Learning From The Masters of Management


Dan Schawbel, Contributor

Adrian Wooldridge

I recently spoke with Adrian Wooldridge, who is the author of Masters of Management: How the Business Gurus and Their Ideas Have Changed the World – for Better and for Worse. Wooldridge is the management editor and “Schumpeter” columnist of The Economist. He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and All Souls College, Oxford, where he held a Prize Fellowship. He was formerly The Economist’s Washington bureau chief and “Lexington” columnist. In this interview, he talks about how the field of management has changed over the past decade, the difference between management and leadership, and more.

How has the field of management changed in the past decade?

Management has been revolutionised by two great changes over the past decade. The first is the rise of the internet. A decade ago the internet was still a fancy reference tool and Google was still a start up. Today the internet is reorganising the world. The internet is not only spawning an entire ecosystem of new businesses. It is reshaping the way that even the most conservative companies organise their business.

The second is the rise of emerging markets. A decade ago we still referred (often pityingly) to the underdeveloped world. Today we regard the emerging world as a hotbed of growth and innovation. Investment houses are pouring money into the BRICs even as they despair about stagnating Europe. Multinationals are ‘offshoring’ research and development as well as manufacturing to India and Brazil.

Are all managers leaders? What’s the difference between management and leadership?

No: not all managers are leaders (and not all leaders are managers: some great leaders such as Winston Churchill have been hopeless everyday managers).

The great distinction between the two lies in the choice of direction: leadership is about choosing where to go while management is about choosing how to get there. Jack Welch was a great business leader because he changed General Electric’s strategic direction with his emphasis on being number one or number two in a business or getting out. A secondary distinction lies in inspiration: the best leaders not only set a direction but inspire their followers to strain every sinew in reaching their new destination. There is nothing second-rate about management: great leaders mean nothing without the nuts-and-bolts men and women who put their visions into practice and make sure that the trains run on time. Incremental changes can sometimes add up to big changes. But given the uncertainty of the current business world—the sudden gusts of change that blow from unexpected directions—leadership is more important now than it was say fifty years ago when ‘organisation man’ ruled the roost.

Can you name a few management gurus that you’ve been observing and explain how they have helped make change?

These astonishing changes of the past decade—the world remade by the internet and turned upside down by emerging markets—have changed the pecking order among business thinkers. You are probably more likely to find a mind-changing article in Wired than in the Harvard Business Review or from an Indian than from an American-first mid-westerner.

The business gurus that I pay most attention to come in two guises: geeks or third-world firstists. Christopher Anderson made waves with his book on The Long Tale (which argued that the world of niches is replacing the world of mass markets). The book has had a huge influence not only with high-tech companies but with other organisations (retailers for example) that are seeing their markets redefined by the internet.

I suspect that his work-in-progress on 3-D printing will also have a big influence (though there is a lot of work in this area). V.G. Govindirajan of Tuck Business Shool has produced exemplary work on ‘frugal innovation’ (the idea that the most interesting form of innovation in the emerging world is about radically reducing costs rather than adding more bells and whistles. This has had a huge impact on General Electric which is producing a new generation of ‘frugal’ medical products. John Hagel and John Seely Brown have produced equally fasinating work on how these ‘frugal products’ will send a wave of disruption through rich countries, as traditional producers are forced to cut costs dramatically or see their markets eaten up by emerging-market giants.

What will the new management gurus of the future look like?

The management gurus of the future will look more like the class of 2010 at CEIBS or the Indian Business School than the class of 2010 at Harvard Business School or Wharton. They will also look more like the class of 2010 at the Stanford School of Engineering than the class of 2010 at the Stanford Business School: white faces will give way to ‘faces of colour’ and classic business school types will give way to engineers and other sorts of geeks.

Masters of Management

For the past century business thinking has been dominated by the United States. The bulk of the business cases have been about American companies. The bulk of the tools and techniques have been dreampt up by American managers. The driving assumption has been that if you don’t measure up to American standards—about how you organise your company or measure your performance—you are doing something wrong. That model was shaken by the rise of Japan but reasserted itself in the 1990s. It is now being shaken up even more thoroughly by the rise of a huge variety of emerging world companies. The business gurus of the future will come from emerging world—not just from India (which has cornered the market for the moment) but also from China, Indonesia, Turkey and Nigeria.

For the past century technology gurus have played second fiddle to strategy gurus (or even marketing gurus). Peter Drucker was less interested in technology than in the sociology of organisations. Tom Peters made little use of his training as an engineer in his voluminous writing. Technology is now at the heart of business thinking rather than an optional add on. Technology gurus are rewiring our thinking about organisations. And gurus from other disciplines face a stark choice: think deeply about what is happening in the world of the internet or face irrelevance.

