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Innovation

Retail is one industry which is evolving fast. The downfall of iconic brands such as Sears and Toys R Us might lead one to fear these changes, but in fact it is merely a churn and not an overall decline for the industry. Forbes has released its eighth annual 30 Under 30 for the retail segment. On top is the husband-wife duo of Kory and Mallory Stevens who cofounded Taft. NBA star Dwayne Wade is a key patron, and Taft has received decent angel funding investment. Eric Huang and Steven Mazur are inducted into the list thanks to their business innovation in men’s dressing for those below 5’8” in height through Ash & Erie. Also on the list is Jenna Kerner who along with Wharton MBA alumnus Jane Fisher started off Harper Wilde. The list is diverse and inclusive. Some of the other key members included are Kimberley Ho, Karissa Bodnar, Paul Michaux, Melanie Masarin, MichaleKrakaris, Jessica Schinazi, Shan-Lyn Ma and the Bercaw sisters- Caroline and Isabel.

Source:https://www.forbes.com/sites/vickyvalet/2018/11/13/30-under-30-in-retail-ecommerce-2019-meet-the-visionaries-reinventing-how-we-shop/#f89dee340bcf

Uploaded Date:17 November 2018

One of the reasons for the spread of bias which then affects decision making is the dominance of the insider views. While estimating the success or failure and the financial implications of any project, team leaders and strategists tend to take in the data of only those factors within their control, while promptly ignoring extraneous factors beyond control. To get the ‘outside view’, one has to start by building reference classes. The purpose of this is to minimize the occurrences of surprises once the project hits the ground running. A good example of the inability to build such reference classes is with EMI’s foray in to the CT scanner. Since they only took in the internal view, which was all hunky-dory, by the time the product was launched, there were several competitors who had already launched theirs. This business intelligence needs to be collected on the market and competitors to develop a better market strategy. And contrary to popular perception, the time needed to build these reference classes isn’t so much.

Source:https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/bias-busters-taking-the-outside-view

Uploaded Date:13 November 2018

Loyalty programmes have long been wedded into customer-facing brands’ marketing strategies. The idea here is to make people stay loyal to a brand, and incentivizing them to do so. But stats show otherwise. A report submitted by the McKinsey Global Institute claims that over half of those companies who have loyalty programmes fare equally well or in fact worse than those that don’t. As a result, some innovators who have succeeded in making loyalty pay have come together to share their views on what works best. Firstly, loyalty must be integrated with the overall experience as Starbucks has done so successfully. Business intelligence must be used from the granular bits of data gathered to aid in decision-making. Strategic partnerships must be built along the way which benefits all stakeholders, such as that between Sainsbury and Nectar. These collaborations must seek to solve the customer’s as well as the industry’s pain areas. The difference between the real cost to the customer and the perceived value must keep rising. The reinvestments made from these loyalty programmes need to be allocated to the customer bringing maximum profits.

Source:https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/making-loyalty-pay-six-lessons-from-the-innovators

Uploaded Date:12 November 2018

Jeff Bezos believes in a startup culture to pervade Amazon at all times. This is good for fostering a culture of business innovation and avoiding the stasis common at other large firms. One of the unique features new recruits encounter at Amazon, in comparison to other places is that PowerPoint presentations are banned. Instead, those speaking need to do a six-page narrative discussion. Bullet-pointed word docs are equally considered unsuitable. This narrative style allows for more immersive discussion. Bezos has never been a stickler for the corporate strategy drafted. Instead, decisions can easily be reversed if counter proof, better for business or value addition are presented. One need not wait for all the data or information to arrive. Decisions must not stall for this want. There is room for disagreement. But once a commitment has been made, that needs to be executed. Waiting for consensus is not part of the Bezos style of management as that would delay the work.

Source:https://www.forbes.com/sites/eriklarson/2018/09/24/how-jeff-bezos-uses-faster-better-decisions-to-keep-amazon-innovating/#66f7178c7a65

Uploaded Date:10 November 2018

The big 5 US tech companies- Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Alphabet (Google)- are now so powerful they literally dwarf their entire competition. There have been calls from antitrust groups to regulate the growth and power of these five. Each time there is some sort of competition emerging in the market, they end up acquiring them. Their dominance extends across internet search, web browsers, cloud hosting, desktop operating systems, mobile operating systems and online ad revenues. Business intelligence provided by Synergy Research puts Google domination of internet search for example at above 50% of the total and Microsoft’s for desktop OS at a similar percentage. This, plus the enormous data these five hoard, makes them a dangerous proposition. Across the Atlantic, in Europe they have already faced antitrust regulations. There are however, justifiable fears that too much of regulation could stifle business innovation. That is why in the US, such regulation has been lesser. Their power as platforms are also allowing several other businesses to flourish within a network, so they are being valued by startups.

Source:http://mitsloan.mit.edu/newsroom/articles/will-regulating-big-tech-stifle-innovation/?utm_source=mitsloantwitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=bigtech

Uploaded Date:09 November 2018

Chief Innovation Officers are now everywhere, as all companies are embracing business innovation as a means of survival and not just growth. Instead of trying to manage innovation, these people must lead the innovators. This is because everyone has a different idea of innovation. It involves optimizing the resource use. Instead of innovation managers, one needs leader-preneurs who have a vision and understand the corporate strategy. The status quo needs to be honed or changed. Such leaders deliberately manage serendipity and chaos, while managers merely standardize. Instead of trying to control, leader-preneurs inspire. To get the results, trust needs to be built in. Innovation champions are identified from within the team, high goals set for them and execute at speed. They are information buffs. Teamwork and collaboration are key maxims to this. The team they build must embrace inclusion and diversity.

Source:https://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2018/10/12/lead-innovators-dont-manage-innovation/

Uploaded Date:09 November 2018

Tien Tzuo who is an MBA from Stanford, has written about the transition to the subscription model of business in his book Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model will be your Company’s Future- and What to do about It. After a decade working for Salesforce, in 2008 Tzuo founder a software company called Zuora, to help companies make the transition to this subscription model. According to him, it was Adobe that provided the initial blueprint for this model. Subscription based businesses seek to swallow the previously supreme fish model. The subscription model is throwing up huge quantities of data warehousing as all this is then processed to deduce valuable business insights. This is allowing for direct customer relationships, and a more personalized touch. Uber, Netflix, Surf Air, Caterpillar and Blue Apron are prominent examples of such businesses. The role of business schools is also diminishing in this current environment.

Source:https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/why-every-business-will-soon-be-subscription-business

Uploaded Date:08 November 2018

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