10/31/2005 11:00:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|I had quite a weird feeling today in my Organizational Theory class after a vivid discussion involving theories such as Classical Management, bureaucracies and Scientific Management. As we sat there, analyzing the McDonald's business model and drawing what were mostly negative conclusions about it, I couldn't help thinking about the future of American management. I wondered if in a not so distant future, there was going to be enough space in the labor market for all these new, skilled managers such as my colleagues and I, to actually do what managers are suppose to do: manage other people effectively and lead them to success.
My concern is not in vain. For example, it isn't news to anyone that more and more companies slim down their operations by downsizing and many times that is accomplished by getting rid of none else but the middle manager. One argument that can be made is that middle managers are actually a reminiscence of pyramidal, hierarchical organizations and that in our quest for a flatter, more balanced business model , we try to bring our base workers closer to top management by replacing middle managers with team players of all sorts. In that case then, it wouldn't be that we are getting rid of more and more managers, but rather restructuring our workforce to reflect what companies should value today: teamwork and organizational learning.
I sure hope so. With the constant outsourcing of lower skilled jobs to developing nations and the massive number of international students from these same countries in American MBA programs, I wonder if our greatest career struggles will soon switch from finding a decent job after college to simply finding ourselves a good group of people to manage.|W|P|113083147641321725|W|P|The Manager Who Didn't Have Anyone to Manage|W|P|10/18/2005 07:57:00 AM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|The New Lure of Internet Marketing
as seen in Fast Compay magazine
It isn't news to anyone that dot.com companies around the globe crashed and burned as "the Internet bubble" popped leaving many business owners and shareholders talking to themselves. But is their failure a complicated formula of much hyped expectations and bad business planning? Not so much. It might have been bad business practices indeed but the formula is simple math: if you don't get a decent return in your investment you too will be out of business in no time. In other words: you don't want to spend too much trying to capture consumers that won't give you much in return. It defies the laws of marketing.
This article talks about a new trend in marketing for Internet companies, named the Kickback Economy. The key point here is conservative spending, driven by the customer's actions. As Scott Griffith, chairman and CEO of SoftLock.com says in the article, "the content finds its own audience".
Internet companies need to realize that they are like any other company: the focus should be on getting the most revenue generated for every single dollar spent. Sound obvious? Sure it does, but why then did it take so long for the industry to get this?|W|P|112964722190762349|W|P|The New Lure of Internet Marketing - The Kickback Economy|W|P|10/11/2005 10:08:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|If you have been watching ABC lately you might think I'm talking about the new TV series starring Gena Davis "Commander In Chief". In this primetime thriller, Gena plays the first American female president in history, as she steps in from the VP position (notice that to make the show belieavable, they made her a VP first). Many critics say that the show will last as long as America's passion for Paris and Nicole's "The Simple Life".
In the meantime, in another continent, reality imitates fiction. Following a close election, Angela Merkel was chosen to become the first female chancellor of Germany.
The question right now is whether she will be given power (read balls) to run the country. Will she be remembered as an effective leader? Or will she become a puppet? These are questions that are yet to be answered.
How come of all nations, America still sees women participation in politics as a fictional, distant fantasy? Maybe Angela Merkel and Gena Davis are just the pushes that women such as Mrs. Clinton needed to consider becoming the first American female president (or at least trying). And I think Hillary has a pretty good shot given that two things happen:
1) Angela Merkel remains in power, shows excellent leadership skills and runs Germany smoothly towards prosperity over the next few years.
2) Gena Davis and the crew of Commander in Chief come back for a second, even a third season.|W|P|112905184216006238|W|P|Is America Ready for a Female President?|W|P|10/10/2005 08:32:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|Finals week is here. Right, seven weeks into this and I'm already taking finals. But that's not the reason for my post. This is really a post about a few books I've been reading in my free time over the last few months. The first, I already wrote about it, Freakonomics. Great book, very controversial.
After putting that book down, I read about this other author, Malcolm Gladwell and his bestseller "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking". I read great things about Blink and all of them are true. Gladwell explores our unconscious decisions, the ones based on snap judgments, first impressions and most importantly, thin slicing while making a great point about how these decisions are sometimes much wiser than the ones taken based on analysis.
