Jay Rao, Ivor Morgan

The [Balanced Scorecard] article compares flying a modern jet aircraft with its many instruments and controls to managing a complex firm. Indeed where the relationship between an action and its result is well known, it is possible for humans to handle a large number of measures simultaneously. But success for a firm is not an easy matter of cause and effect. Some actions of considerable … [ Read more ]

Are You Building a Culture of Innovation? Take This Test

The most successful firms have managed to prevail over the years because of their culture of innovation. Surprisingly, the culture of innovation in enterprises has not changed much in the last 100 years. We invite you to read about the fundamentals of this culture and take an assessment to see how your culture of innovation is performing.

Creating Great Products with Apple’s Steve Wozniak, Inventor of the Personal Computer

2007 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the introduction of the Apple II, the first true personal computer. Because of his belief that everyone should be able to afford and use a computer, its creator, Steve Wozniak, pioneered an ingenious low-cost design that combined ease-of-use with valuable functionality.

Babson Insight recently interviewed the Woz, as he is known, and asked him to go beyond the tale … [ Read more ]

Are Sustained Improvements in Productivity Sustainable?

Is it always possible to continue to reduce costs and improve efficiency? Some companies seem stuck in a mind-set that says only process excellence will drive their success and that efforts aimed at continuing to drive down costs will create competitive differentiation. Professor Rao examines the limits to this thinking and discusses how diminishing returns, ease of copying and competitive convergence can cause your company’s … [ Read more ]

Fun is Serious Business – Particularly for Mature “Neutral” Service Firms

When you think of fun services you think of the experiences provided by Disneyworld or Southwest Airlines. But most services are so routine that users don’t even remember doing them. Can fun experiences be built into these neutral services to create a market advantage? This article looks at successful funsters like Commerce Bank and Jordan’s Furniture to draw some lessons on how to add fun … [ Read more ]

Aligning Strategy through Super-Measure Management

After many years in which companies invested millions into management information systems that produce massive amounts of data each day some companies are now narrowing their management attention to one chosen performance measurement called a Super-Measure (SM). In these companies all eyes are fixed on this SM that monitors a critical performance statistic and is used to align behaviors and actions with the company’s value … [ Read more ]