Coming Soon Superfast Internet

by Jonathan Leake, Science Editor, Times of London
THE internet could soon be made obsolete. The scientists who pioneered it have now built a lightning-fast replacement capable of downloading entire feature films within seconds. At speeds about 10,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection, “the grid” will be able to send the entire Rolling Stones back catalogue from Britain to Japan in less than two seconds. The latest spin-off from Cern, the particle physics centre that created the web, the grid could also provide the kind of power needed to transmit holographic images; allow instant online gaming with hundreds of thousands of players; and offer high-definition video telephony for the price of a local call. David Britton, professor of physics at Glasgow University and a leading figure in the grid project, believes grid technologies could “revolutionise” society. “With this kind of computing power, future generations will have the ability to collaborate and communicate in ways older people like me cannot even imagine,” he said.


Book Review Instructions

During the SMY, each student will present a review of a book or an article that has extended their thinking about Strategic Management. The article or book should not be a core management text that most students would be already familiar with. New insights often come from another domain. For this reason we encourage you to look far afield for texts that provide you with some insight into the problems of the general manager or entrepreneur. For example, “It’s Only a Game” by John O’Neill (former CEO of the Australian Rugby Union and Football Federation of Australia) is a good insight into managing a complex organisation. We have posted an example of such a book review on the eLearning website along with some background information on the value of this assignment.


Myer is more valuable after becoming once again independent from Coles

In August 1985, the Myer Emporium Ltd and GJ Coles & Coy Ltd merged, becoming the largest ever Australian Corporation. The merger did not work nearly as well as anticipated, a common fate for merged companies. In 2006 Myer was sold off to private equity. Within in a year the firm was worth an additional 1 billion, illustrating powerfully that free-standing companies often create more value than when they are part of a larger corporate structure.
More details are provided in a recent articles in the Australian.

Myer’s makeover reaps $1bn


How to get around the difficulty of estimating returns from innovation

Bombardier Recreational Products, based in Quebec, has spent C$225m ($195m) over 11 years developing the Can-Am Spyder Roadster, a three-wheeled motor vehicle. When it goes on sale later this year the $15,000 Spyder will be aimed at baby-boomers who like the idea of riding al fresco but do not feel comfortable on a two-wheeler, says Jose Boisjoli, BRP’s boss. Mr Boisjoli admits that his firm has no idea how much demand there will be for the Spyder. One way to think about how much you should spend on innovation is to ask: how much money can I lose with a failed innovation without jeopardizing the existence of the firm.

Conglomerate Watch: Immelt find it tough to follow Jack Welsh’s act

GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt finds it difficult to convince markets that his new strategy will deliver value as his predecessor did.
Two articles in the Financial Times highlight how important it is for CEO to communicate effectively to financial analysts whose recommendation drive the stock price of a firm. Here are excerpts from the informative articles.

GE redoubles efforts to woo investors.


Understanding the Strategies of Airbus and Boeing

Boeing and Airbus are pursuing different strategies with their next generations planes (the superlarge A380 and the supereffecient Boeing 787 Dreamliner). A recent article in the New York Times nicely demonstrates that the differences on the two companies’ strategic bet are driven by two different views how passenger travel will develop in the future. In essence, the firms tried to create strategies that fit with the perceived future environments of airplane travel.

The World’s Most Innovative Companies

Rachael Powell (Cohort A2) brought to my attention an interesting article from Business Week. From a methodological point, it would have been nice if the BW staff had looked at companies that were not innovative and confirmed that these firms did not do any of the practices that characterize the most innovative companies.  Read Article.

Wesfarmers: Interview with Former CEO Michael Chaney

In the spirit of “Where are the Now”, here is an interview with the outgoing CEO of Wesfarmers, Michael Chaney, before he became chairman of the National Australian Bank (NAB).

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