• MOOCs

    Have you enrolled in a massive open online course (MOOC)? If so, did you complete the course?

    Some people think that MOOCs are the future of education. But, the infographic below lists some of the reasons that others remain unconvinced. How might MOOCs and traditional college/university courses work together? 

    Please include attribution to OnlineColleges.net with this graphic.

    The Dark Side of MOOCs

  • The Start-Up of YOU

    The Start-Up of YOU: Rediscovering the Entrepreneurial Spirit in All of Us is a book by Reid Hoffman, the co-founder and chairman of LinkedIn, and Ben Casnocha, entrepreneur.

    The authors believe you can take control of your future. Many students graduate from college, but cannot find a job in their field. The authors recommend becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business. Read the book summary below.

    What business could you start?

  • Always See the Internet with Google Glass

    Yesterday, Google began accepting applications for "bold, creative individuals" to try Google Glass, eye glasses connected to the Internet through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth on the user's phone. (It appears that the glasses would replace the user's smartphone. Users can record video, translate speech, send messages, participate in Google+ Hangouts, and get directions.) Applicants post in 50 words or less what they'd do with the glasses on Google Plus or Twitter. The post must contain the hashtag #ifihadglass. Those chosen must pay $1,500 and pick up the glasses at a special event in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles.

    How could managers and work teams use wearable technology like Google Glass? How useful could wearable technology be for work teams?

  • Measuring America Every Year

    Peter Drucker said, 'If you can't measure something, you can't manage it.' The Census Bureau has an ongoing statistical survey that samples a small percentage of the population every year. It is called the American Community Survey (ACS).

    Respondents are asked about the topics below.

    • age
    • sex
    • race
    • family and relationships
    • income and benefits
    • health insurance
    • education
    • veteran status
    • disabilities
    • where you work and how you get there
    • where you live and how much you pay for some essentials

    Managers of organizations combine the data into statistics that are used to help decide everything from school lunch programs to new hospitals. In this video, Target managers explain how statistics from the American Community Survey are used to make decisions,

    How might managers (other than those at Target) use the statistics from the American Community Survey to make decisions and future plans?

  • Robert Greene on Mastery

    In this video, Robert Greene addresses the Oxford Union Society. In his new book, Mastery, Greene explains how people master and rise to the top of their field. Masters learn faster and more intensely than others in their field. They make connections between ideas that others cannot see. When writing the book, Greene discovered several ideas. Every human being is born unique. This uniqueness is manifested in early childhood. Each child is drawn to something that he or she is good at. Masters hear and stay true to this voice (life task) all during their lives. Masters study, research, and practice. Practice is pleasurable and becomes more pleasurable. They develop patience and a solid work ethic. They immerse themselves in the work.

    • Choose a place with maximum opportunities to learn.
    • Work with an open mind. Observe people. Get along well with others.
    • Accumulate and learn as many skills as possible. This is an adventure!

    What did you enjoy in your childhood? What is your uniqueness? What is your life task?

  • The Org

    The Org: The Under­lying Logic of the Office is a book by Ray Fisman, a professor at Columbia Business School, and Tim ­Sullivan, the editorial director of ­Harvard Business Review Press. The authors find that companies are the result of centuries of organizational evolution and their inherent dysfunction is actually a necessary part of work. Even though some people are not satisfied with their jobs, organizations really do function better than any quick-fix solution. "The authors tell us, that many of the things we all loathe about working for an org are there to stop making things even worse" (Butterworth, Trevor, "How to Fail in Business," The Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324581504578235710908551732.html.)

    (Source of graphic: Grobart, Sam, "The Org Stands by the Status Quo for Business Management," BloombergBusiness Week at http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-08/em-the-org-em-stands-by-the-status-quo-for-business-management)

    Read an excerpt from the book about the Baltimore Police at  Slate at  http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_dismal_science/2013/01/baltimore_police_excerpt_from_the_org_by_ray_fisman_and_tim_sullivan.html.

    What can the Baltimore Police Department teach you about multitasking and incentives?

  • New Mega Trends

    The book, New Mega Trends (by Frost & Sullivan Partner Sarwant Singh, published by Palgrave Macmillan) identifies 10 global trends that will have global impact in the future. The book gives readers the tools to identify and evaluate the trends, and to translate them into business and personal opportunities.