It just happened that I just finished a section talking about customers perceptions, associated not only with the product itself, but also with the packaging. I had read about the subject before: how Pepsi "tricked" Coke into launching a new Coke, how small packaging details in a variety of products make all the difference. These things amaze me and truth is that Gladwell puts his argument so well together, it makes me want to keep reading, especially in a subject of my recently picked career. Blink is indeed a great book and I look forward to finishing it as soon as time permits.
Another couple of books that I look forward to reading after Blink are first, this one where this hostage negotiator gives tips on how to "mack". That's going to be interesting, guaranteed. Finally, I look forward to read Malcolm Gladwell's other book, "The Tipping Point", his first bestseller. Interesting thing that I was never a great fan of reading. I have even said before that I'm not a reader, but a devoted writer. As a matter of fact, I'll finish up cause I got some major writing to do.|W|P|112900153507082548|W|P|Great books for those who don't like to read|W|P|10/11/2005 05:16:00 PM|W|P|Suhit Anantula|W|P|Hi:
I do agree with you that first impressions make the difference. A lot of times an MBA is just one of the ways to open "doors for you" and its upto you what you make of it.
At the same time he makes some important points in terms of validity of education, ideas and institutions.
BTW, This was the only way for me to reply to your comment.
PS: where are you doing you MBA?10/05/2005 11:03:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|Forbes.com: Passion Fruit
Many of us would like to know what it takes to become a billionaire (because becoming a millionaire is very mundane nowadays). During the last DELS, sponsored by Pepperdine University, I decided to stay late in school to hear David H. Murdock, the emperor of Dole Foods tell us what it took for him to get there. As the wildfires consumed the vegetation surrounding beautiful Malibu, students and a variety of professionals had a chance to hear Mr. Murdock's incredible path to success.
The poor son of a salesman overcomes poverty, disease and adversity twice in life to become one of the most successful businessmen in the entire world. The attentive audience listens and searches desperately for some words of wisdom among the sentences of his personal odyssey. Minutes and millions of dollars later, as part of the audience dozes off, giving in to the tiredness of a hot California workday, Mr. Murdock says a few magic words: "And here are the ten most important points to success"(many reach for their notepads, I discretely take notes in my Palm)!
Mr. Murdock's Key Points to Success
1) IMAGINATION - Dream big. Win big.
2) CREATIVITY - Because "the mind does not know the difference between fantasy and reality".
3) Recognize an OPPORTUNITY
4) ACTION - "We are the masters of our own destinies".
8) KNOWLEDGE - Research, research, research.
5) Have a roadmap - a PLAN to execute.
6) MORE ACTION - Carry out your plan.
7) FOLLOW THROUGH - It might take longer than you think.
9) PERSONAL GROOMING - He doesn't understand how students come to class showing their knees.
10) PROPER EATING - Read the article above and you will see what I'm talking about.
My advice: Focus on the execution, take a chance and adjust to the consequences. Many people, including myself many times fail to execute or take way too long to do so. By that time, your moment has passed and your opportunity long gone in someone else's hands.|W|P|112831290755345980|W|P|Forbes.com: Passion Fruit|W|P|10/02/2005 10:33:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|As I sit in the school cafeteria, I notice a couple of similar scenes: the blonde girl across from me talks with her long distance boyfriend over her computer. The Frenchman over on the corner babbles some cheerful words to someone in France. The similarities: they both huge smiles on their faces because both are talking for free using Skype and all they need is their laptops, a headset and the school's free high speed Internet.
I learned that Skype was purchased by Ebay a few weeks ago. I have to say that was an incredible move considering the turmoil that Vonage and other companies are creating with VoIP. What I fail to see is how exactly this service can still be free. Why my disbelief and skepticism? Well here are a few reasons why:
1) So many users - I believe there could be about 10 million users worldwide. And the rising popularity of the software will make this number go up.
2) Ebay users are somewhat technology savvy and can easily become a huge costumer base.
3) Ebay had more than 8 billion in revenues last year. So you charge everyone 1 dollar a month and all of the sudden you have at least 120 million additional in revenue.
So why not? Apparently, there plan is to add enough functionality to the new Skype that you would not mind paying a more than a few dollars, euros, rupees or reais for the deluxe version.
Check out the article below:
|W|P|112733826587649594|W|P|How Much Longer WIll Skype Be Free|W|P|