Steve Jobs Solved the Innovator's Dilemma

Harvard Business Review

That book is The Innovator's Dilemma by HBS Professor Clay Christensen. But what's most interesting to me isn't that The Innovator's Dilemma was on that list. Anyone familiar with Professor Christensen's work will quickly recognize the same causal mechanism at the heart of the Innovator's Dilemma: the pursuit of profit. It had 90 days working capital on hand when he took over — in other words, Apple was only three months away from bankruptcy.

The Ten Commandments of Business Success

Women on Business

Capitalize on your Assets — Don’t assume your assets are money. Innovate –Think Outside the Box –Do not be a boring cookie cutter. For Harper, it was deciding to franchise her business as a practical way to expand, when she could not get working capital, plus be assured of an ownership base that would strictly follow her dictates. Guest Post by Jane Plitt.

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Why Preventing Disruption in 2017 Is Harder Than It Was When Christensen Coined the Term

Harvard Business

Yet, despite the fact that all of our guests across our 18 sessions (and counting) have embraced these truths, the average result of such commitments to innovation seems to have been tenuous. But the corporate innovators we’ve talked to all know that. They’ve read Christensen’s book The Innovator’s Dilemma. Why are executives who do everything they do to heed the recommendations of innovation theorists continuing to come up short?

Tesla Cuts Pay and Furloughs Employees after Closing Factories

HR Digest

Whether you want to stay up-to-date on HR news, read in-depth HR articles, or find new ideas on strategy, innovation, and leadership, The HR Digest Magazine is here to suit your needs and help you stay more informed. billion capital raise. You stay on that employer’s work list.

Leadership Matters

N2Growth Blog

In 1973/4 I participated in an Overseas Fellowship at General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) in a work/study cooperative programme in Flint, Michigan, which was the birthplace of GM. It has the strongest balance sheet, is the most profitable mining business in the world (measured by underlying earnings and cash generation), has substantially reduced costs (by some $6 billion), working capital ($3.5 (as featured in mining.com). CEO Interview: Sam Walsh.

Creating Michelin-star Quality for the Masses

Harvard Business Review

Capital investment and operating expenses are high because cooking equipment and raw materials must be the best: wines devour working capital, the kitchen and serving staff must be paid handsomely, and crystal glasses and crockery will break. Oldani has created a Michelin restaurant for the masses by working on two fronts. Alessandro Di Fiore is the CEO of the European Centre for Strategic Innovation, based in Milan. Innovation Marketing

What to Know Before You Sign a Payment-by-Results Contract

Harvard Business

The concept is fairly straightforward: The parties define the result up front, agree on a baseline, work out how confident the organization is in delivering the result, and then specify the expectation and payment in the contract. And providers want the flexibility to deliver outcomes in the best, most innovative, and most efficient way possible without being micromanaged by the customer. When PbR Doesn’t Work. Making PbR Work. Samuel Castro.

Interview with Sramana Mitra on 1M/1M Program

Rajesh Setty

Once the $1 million revenue milestone is crossed, entrepreneurs find it easier to find additional customers, manage working capital, and access funding, whether it is credit or equity. In my roundtables, the vast majority of entrepreneurs I work with are in this rather vulnerable pre $1 million revenue stage. Over the course of 2010, the work did gain momentum, and we were joined by many of our readers from around the world who decided to make this resolution their own.

Best Buy Can't Match Amazon's Prices, and Shouldn't Try

Harvard Business Review

Key to our advice is the implicit acknowledgement that all disruptive businesses find their strength in some technological or business model innovation that is fundamentally better positioned than their upmarket competitors in serving some segment of the population. That 5% margin might come not from scale, but from the absence of stores, retail employees, and reduced working capital requirements. Competition Consumer goods Disruptive innovation

Your Whole Company Needs to Be Distinctive, Not Just Your Product

Harvard Business

It became easier and easier for small enterprises to gain customer reach and awareness (along with working capital). But it didn’t quite work out that way. In our book Strategy That Works we articulate what those capabilities can look like, how to blueprint and build them, and how to bring them to scale. Start from your goal and work backward, articulating the steps you’ll need to take to get from the capabilities you have to the capabilities you need.

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We Can’t Study Short-Termism Without the Right Metrics

Harvard Business

For instance, McKinsey considered a smaller ratio of capital expenditure to depreciation to indicate short-term thinking, because it’s assumed that short-term companies will invest less, and less consistently, than other companies. Repaying such profits to shareholders through share repurchases is better than misinvesting that cash to diversify into unrelated businesses in which management has no expertise or overinvesting in projects that may not return cost of capital.

Why Adding More Products Isn’t Always the Best Way to Grow

Harvard Business

They had to work in sequence, meaning they had to streamline the operation first — before they could launch their new growth effort. The underlying trouble had been McDonald’s working from an inside-out perspective: what fit with its current infrastructure and operations. Even when companies do want to expand their product offerings, internal preparation and sequencing can matter more than the innovation itself. Justin Case/Getty Images.

