White Papers on Business Management


Are Your Employees Destroying Your Business?

Numerous published studies over the years have cited a direct and powerful correlation between how a company’s employees perceive they are treated by the company and how those employees subsequently treat their company’s customers. Given this demonstrated linkage, forward-thinking companies are taking action to understand and improve their employee’s perception of their treatment. This paper discusses the economic value of this decision and some techniques for improving employee perception.

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The Customer Facing Roles of the CEO

The CEO or business unit manager is usually involved in customer-facing activities as part of their job. To what extent is there value in having the CEO involved in customer-facing activities? Assuming their is a value, do all of the customer-facing activities have equal value? This paper examines the critical importance of one customer-facing role and explains why the others should be abdicated.

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Errors in Judgment

How do you make decisions? That is, what decision making process do you use? Why do novices often make “better” decisions than apparent experts? When, if ever, is outside expertise valuable? When is outside expertise likely to lead you down the wrong path? This white paper looks at useful, practical research that can help you make better decisions.

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Is Your Business Model Right For Tomorrow’s Market?

Your business model is the component of your strategy that determines How you execute to serve your market(s). While the Internet did not “change everything,” the frenetic pace of today’s world and the dynamics of new distribution, sales, service, support, and manufacturing methods have rendered many business models less than optimal. This paper discusses the concept of a business model and looks at how to determine if yours needs review.

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Let’s Reorganize: That Way, We Won’t Really Have To Learn How To Manage

The more things change, the essential element remains the same; it’s the power of your people to produce results that count. Far too many reorganization projects tend to serve the structure itself and not your customers, and it’s your people, not the scaffolding, who serve your customers.

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Customers After The Merger: Are Your Customers Happy with the New You?

The headlines might read, “The perfect merger.” But how often do you even read or hear the word ‘customer’ in the PR analysts’ hype? Taking liberties with a popular refrain, “What’s the customer got to do with it?” Indeed. You want this marriage to last, but without customers along for the ride, it will only end in ruin.

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Managing By The Numbers

Why do cars with automatic transmissions include a tachometer on the dashboard? Perhaps because the space is there and needs to be filled? Or maybe because drivers think the tachometer provides valuable information. Is your business “dashboard” giving you the right information? Business can be led astray by pursuing “almost right” measures of their success. It is important to find the right numbers for assessing revenue generation. It is also important to avoid overlooking the critical impact of factors which cannot be easily reduced to simple numbers.

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The Power of Focus

When times get tough or growth slows, many companies look at a diversification strategy to boost revenue. While this may increase revenue it rarely increases profits in the short term or the long term. Most companies would be better served with a strategy of focus than one of diversification.

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The Proper Use of An Executive’s Time

It’s been a recognized axiom for almost a century: An enterprise’s scarcest resource is its executives’ time. That’s still true. It’s what you should spend your time on that changes as the structure of the economy changes that is critical to understand. This Management Insight paper, looks at this issue.

Coming Soon

The Three Pillars of Competitive Advantage

Sustainable competitive advantage has always been difficult to achieve. The underlying reason is that what is a competitive advantage “today” becomes the “cost of entry” tomorrow. Companies in the bottom half are constantly playing catch-up to those in the upper half. However, leaders often believe that yesterday’s advantage is still a competitive weapon when it has been reduced to a “commodity” management practice. This notwithstanding, we submit that there is at least one area left where competitive advantage can be still be gained and cannot be out-sourced.

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When Culture Turns Deadly

An organization’s culture and its sacred cows (“sacred cows” are always a reflection of some culture-dictated mandatory behavior) are often put to the test in times of crisis. A crisis can be any type of “black swan,” that is, a totally unexpected event that can hurt. The British Petroleum case is a good example of what happens when things go terribly wrong, and exposed their flawed culture to the public eye as never before.

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