Monthly Archives: October 2013

Historical perspectives for better strategic thinking

October 1, 2013
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Historical perspectives for better strategic thinking

On a recent trip to Cumberland, MD, I had the opportunity to visit some of the regional historical sites that date back to the Colonial era, when early European settlers pushed out the local Native Americans and established a new trading post.  Disputes between the British and French traders lead to the necessity to defend…

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Challenging the traditional business model

October 1, 2013
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Challenging the traditional business model

Two rivals in short-term property rentals, HomeAway and Airbnb, present the traveling consumer with alternative lodging offers.  For property owners, each provides a different model for interfacing with consumers. This brief interview with HomeAway CEO, Brian Staples, gives a good overview of the differences.  HomeAway brings the consumer and property owner together, but does not…

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October classroom―business models and competitive advantage

October 1, 2013
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October classroom―business models and competitive advantage

Any of the completed work from these activities can be converted to face-to-face discussion.   Try adapting the content to your specific course format.  Using your classroom teams in their online Wiki sites, have students conduct the following studies: Evaluate the two companies in the Short Cases this month (HomeAway and Airbnb).  Expose the differences in…

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Tractor innovation changes the agricultural competitive landscape

October 1, 2013
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Tractor innovation changes the agricultural competitive landscape

Out of necessity, John Deere recognized an opportunity to invent a new tool for tilling prairie land that would improve productivity and therefore sales for his company.  The new design brought sales, but it also opened the doors to new customers who were more accessible by river transportation.  Deere moved his operation in 1847 to…

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DIY Web-based visualization

October 1, 2013
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DIY Web-based visualization

Data presentation through images challenges the researcher to look for meaningful ways to present results that will capture audience interest and perhaps entertain the viewer.  ChartsBin is a free resource that offers web-based tools for creating personalized, interactive visuals using personal data or data from their rich bank of compiled data.  Once created, these visualizations…

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Map repository

October 1, 2013
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Map repository

The Business Insider often presents visualizations of information that can be useful to business strategists.  This article contains 36 cartographic visualizations, gleaned from a variety of sources, that show the world in 2013 and the evolutionary path that lead to the current state.  Subjects include economic activity shifts, industry relocation, the evolution of the railroad,…

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Management across the generations―the arrival of the Millennials

October 1, 2013
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Management across the generations―the arrival of the Millennials

Authors Karsh and Templin, both working at JB Training Solutions, offer a guideline for generational management, oriented toward the Millennial generation.  This timely book provides interesting insights into the differences that drive each generation, with suggested action approaches for bridging the understanding. The four groups addressed (Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials) find themselves…

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Evaluating Internet sources

October 1, 2013
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Evaluating Internet sources

Finding appropriate supporting documentation for discussion forums and strategic plans is an important skill that many of our students may not have mastered.  The University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire presents a list on their library website that might prove useful as a reminder of what is considered valid information.  Ten items are presented: content,…

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Competing for customers―Airbus vs. Boeing

October 1, 2013
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Competing for customers―Airbus vs. Boeing

Aircraft manufacturers face tough competitive markets.  The cost of building a large commercial aircraft is enormous and is covered in part by advance payments from financing institutions for airline purchase commitments.  In continually pushing the efficiency rating for their products, Airbus and Boeing appeal to airline carriers wishing to improve operating costs.  In a recent…

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Airline cost cutting measures hurt the airport

October 1, 2013
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Airline cost cutting measures hurt the airport

Airlines increase profits by charging for services that once were included in the ticket price.  One of these fees is for baggage both in the suit and carried on.  As travelers seek ways to constrain the cost of air travel, the amount of luggage becomes important to the point that passengers worry about being charged…

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