    Table of Contents

    • E-Mobility
    • Urbanization
    • Health, Wellness and Well-Being
    • Social Trends
    • New Battlefields
    • Virtual Connected World
    • Innovating to Zero
    • Value For Money
    • Business Models
    • Smart is the New Green
    • From Planes to Trains

    For example, the chapter, "Smart is the New Green," discusses business opportunities to develop, use, and sell "smart" products which have information and communication technology embedded in them so that workers can use tablet computers to communicate as they move around the business facilities instead of being tied to a desk with a personal computer.

    View the slides below and think about the external environment which influences management decisions. How might the factory of the future use advanced technology and automation to improve product quality, monitor costs, adjust production, and "go green"?

  • American Airlines and US Airways Announce Merger

    Yesterday, American Airlines and US Airways announced plans to merge and become the largest airline. (See American CEO Tom Horton's email to me below.) A merger means that the companies must consolidate their systems and structures.

    The merger has different implications for employees and managers. The employees will get more compensation and opportunities. The new airline will be based in Texas, not in Arizona. Only one set of managers will be needed, so managers will lose their jobs. Mr. Horton will lose his job as CEO, but will remain as chairman of the board.

    What changes might travelers see? How will the merger affect customer satisfaction?

    ----

    Dear Gemmy Allen,

    Today is a historic day as American Airlines and US Airways announce plans to create the new American Airlines. Together, we will create a premier global carrier with an expanded worldwide network, a strong financial foundation, a modern and efficient fleet, and the industry's best team of people who will offer an unparalleled travel experience for our customers.

    Over the past few months, we conducted a thorough review of alternatives to strengthen American for the future and determined that this combination delivers the most value for our stakeholders and the best outcome for our customers and people. As a combined carrier - the new American - we will have an expanded network to even better match where customers want to fly and enhanced ability to invest in our fleet, modern technologies, and the products and services our customers value most.

    We've been making progress toward building a new American - from transforming our fleet with the largest aircraft order in history, to modernizing the travel experience, and refreshing our iconic brand. This merger is our next step in the process of building the leading global airline.

    American and US Airways combine two highly complementary networks with access to the best destinations throughout the U.S. and around the globe. Together we will offer our customers more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries by maintaining all the hubs currently served by both airlines.

    When the new American arrives, we will provide more options than any other airline across the East Coast and Central U.S. regions, and expand and further strengthen our network on the West Coast. The combined airline will add to our reach across the Atlantic and Pacific and bolster American's industry-leading position in Latin America and the Caribbean. We'll also enhance our existing loyalty program benefits through expanded opportunities to earn and redeem miles across the combined network.

    The new American will continue to give customers options for travel and benefits both domestically and internationally through continued membership in the
    oneworld® Alliance. As they do today, our oneworld Alliance partners will offer access to a range of destinations, airline choices, and earning and redemption opportunities.

    At this time, American and US Airways will remain separate companies and you can continue to count on American for excellent service and safe, reliable travel. We expect the merger to be completed in the third quarter of 2013 and will keep you updated. I invite you to visit www.aa.com/arriving  to keep up with our progress.

    Both American and US Airways are distinguished by our proud histories and look forward to our bright future as we build the world's leading airline.

    Thank you for your continued loyalty, and we look forward to welcoming you aboard soon!

    Sincerely,

    Thomas W. Horton
    Chairman & CEO

  • Love Sells

    According to Catholic historians, Saint Valentine was a third century Roman bishop who secretly married soldiers and their lovers because it was forbidden by the ruling emperor, Claudius. He wanted his soldiers to be aggressive and believed that marriage made soldiers physically and emotionally weak.

    Claudius was wrong! Love sells and has made many businesspeople stronger and wealthier. Valentine's Day is one of the top holidays for consumer spending, behind Christmas and Thanksgiving. You can see the love all around you at businesses. It isn't a formal holiday, but millions of people exchange gifts. Some say Valentine's Day was invented by Hallmark. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend more than $18 million, with the average person spending $130.97. Most will give candy and flowers.

     

    How much money did you spend? What decisions did mangers make which most influence what you bought to celebrate Valentine's Day?

  • Social Media Strategy

    A study, What do Corporate Directors and Senior Managers Know About Social Media, was conducted in April 2012 by the Conference Board and the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University. The results were published last October. The study found that CEOs are regular users of social media both for personal and professional use. They actively use Twitter. But, they passively use social media, such as blogs, videos, and discussions. In other words, CEOs read blogs, watch videos, read discussion boards and rating sites.