Recommended Resources – An Interview with Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi, authors of The Essential Advantage

Strategy Driven

Based on extensive research and providing a wealth of exercises, tools, and company examples from many industries – including Amazon.com, Walmart, Pfizer, Inditex (Zara), Itaú Unibanco, and Procter & Gamble – The Essential Advantage helps you construct a strategically coherent company in which the pieces reinforce each other instead of working at cross-purposes. Capabilities-driven strategy works in all contexts.

Artisans Must Balance the Books

Harvard Business Review

As more people depended on him, he spent his working capital, and the business failed. When artisans have no understanding of their cash flows, they fail prey to spending a big percentage of their working capital, without meaning to, on non-business issues that usually cripple their operations. As more people depended on him, he spent his working capital, and the business failed.

Telecom's Competitive Solution: Outsourcing?

Harvard Business Review

Due to huge capital requirements, these investments could exert considerable pressure on the working capital of the carrier company. Bharti's innovative business model converted fixed costs in capital expenditure to a variable cost based on usage of capacity. telecom carriers face daunting challenges from device makers, content providers, social networks, and an array of disruptive technologies. But the solutions may not be housed on their own soil.

Social Impact Investing Will Be the New Venture Capital

Harvard Business Review

Donations and grants don't allow them to innovate and grow. They have virtually no access to capital markets and little flexibility to experiment at various stages of growth. There are $700 billion of foundation assets, and 10 million people working for non-profits. Yet there are massive inefficiencies in capital allocation. Compare that to the world of venture capital. We're already beginning to see innovation. Social enterprise Venture capital

What Netflix and Starbucks Know About Cash Flow

Harvard Business Review

This allows you to better manage operating and capital expenses. It can also improve working capital. Digital payment innovations that tap into consumers certain about their latent demand are at the heart of successful digital business models. And brands that have earned high degrees of trust with great loyalty and passion—whether in a sexy category or not—are in the best position to capitalize on it. Netflix just announced its best quarter ever.

What You Don’t Know About Sales Can Hurt Your Strategy

Harvard Business Review

The goal of strategy is profitable growth, meaning economic value above the firm’s cost of capital. There are basically four ways to create that value: (1) invest in projects that earn more than their cost of capital; (2) increase profits from existing capital investments; (3) reduce the assets devoted to activities that earn less than their cost of capital; and (4) reduce the cost of capital itself.

How Banks Should Finance the Social Sector

Harvard Business Review

Financial markets are not working for charities and social enterprises today. As a result, charities and social enterprises do not have the cushion of external financing to manage their various capital requirements. Like any small business, they need working capital to balance out the peaks and troughs of their business cycle. Sometimes they need bridging capital to pay for projects that are being grant-funded upon completion.

Entrepreneurship: A Working Definition

Harvard Business Review

For some, it refers to venture capital-backed startups and their kin; for others, to any small business. The opportunity may entail: 1) pioneering a truly innovative product; 2) devising a new business model; 3) creating a better or cheaper version of an existing product; or 4) targeting an existing product to new sets of customers. For example, a new venture might employ a new business model for an innovative product. Entrepreneurship Venture capital

A Playbook for Making America More Entrepreneurial

Harvard Business Review

We see ourselves as risk-takers and innovators. But the economic toolbox that works for big companies isn’t the same one that works for small ones. If policymakers hope to be successful in their efforts to promote entrepreneurs and small businesses, they need to know what works – in short, they need a “Playbook” for small business job creation. In fact, we know a lot about what works from observing this recent experimentation.

To Grow, Social Enterprises Must Play by Business Rules

Harvard Business Review

They need new executive talent, infusions of capital, and systems capable of supporting an expanding organization. For-profit companies in the same situation can turn to a robust venture capital community that is focused on providing the management, financing and strategy that innovative companies need to scale up quickly. Since it started its work in December 2010, SBT has invested in five social enterprises, which have since collectively increased their revenues by 77%.

How One CEO Grows Her Business with Feeling

Harvard Business Review

What do you think causes millions of people to miss work and school in developing economies? private-sector development division of the World Bank — studying how small and medium-sized businesses can play a role in developing economies — Scharpf, now a 34 year-old graduate of Harvard's graduate schools of business and government, happened to overhear a local colleague complaining that her employees often missed work because they were menstruating.

My First, Failed Foray into Venture Investing

Harvard Business Review

In fact, a personal dream I have been pursuing for several years is to invest in the dreams of others, not only through my words, my expertise, my connections, but also my capital. Because he didn't have any capital, and therefore no leverage, his initial equity stake was small, such that even as the company's valuation increased in subsequent financing rounds, he suffered massive dilution. If the business worked, we had less upside. Entrepreneurship Venture capital

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