Monday, August 20, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I have just accepted an invitation to join the Editorial Board of Strategic Outsourcing, an International Journal (see http://www.emeraldinsight.com/info/journals/so). Dr. Marco Busi (University of Strathclyde) is the Editor of the journal. It is an honor to be asked to join the Editorial Board. The Editorial Board has several notable researchers such as Professor Bjorn Andersen, Professor Leslie Willcocks, Dr Erran Carmel, Dr Jeanne Ross, and Dr Mary C. Lacity, among others…
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 9:21 AM
Saturday, August 11, 2007
The best business book on the competitive stature of India, China, and China-India! A must read for executives who want to stay relevant in today’s global marketplace. India and China are two superpowers in the making. IT and the East (by James M. Popkin and Partha Iyer, HBS Press, 2007) provides a detailed, honest, practical, and futuristic examination of the operating environments of these two nations. In addition, this book describes the potential symbiotic environment that might develop if India and China strengthen their cooperative relationships.
I must repeat, this is a must read!
The book is detailed, with a lot of information, which the average manager is unaware of. For instance, information on the infrastructural challenges in India or the potential of lack of future skilled (qualified) resources in India! The book is practical in that it offers managers a set of activities and interventions that they might (and should) consider. For example, how does one build competencies for market development or research and development in India and China? The authors use their crystal ball and chart out possible scenarios to guide managers as to how these two countries, and the relationships between them, might advance in the next five years.
The book is easy to read, well-structured, and has adequate illustrations which superbly capture the textual details. The book begins by examining China. Chapter 1 paints a sobering picture of the challenges faced by this global superpower. Chapter 2 details the IT infrastructure issues in China. Chapter 3 outlines the courses that China might embark on to 2012. The authors assign probabilities to each of these courses and outline guideposts that can be monitored to gauge outcomes. Chapters 4-6 conduct a similar exposition of India. Chapter 7 argues for the concept of ChinIndia that is seen as the r outcome if the two superpowers expand their collaboration powers. Chapter 8 details why ChinIndia is a real possibility and what are the driving forces behind this. Chapter 9 outlines priorities for organizations who want to be relevant in terms of competing in India or China, or ChinIndia, and even tapping into this growing marketplace for resources.
Overall, An excellent book….
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 7:24 PM
Sunday, August 05, 2007
I am at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management in Philadelphia. I have had a great time so far. Most of the time has been spent meeting with my students, colleagues, and new friends…I will post a complete reaction to the meeting upon my return to Seattle…Tomorrow, I take part in a panel called - Transformation, Change, and Organizational Development: Creating a Global Academic Endeavour (at 10.40 a.m. (EDT)). The panel is chaired by Ashley Braganza of Cranfield University. My fellow panel members are: Steve Leybourne; Plymouth U.; Gerard P. Hodgkinson; U. of Leeds; Gavin M. Schwarz; U. of New South Wales; George P. Huber; U. of Texas, Austin; Terry McNulty; U. of Liverpool; and Ray Hackney; Brunel U.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 8:38 PM
Saturday, August 04, 2007
How does one reap the business value out of innovations? This question has puzzled me for the last 24 months. Along with several colleagues, I have been investigating models and mechanisms that firms can use to manage, track, and evaluate the contributions of innovation activities to their business value. Let me say that this no easy feat to accomplish. To date, we have arrived at a mechanism that can be used to measure the business value of innovation (for the interested reader, please contact me for details, or see some of the many talks and presentations that have described our findings, for example - Demystifying the Link between Innovation and Business Value: A Process Framework at the Management Roundtable, July 18, 2007). Given this context, I welcomed the opportunity to read Payback (Harvard Business School Press, 2006) by James P. Andrew and Harold L. Sirkin.
In Payback, the authors, both of whom are senior executives with the Boston Consulting Group, construct the concept of the “cash curve”, as a guide for executives to manage their investments in innovation. The concept is fairly simple, intuitive, and yet helpful. The authors show how to manage critical drivers such as size of investment, speed to market, time to scale, and support costs, so that one can reap the largest payoff out of innovations. The authors describe various measures of business value for innovation beyond cash, such as acquisition of new knowledge, enhancement of brand image, linking to business partners, and energizing employees within the organization.
Overall, I found the book to be very interesting. The most interesting aspect of this book is the discussion on choosing the right innovation model (Chapters 4-6): the integrator, the orchestrator, and the licensor. In these chapters, the authors talk about the various models and how should organizations choose the right model, or a combination of models, to address the various innovation investments they make. The book is good for managers who wan to plan innovation investments. However, this book does not provide a guide whereby to track innovation efforts, the process of innovation (from ideas to prototypes to commercialization) and its effects on the business value of innovation. Put another way, this book will give you a good (or even excellent) understanding of how to manage the investments you make into innovation strategies and efforts. However, once these investments are made, how do you actually manage the innovation process, improve it, and link it to business value is not covered. For those interested in these aspects, I encourage you to review previous posts on this Blog and get involved in our ongoing research efforts.
An excellent read for anyone in the innovation business or even for anyone running a business….
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 2:56 AM
Friday, August 03, 2007
Book Review: The Kids are Alright: How the Gamer Generation is Changing the Workplace, by John C. Beck and Mitchell Wade
In my modest opinion, a good book should motivate you, encourage you, challenge you, and even call you to explore new boundaries. This is the barometer through which I judge the quality of books. I have just completed reading the book – The Kids are Alright: How the Gamer Generation is Changing the Workplace, by John C. Beck and Mitchell Wade.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 11:42 AM