The IT Governance Road Map

Managers have made numerous attempts to increase the understanding of how IT operates, and more importantly, how IT can be used to leverage the business and provide a competitive advantage for the firm. IT managers need to assess their capabilities by asking the following questions:
1) Are IT managers able to support the firm in obtaining its objectives?
2) Are they capable of keeping up … [ Read more ]

The Positive Psychology Approach to Goal Management

Business leaders manage goals by setting and systematically striving to achieve them. While management and organizational researchers have laid the groundwork for goal management, the emerging field of Positive Psychology appears to offer many additional findings and insights that will help managerial leaders be more effective as they define and pursue goals. Factors such as character strengths, optimism, and resilience can play significant roles in … [ Read more ]

The Role of Finance in the Strategic-Planning and Decision-Making Process

The fundamental success of a strategy depends on three critical factors: a firm’s alignment with the external environment, a realistic internal view of its core competencies and sustainable competitive advantages, and careful implementation and monitoring. This article discusses the role of finance in strategic planning, decision making, formulation, implementation, and monitoring.

Editor’s Note: I don’t think this article really adds any new learning value or even … [ Read more ]

Zbigniew Krysiak

The concept of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) sprung from the shortcomings of Value Based Management (VBM). This approach does not take into consideration the relative change between risk dynamic and the dynamic of value. Forgetting this type of analysis led in the past to instances of a very satisfactory and high increase in value, even though the company went bankrupt. Therefore, in the business environment, … [ Read more ]

Political Connections: The Missing Dimension in Leadership

Early leadership studies examined common traits of successful leaders. Later research focused on combinations of traits as no one profile was shared by all successful leaders. This research focuses on three key dimensions of leadership: charismatic leadership, instrumental leadership, and political connections. It suggests how they can become a scorecard to rate not only one’s chances for advancement, but also one’s bosses and one’s peers. … [ Read more ]

Cultural Insights on Doing Business in China

Concepts of “face” and “trust” will help you understand the complexity of Chinese behavior if you also consider that their decisions are guided by five concurrent, seemingly contradictory, realities. Keep them ever in your mind. The Chinese do.

What to Do When Traditional Diversification Strategies Fail

In 2008, market events showed that some of the protection provided by diversification is lost when correlation among asset classes changes rapidly. Now, the question is: Are traditional diversification concepts no longer applicable due to some systemic change? Or is there still a simple, repeatable approach to diversification that can lead to significant protection against loss of principle?

Many factors could be contributing to recent volatile … [ Read more ]

The Buffett Approach to Valuing Stocks

Much has been written about famed U.S. investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett’s investment style and successes. Preeminent among these writings are the oft-cited Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letters, written by the “Oracle of Omaha” himself. These informative letters have been the basis for a multitude of books. But even with an abundance of available information on “how to invest like Warren Buffett,” it is … [ Read more ]

The Winner’s Curse and Optimal Auction Bidding Strategies

Auctions are popular mechanisms for the exchange of goods and services in the marketplace. Common examples of items offered at auctions include real estate, mineral rights, construction contracts, agricultural products, United States Treasury bills, and government procurement contracts. Auctions are now even more commonplace in our personal lives, where online auction sites have made it possible for individuals to bid for and sell items en … [ Read more ]

The Root Causes of Unethical Behavior: Psychological Traps That Everyone Falls Prey to

Business literature is replete with stories of unethical behavior in executive suites and board rooms, yet everyone is potentially capable of falling into the same traps. With a little insight into the psychological traps that increase the probability that individuals will behave unethically, perhaps such behavior can be curbed. To date, the authors have delineated a total of 45 traps, including “Obedience to Authority,” “Need … [ Read more ]

The Successful Expatriate Leader in China

Given the dearth of national leadership experience in China, companies are turning to expatriates to fill critical leadership roles, and promoting these leaders very quickly. The cultural dimensions of leadership developed by Hofstede help provide a foundation for business leaders operating in foreign territories. These dimensions of leadership include power distance, individualism, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity. For an expatriate leading a national team in China, … [ Read more ]

Recognizing Organizational Culture in Managing Change

The purpose of this article is to examine how organizational culture influences the likelihood of success for change strategies, and to provide tools for the reader to apply within his or her organization. In particular, the Integrated Cultural Framework (ICF), which was adapted by the authors from the work of Hofstede and Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck, is introduced. The ICF has been used to analyze culture … [ Read more ]

Discovering Leadership Potential: The critical, worldwide need for Authentic Visionary Leadership

In this article the authors argue that firms need to develop “Authentic Visionary Leaders” by using the Leadership Style Inventory (LSI) and matching the results with specific job requirements.

To be effective and successful in any leadership position, an individual must fit the demands of a particular position, as well as its leadership requirements. Organizations and individuals can use the LSI to identify leadership styles and … [ Read more ]

Peter Drucker

If you were going to make a list that’s as short as possible but as long as necessary of the things that determine which businesses win and which lose, what would be on your list?

Keith McFarland

In my view, as we go into work every day, we should think about the three levers on a leader’s desk (Strategy, People, and Execution) and ask ourselves, “Hey, isn’t my job really to optimize these three things?” These are the things that determine whether a business wins or loses.

Keith McFarland

When people get into a routine, their brains often shift into neutral: They become less likely to spot changes in the environment and less likely to question what they are doing and how they are doing it. Embedded in routines are assumptions about the world and how it works, assumptions we often mistake for reality. When the world changes faster than our assumptions about it, … [ Read more ]

Debt Linked to Lower Firm Performance

It has long been argued that “judicious” use of debt increases firm value and, therefore, shareholder wealth. The widely accepted view of capital structure is that there exists some optimal range of debt levels that maximizes shareholder wealth.

However, a recent study by the authors does not support this view. Our results suggest that, within a large sample of firms over an extended period of time, … [ Read more ]

Easing Fear of New Technology

This article examines issues surrounding technological change, including three types of norms (formal, informal, technical) and six rules of thumb for successful adaptation.