some even prefer � to deal with the telcos over the Internet, but these companies must dramatically improve their online capabilities to meet such people halfway."

The Fall and Rise of the CMO

"Chief marketing officers come in three new-and-improved flavors, exclusive Harvard research shows -- As large corporations redouble their efforts to find more profitable paths to growth, they�re looking for strategic and operational leadership from the marketing organization more than ever before. The result is the increasing prominence of a senior executive whose title didn�t even exist 10 years ago: the chief marketing officer, or CMO."

A Matrixed Approach to Designing IT Governance

"New, in-depth research shows that when senior managers take the time to design, implement and communicate information-technology governance processes, the results are impressive. In their latest article, the authors show successful companies using targeted approaches for different situations to maximize efficiency and value � not only for IT but for the overall enterprise. On the basis of their research, they offer recommendations to guide effective design of IT governance."

The Outlook for VoIP: Regulatory Battles and New Competition

"During his four years as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Michael Powell championed the idea that new communications technologies should not be subject to federal and state regulations. But as Powell prepares to step down in March, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) -- the technology that allows telephone calls to travel over the Internet -- faces a push by several states to regulate it as a traditional telephone service, a move that many fear would stifle its potential."

Global Sourcing: Business without Borders

"Whether it�s computer technical support or product design going offshore, or concern that the United States now ranks 19th in the world in math and science education, the effects of globalization are a frequent topic of discussion. Here�s a quick look at what some speakers at the Stamford Business School have said in the past year. We have to find real solutions, but if we�re running off into a protectionist mode � what is frustrating about that � other than what goes around comes back at us � is that it means we�re taking our eye off of the ball about what we should be doing constructively together to make sure that we have a climate where we can compete and where we will win."

The New Competencies in IT

"According to the authors of The New CIO Leader: Setting the Agenda and Delivering Results , the chief information officer is at a crossroads, buffeted by two conflicting perspectives of IT. The first views IT primarily as a "chief technology mechanic," irrelevant to competitive advantage and far from the executive suite. The second perspective views IT as the heart of every business process, crucial to innovation, and a key driver to enterprise success. If the second perspective is your goal, then a new kind of CIO must lead. This person creates a vision of how IT builds organizational success, creates realistic expectations, goals, and governance procedures, and assembles a team that is less about allocating server space and more about working as a creative and influential team."

Rethinking Marketing's Conventional Wisdom

"Many mature service industries are in a service arms race in which they keep adding more and more services cumulatively over time. But consumers don't always want "more and more"�what they're looking for are unique combinations of attributes. You see that with the success of the airline JetBlue, for example: It has no meals and no round-trip airfares, but it does have leather seats and personal entertainment centers that delight and surprise its passengers. JetBlue's unique combination of features is what gives it a unique position in the market. "

South Korea: Fighting to Stay on Top

"The Information Minister outlines his plan to sustain the country�s tech lead -- As its domestic IT markets grow increasingly saturated, and competition from neighboring countries stiffens, South Korea stands at a dangerous juncture: find a way to sustain its lead, or watch the work of two decades fall by the wayside. That�s why Daeje Chin, the South Korean Minister of Information and Communication, spent the week schlepping around the San Francisco Bay Area. He touted South Korea�s �ubiquitous information society� and met with Silicon Valley companies. More than anything, he looked for foreign capital that could jump-start his country�s flat-lining industries. South Korea has one of the most advanced IT industries in the world, boasts top cell phone adoption rates, and leads the globe with 75 percent broadband penetration."

Blue Ocean Strategy

"How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant -- Traditional corporate wisdom tells companies to fight it out between themselves to win greater market share. A brave new strategic direction is changing this. Instead of battling in the bloodied red waters of the existing market space, why not move to the pristine blue waters of previously untapped markets? Don't compete with rivals - make them irrelevant. INSEAD Professors W. Chan Kim and Ren�e Mauborgne outline an exciting new strategy framework, opening a fresh and vibrant way to earn strong profitable growth and win in the future."

Engaging Employees to Increase Productivity

"According to Gallup research, well-managed workgroups are more profitable (44 percent higher), more productive (50 percent higher) and have higher degrees of customer loyalty (50 percent higher). With this in mind, chief learning officers often are challenged to provide education that impacts the bottom line and other key measurement points for the enterprise. CLOs play an important role in the world of performance management. Progressive companies are increasingly managing workforce performance and development to ensure proper alignment between business needs and human capital. The result is a leaner, more vital, better-prepared and better-performing enterprise that delivers greater value to the shareholder."

The Future of the Networked Company

"Recent years have seen the rise of network organizations � groups of "unbundled" companies collaborating across the value chain to deliver products and services to customers. By owning fewer assets and leveraging the resources of partner companies, network "orchestrators" such as Cisco, CNET, Schwab, and eBay require less capital, return higher revenues per employee, and spread the risks (and benefits) of a volatile market across the network."