    Companies appear to be relatively unsophisticated when it comes to formally gathering data from social media and incorporating them into corporate strategy, operational plans, and risk management. Directors and executives do not request this information nor rely on it for decision making. However, those who do rely on this information find it useful in pursuing corporate objectives. The findings suggest considerable opportunity for companies that develop a reliable infrastructure for capturing data from social media and distilling them into an actionable, usable form for corporate decision makers.

    The authors of the report recommend companies engage in the steps below.

    • Assess your current capabilities
    • Determine how social media fits with your strategy and business model
    • Map your company's KPIs and risk factors to information available through social media
    • Implement a "listening" system to capture social media data and transform it into metrics 
    • Develop formal policies and guidelines for employees, executives, and directors
    • Consider the legal and behavioral ramifications

     Read the attached report. Should managers actively engage in social media? Explain. Is a company doomed if it does not use social media? Explain.

  • Product of the Year Winners

    Managers want their consumer products to be chosen "Product of the Year," because winning the contest can result in increased sales. Winners are revealed at an awards ceremony in New York City. The winning products get to use the honorary red "Product of the Year" seal on packaging, advertising, and in-store displays. The process starts with a jury of industry leaders and journalists choosing products that show innovation in function, design, packaging, or ingredients. (See attached file.)  Next, 50,000 shoppers choose the winners.

    Most Innovative Consumer Packaged Goods of 2012

    PET TREATS - Milk-Bone® Mini's Dog Treats - Del Monte Foods
    PET HEALTH - Better Than® Bones Plus Dental - Ainsworth Pet Nutrition
    LAUNDRY - Wisk® Deep CleanTM Original, The Sun Products Corporation
    PERSONAL HYGIENE - Softsoap® Bar Soap Coconut Scrub - Colgate-Palmolive Company
    ORAL CARE - LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE ZERO - Johnson & Johnson, Inc.
    PROFESSIONAL ORAL CARE - Zoom NiteWhite & DayWhite - Philips Oral Healthcare
    WHITENING - Colgate® Optic White - Colgate-Palmolive Company
    BEAUTY CARE - Clairol® Nice 'n Easy Color Blend Foam - Procter & Gamble
    BABY CARE - HUGGIES® Little Movers Slip-on Diapers - Kimberly-Clark Corporation
    BEVERAGE - Sierra Mist® NaturalTM - PepsiCo Inc.
    CANDY - SNICKERS® Peanut Butter Squared - Mars Chocolate North America
    SNACKS - Orville Redenbacher's® Gourmet® Popping Corn - ConAgra Foods, Inc.
    FROZEN FOOD - Healthy Choice® Top Chef Café Steamers - ConAgra Foods, Inc.
    SPECIALTY FOODS - New York Brand® Garlic Knots - T. Marzetti Company
    AIR CARE - Air Wick® Flip n' FreshTM - Reckitt Benckiser Group
    TODDLER MEALTIME - mOmma® Straw Cup with Dual Handles - Lansinoh Laboratories, Inc.
    TODDLER ORAL CARE - Aquafresh® Training Toothpaste - GlaxoSmithKline
    PAINT - Valspar® Spray Paint - The Valspar Corporation
    HOUSEHOLD CLEANING - Zero Odor® Eliminator - Zero Odor, LLC
    INSECT REPELLENT - OFF!® Deep Woods® Dry Insect Repellent - S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
    SKIN TREATMENT - RetinoSyn-45 - Beauty Bioscience
    CREAMER - Coffee-mate® Natural Bliss® - Nestle USA, Inc

    Colleen Kelly, Managing Director of Product of the Year USA, said, “In today’s technology-driven economy, companies have the capability to listen to their customers and develop innovations tailored to what they need. The products we honor each year prove to be not only cutting-edge, but make consumers’ lives easier.” How are managers listening to conusmers?

  • Hashtags for Managers

    The American Dialect Society named hashtag the 2012 Word of the Year. Hashtag refers to the practice used on Twitter for marking topics or making commentary by means of a hash symbol (#) followed by a word or phrase. Twitter is a micro blogging platform, similar to texting on a phone. Users exchange information with their network in short bursts of no more than 140 characters. It is easy to search. You don't have to be a member to search for a term. Companies search for relevant conversation threads on Twitter.