Dan Schawbel, recognized as a “personal branding guru” by The New York Times, is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, LLC, a full-service personal branding agency. Dan is the author of Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future, the founder of the Personal Branding Blog, and publisher of Personal Branding Magazine. He has worked with companies such as Google, Time Warner, Symantec, IBM, EMC, and CitiGroup.

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Civil servants shortlived bonus joy for double payout to 3,054!


The bank forgot to withdraw the previous instruction, which led to the double payout – Datuk Farizan Darus

By Fong Kee Soon
The Star/Asia News Network

GEORGE TOWN: About half of the civil servants employed by the state have been mistakenly paid their half-month year-end bonus twice, through a banking error.

State secretary Datuk Farizan Darus said the double bonus’ was erroneously paid out to 3,054 civil servants.

He said the bank had intended to pay the salary for December on Monday and the bonus on Tuesday the following day.

“However, the State Government felt it was better to pay everything on Monday and instructed the bank to do so.

“The bank forgot to withdraw the previous payment instructions, which led to the double payout of the bonus,” he told a press conference on Wednesday.

Farizan said the problem was realised on Tuesday itself when word got out to civil servants from several state agencies who did not receive the double bonus’.

“They asked to be paid twice as well, as they did not know it was a mistake by the bank,” he said.

Farizan added that the bank was working on debiting the extra bonus from the civil servants’ bank accounts.

He said that at the time of the press conference, 233 accounts involving a sum of RM164,000 had yet to be sorted out and the bank was expected to resolve the whole matter soon.

Farizan said the State Government was advising those who withdrew the extra bonus to co-operate with the bank.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had announced last month that the State Government would be paying out a half-month bonus with minimum payment of RM800 for state civil servants this year.

Civil servants were also paid a bonus of a half-month salary with minimum payment of RM600 in conjunction with the Hari Raya celebration in August this year.

Best startup ideas of 2011


by Rafe Needleman

This was the year of mobile startups, but not all the best ideas for new businesses were based on smartphones or mobile devices.

Will a health-monitoring watch be the next mobile platform?(Credit: Basis)

There are more ways to make money than by building a product that immediately hands 30 percent to Apple or Google. Here are the best startup ideas or models from 2011.

Make it a platform

As Facebook and Salesforce.com have shown, a tech company’s proprietary data can be valuable as a substrate to other businesses. Build a tool that other people can build upon and then collect the rent when they do.

The best examples of this that come to mind: Box and Spotify. Box is a cloud storage provider. It’s in a boring space that’s becoming commoditized. The solution to staying in front? Make it possible for developers to build apps that leverage the data that Box’s enterprise customers are paying to store. That’s likely the only way to fend off the competing cloud storage providers.

Spotify, for its part, has a valuable but not unique music-streaming service. People are paying for it. But will they continue to do so? By allowing other businesses to build apps that run on top of the Spotify library–basically, music discovery and recommendation apps–Spotify is able to leverage its licensing deals and give other music brands (like Rolling Stone and We Are Hunted) a great way to offer new services to their fans.

Come to think of it, this is one of the reasons mobile is so big: App stores are platforms where developers can make money on top of large bases of users and communication networks.

Jobs near you, on Zaarly.(Credit: Screenshot by CNET)

Get consumers to sell stuff to one other, 2.0

eBay and Craigslist replaced the garage sale and the classified ad, but commerce moves on, and newer ideas are making these models seem old-fashioned. Services like TaskRabbit, Zaarly, and Coffee and Power are opening up a new economy where consumers can do direct deals with each other, with the benefit of more up-to-date community features. In most cases, the key is the social network connection, so you know with whom you are dealing.

Related to this is the emergence of specialized services for sharing the stuff you own: your house (AirBnB), your office (Loosecubes), and your car (Wheelz, RelayRides, and GetAround).

Build a studio
It’s hard to come up with a viable product, but some smart startups don’t try. Instead, they are building new studio systems to help other inventors raise the funds to build their dream products–and then give them built-in marketplaces to sell them.

KickStarter and Quirky both encourage nascent inventors (and artists, in KickStarter’s case) to pitch their ideas to their audiences. People who like ideas pony up either a cash pledge or some of their limited votes. Good ideas and projects bubble up, in theory. More importantly, people who might not otherwise be exposed to very early-stage projects get to participate in the development and, in doing so, can become ambassadors to new ideas.

