Glo-Bus Competition Results

Feb 24

My marketing course made use of an online simulation which allowed students to form groups and operate a digital camera business. The inputs that were available to students included product parameters, marketing parameters, financial parameters and so on. My co-manager and I decided we would adopt a high quality, high margin strategy and go for low market share but focus on the high end customers. Unfortunately the algorithm didn’t accommodate this approach. It should have been obvious by year 8 in the simulation, but we persisted to see if there would be a cumulative effect that would reward the high quality approach. After year eight we could see that the simulation algorithm would not work with our strategy. We also noticed that the groups in the lead were focused almost exclusively on increasing market share. Despite low margins, they were making good profits based on large volume of sales. We changed our strategy in year nine. In the following three years we focused much more on market share by reducing our margins, especially in the entry level camera market. In year 11 we returned some focus to our camera quality, which slowed our growth somewhat. By this time our competitor’s growth had stagnated. Trending for the last three years showed that we would surpass the leader within another four years. Here’s a presentation that walks through our strategy and some key metrics from the...

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Fiji Water and Environmental Responsibility

Feb 23

Corporate Social Responsibility and ethical questions of stakeholder vs. stockholder analysis affect many businesses. For businesses that trade in limited natural resources, these issues have increased significance. In the analysis below, I explore how Fiji Water both profited from and suffered under environmental influences. There are many stakeholders who have interest in Fiji Water and its operations, both internal and external to Fiji. These include local residents, vendors external to Fiji and government. Each of these facets represents a cost benefit analysis for those who intend to put up the capital to fund the venture. It also represents potentially complicated issues from various points of view, including local residents, government officials, environmentalists and even regional and global participants. Download Fiji Water case...

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Leadership in Ukraine from East to West

Feb 19

Many of my thoughts on leadership revolve around the congruence of values between leader and follower. I argued that Leadership Erosion is eating away at majorities and consensus with the end being irreconcilable segmentation. When common values cannot be established there is little hope of common objectives on social and political issues. One such case today is found in Ukraine. View Larger Map Ukraine is a country ideally situated to observe the clash of values that erodes the effectiveness and reach of leadership. One the east is Russia, a reluctant adopter of western capitalism and liberal thought. On the west is Europe, forward thinking, capitalistic and largely democratic. Within the Ukraine, there are people who align with both value systems. Recent fighting brought this division to the forefront. President Viktor Yanukovych has received pressure as a result of his alignment with Russia on financial and energy resource issues. The opposition argues that alignment with the European Union is more desirable. At the heart of the disagreement is a conflict of values which some in the media are describing as a conflict between Obama and Putin. While this has less to do with the actual western or eastern leaders, it does trace back to what those leaders stand for. If Yanukovych, or any other leader, hopes to unite, inspire and transform the Ukrainian people, the first step must be a unification of values; an agreement on what is worth living and dying for. Until there is greater congruence of values, it’s unlikely any leader will succeed in uniting the people and putting Ukraine back on solid, independent...

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Leadership: Play to your Strengths, Forget your Weaknesses

Feb 12

Weaknesses feel so much more visible than strengths to many people. In the consideration of leadership, there is a tendency to allow focus to dwell on correcting flaws rather than developing strengths. Recent research indicates that weaknesses may not be holding leaders back as much as previously thought. With the exception of what Zenger and Folkman call “fatal flaws”, much more potential improvement is available to those leaders who focus on strengths. Strengths represent opportunity for leaders. Whether a leader invests in his strengths should be viewed opportunity cost. A focus on trying to fix weaknesses may cost a leader a great deal of growth opportunity. Time frame is helpful in identifying both whether to focus on a strength or a weakness and which strengths to focus on. Cultural tendency is to set new year’s resolutions. However, that time frame may be too short when considering personal development. Questions about who the leader wants to be in five to ten years from now may bring more clarity and perspective. Another benefit associated with a focus on strengths development is increased engagement and retention. Strengths building can be very rewarding and can improve outcomes in immediate ways. Immediate rewards increase engagement and satisfaction, and in some cases can diminish the negative aspects of weaknesses. When it comes to leadership, there’s a lot more value in playing to personal strengths than dwelling on weaknesses, as long as the leader stays in touch with his weaknesses so they don’t become critical...

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Netflix and the Future of Entertainment – case study

Feb 10

The latest case study for my marketing class was a review of Netflix. It discusses trends in delivery of entertainment content, starting with video cassette through to their streaming service. I highlight some of the strategic business choices that Netflix is making to remain relevant among competitors. Download Netflix Case...

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