During the 1980s, American companies learnt a lot from Japanese business practices. Lean production and Kaizen were concepts which got well integrated. Indeed Toyota took over one of General Motors’ worst run plants in California and turned it into an operational success. These initiatives across industries were partly possible due to excellent talent management practices. It does not seem that right now any of these will work our primarily because the business schools aren’t churning out enough quality professionals in the field of human resources. Reasons cannot be explained but there are many possibilities for this low churn. Most MBA institutes do not have separate HR departments. In fact the field has got sub divided into so many smaller sections that professionals from sociology, psychology and labour economics do not seem to appreciate each others’ virtues or issues. Also innovations lag in the teaching of HR and not much technology has been integrated to the same. The State University of New York in Albany is amongst the new breed ones which is trying to bridge this gap but more such are needed.

Business research conducted has provided us some tips which can help turn companies into top brands. First of all awareness must be built about the products or services on offer. The approach towards the market must be consistent across all channels. Case studies have proven to be an extremely powerful and potent method to broadcast company information. Case studies also help in digital marketing as these are easily available online and can be sourced by the information seekers with maximum ease. 

As Sir Isaac Newton had once famously alluded to, human beings build on the cumulative culture and knowledge which their predecessors have acquired. We have the unique ability to observe, record and tabulate information gained. However, knowledge is also often lost as we can see in the example of Australia’s Aborgines’ loss of highly useful inventions such as fishing nets or warm clothes, proven through archaeological research. If one goes through the timeline of human history, one is comfortable with little innovation for the best part of a staggering two million years. Yet within a period of thirty thousand odd years, there was a tremendous leap in the collective human knowledge pool. Environmental factors also play a part. Business innovations similarly require a certain favourable environment to thrive. Organizational culture grows around the innovation at the firm much like human culture has evolved over time and technological advances.


Business innovation is increasingly being associated perhaps unfairly with entrepreneurship. The Idea that is doing the rounds is that in order to innovate one has to start a new firm. Thus it is startups which are defeating established larger firms with the innovations which they are able to implement at short notice as opposed to the latter who have long bureaucratic systems of communications. Decision making in larger firms is time consuming thus killing innovation. MBA institutes such as Harvard and Stanford have started entire wings encouraging students to innovate and generate their own startups. Such startups are increasingly coming up with exit strategies knowing fully-well that eventually their enterprises will pay off and they can cash in at the right time. Larger firms are thus coming up with innovation metrics to gauge creativity. 

Leadership is very often the critical ingredient which make or break organizations. A management consulting publication has provided us with a list of mistakes that are commonly committed by firms which eventually lead to ineffective leadership. One of them is when individuals get promoted for the sake of it without any significant development to their profiles. Additional corporate training ought to be provided when promotions take place with added responsibility. Also quite often the aspiring leaders are judged on inappropriate metrics. The development of the individuals needs to be an ongoing activity rather than a one time job. Sometimes it is existing leaders with a certain mindset who inadvertently hold back the next generation of honchos. Rather developing existing talent must be among the key parameters to evaluate the contemporary leadership. Finally, what happens frequently is that the top management does not show enough interest in the actual workings of the next levels and thus enough support does not generate for the aspiring generation.

Inadequacies in corporate culture can result in poor ethical standards leading to possible wrongdoing. Corporate Strategy should envision a culture which is strongly compliance driven while also encouraging a truly open culture which allows all employees to voice their ethical concerns. During scandal investigations, investigators look for explicit knowledge about wrongdoing possessed by senior officers to incriminate them. Thus, senior managers avoid making detailed inquiries into the operations of the rank and file because of the fear that they would be compromised during an investigation. This behavior came to light during the investigation in the banking scandal where the term accountability firewall was coined. The senior officers knew they could not be persecuted for things they did not see, so they donned blindfolds! What has been witnessed is that senior officers set high targets for their employees and then distance themselves from their efforts to meet these targets, thus, insulating themselves from the repercussions of employees using unfair means to achieve them. However, US & UK Governments have asked for gradual removal of these firewalls. When the senior managers know that they cannot hide behind a wall, they will encourage openness as otherwise their positions will become untenable. 

The time has come where technology is dictating every aspect of life and work. Instead of us ordering machines, it is the other way round and technology is making us do things it wants us to. Tesla has confirmed that its 2015 model will be replete with 90% self driving capacity and will reach cent percent by the year 2020. Uber as part of its latest business innovation drive has decided to try self driving cars for its formula. Car rental, parking lots insurance, supermarkets as well as other industries are set to be declared as obsolete due to technological upgrades. 

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