Crunch down big data
The Internet is awash in information and data, but few companies, other than Web giants themselves (Google, Facebook, Amazon), make real use of it. But finally, services are emerging that give other businesses, and even consumers, access to this data and the analytics to use it.

For example, in the retail arena, Decide.com analyzes prices of consumer technology products, and predicts if prices on particular items are going to go down, up, or hold steady. It’s a valuable tool for consumers. On the smaller retail front, BlackLocus scours data sources (like competing retail sites) for tech prices. It can be programmed to adjust a store’s own prices to make sure they are always competitive.

A new take on an old appliance, the Nest thermostat.(Credit: Nest)

Touch the real world
Nearly every new mobile startup, it seems, is now location-aware. But consumer tech is getting eyes and ears as well, and it’s making for very interesting new businesses. The startup IntoNow (sold to Yahoo) is a mobile app that listens for TV shows airing in the same room. Consumers use it to get additional data about the show they’re watching; marketers get much richer data about who’s watching what, where, and when.

Other sensor technologies are showing up in wearable devices: The Jawbone UP bracelet monitors activity and sleep. And Basis is building a watch that measure skin temperature, sweat level, heart rate, and even blood oxygen level.

Invest in design
The best idea in startups to come in 2011: simplification and beautiful design. Consumers, it turns out, appreciate strong design and clear user interaction. We’re seeing new apps and products now that take technology and strive for simplicity, rather then trying to show off how technological they are.

The best examples of these are two hardware products, the Nest thermostat and the minimal Roku LT streaming media box. On the mobile front, new apps like Path 2 and Oink are distilled into spare and engaging mobile experiences, instead of going overboard with features and slowing down the on-the-go user.

Rafe Needleman

Rafe reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business. Feeling lucky? Send pitches to rafe@cnet.com. And watch Rafe’s tech issues podcast, Reporters’ Roundtable, every Friday.

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Jessica Monroe said…
I feel like I’ve read this article before somewhere. I was looking at other similar articles, on the best startups of 2011, but the only one that really stood out was over at http://www.ranker.com/list/best-new-startups-of-2011/ready-to-startup which is not the same as this. Anyway, great info.

Best New Startups of 2011

Best New Startups of 2011

Source: User uploaded image

The best new startups of 2011 combine an innovative idea with a motivated group of people to create new products or service or improve on products and services we already use and adore. Each of these companies are in their infancy right now but have made a big splash on the world already. Using their creativity, innovations, hard work, and of course some venture capital funding, these startups are primed to take the world by storm to change how we work, play, communicate and perform so many other everyday activities.

It’s hard to believe a world without the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, LinkedIn and Instagram but once upon a time, all of these tech startups were once the new kids on the block. Their creators saw an opening for their individual products and services then took it upon themselves to fill that void. Their ideas were both well executed and well embraced by the world and became nearly instant successes. They weren’t the first to create something new and certainly won’t be the last, but their innovation changed the world as we know it.

The masterminds behind the best startups from 2011 hope to see that same success as they introduce new ways for people to enjoy music with their friends, like with Turntable.fm, learn coding, like at Codeacademy, or find local people and businesses to fill certain needs, do mundane tasks or sell specific items, like at Zaarly.

Other startups take things we have now and make them so much better, cheaper or more accessible. Kogeto Dot, for example, is an invention that enhances an iPhone camera. Oink, created by the founders of Digg, allows people to rate and share things they love best with others.

The best new startups of 2011 may not be names you know right now, but just like the newcomers of the past, they made an impact during the year and very well could be on their way to becoming a household name in the years to come. Did a new startup rock your socks in 2011? Add it below and tell us why it should be the best of 2011!

Source: http://www.ranker.com/list/best-new-startups-of-2011/ready-to-startup

  1. Turntable.fm

     added by: Ready To Startup
  2. Pinterest

      added by: Ready To Startup
  3. BetterWorks

     added by: AdamThomas
  4. Black Swan Solar

    added by: AdamThomas
  5. Thisisnatural.com Best New Startups of 2011 Business picture

    Thisisnatural.com

    Natural & Organic Products
    Simon Agius & Jean Paul Stivala
    United Kingdom
    added by: ThisisNatural

    “ By being the Marketplace for Certified Natural, we have a core mission to ensure all natural products on the marketplace can be compared based on sustainability, traceability, fair trade and health value. Shop our huge selection of natural vitamin, nutrition, natural beauty, cosmetics, organic and more online. Find a wide range of certified natural and organic products. Choose from a wide variety of herbal products, organic, natural & wholefood ingredients including body & hair care, antiaging and organic baby products. „
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