    Managers choose the hashtags for commercials. Consumers are encouraged to use the hashtag when making comments or asking questions. The infographic below asks, "Are Hashtags in Commercials Effective?" Read through it. What can managers learn about using hashtags in commercials? What works? What doesn't work?

    Do you have a Twitter account? Did you tweet about the Super Bowl commercials? Which hashtags did you use? How will you use hashtags to communicate with your employees?

  • IKEA’s Sustainability Strategy for 2020

    People & Planet Positive is the IKEA Group's sustainability strategy for 2020. Sustainability at IKEA is based on its vision of creating a better everyday life for the many people, as well its business foundations. The report states, "We will do our utmost to be the leader in sustainable, affordable life at home by inspiring and enabling customers to fulfill their needs and dreams at home."

    What evidence of sustainability is mentioned in this video?

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  • Lynsi Torres, In-N-Out Burger Owner, is Youngest Female Billionaire

    America's youngest female billionnaire is Lisa Torres, heir to In-N-Out Burger. In this video, Sheila Dharmarajan reports on In-N-Out Burger restaurant's 30-year-old owner Lynsi Torres and the possibility she will maintain ownership after gaining full control of the franchise in five years. (Source: Bloomberg) Dharmarajan says there isn't a picture of Torres, but the Huffington Post lists a picture of her onlline.

    Harry and Esther Snyder founded In-N-Out Burger in 1948 as a single drive-through hamburger stand in Balwin Park, California. They are the grandparents of Torres. She doesn't have a college degree or formal training in management, but she is the chain's owner and president. Today, In-N-Out Burger is worth over a billion dollars, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index..

    Bloomberg explains the business. It doesn't franchise to outsiders so that it can maintain quality control. The menu is simple. "Butchers carve fresh beef chuck delivered daily to the company’s distribution facility in Baldwin Park, where hamburger patties leave for restaurants on 18-wheeled refrigerated trucks outfitted with over-sized tires so the In-N-Out logo can be better seen on the highway. The company only expands as far as its trucks can travel in a day, either from the Baldwin Park complex or a newer facility in Dallas, the only two places where the company makes hamburger patties."

    In-N-Out Burgers consistently rate as one of the best burgers. Do some more research on the company. What innovations and/or management decisions have led to its cult-like following?

  • Best Places to Work 2013

    Workplace Dynamics, an employee survey company, publishes a list of the Top 150 workplaces in America. The list was drawn from 30 major national newspaper contests and was based on the responses of more than 1 million employees at 872 companies with at least 1,000 employees.

    The top ten companies in the 2013 National Top Workplaces rankings:

    1. Quicken Loans, Detroit, MI.

    2. The Container Store, Coppell, TX

    3. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, The Woodlands, TX

    4. Park Place Dealerships, Dallas, TX

    5. EOG Resources, Inc., Houston, TX

    6. Pioneer Natural Resources, Irving, TX.

    7. Mattress Firm, Houston, TX

    8. Coyote Logistics, Chicago, IL

    9. Keller Williams Realty, Austin, TX

    10. NuStar Energy L.P., San Antonio, TX

    Doug Claffey, Workplace Dynamics CEO, explained. "Too often, companies focus on perks such as free cappuccino, rock climbing walls, and nap rooms. While these employee benefits are nice-to-haves, they do not drive organizational health which really drives employee fulfillment. Our research shows that companies that set a clear direction for the future, execute well and bring real meaning to work are the healthiest. That makes them both Top Workplaces AND successful organizations."

    What do you think makes a "best place to work"?

  • Super Bowl Ad Decisions

    The Super Bowl is one of the most watched television shows each year. As a result, the price of Super Bowl commercials has gone up every year since the Super Bowl began. In the first Super Bowl in 1967, a thirty second advertisement cost $40,000; today that same spot costs $3.5 million.

     Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323854904578264374027897816.html

    According to a January survey from the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA), conducted by BIGinsight, more than three-quarters of respondents reported that they viewed the commercials as entertainment, but only 10.5% said they were actually influenced to buy as a result of the spots. In other words, the ads are reaching people, but not moving them to buy.

    Source: eMarketer http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Super-Bowl-Commercials-Still-Draw-Their-Own-Audience/1009643#5LrWI0vFStDZmpdr.99

    Is the cost of a Super Bowl ad a good management decision? Should ads lead to sales? How could ads be changed to emphasize customer preference?