August 26, 2017

Organization Design - New Ideas


In "The New New Way of Working Series," published the article, "Boosting Performance Through Organization Design" dated JULY 17, 2017 authored by By Fabrice Roghé , Andrew Toma , Stefan Scholz , Alexander Schudey , and JinK Koike.

The authors reported that analysis of the same survey results suggests that six specific factors in organization design can make a company more likely to become a top performer, with faster growth and higher profits than its peers. The six factors are:

Agile ways of working
A value-adding corporate center
Clearly delineated profit and loss (P&L) responsibilities
A flat management structure with a strong frontline focus
Effective use of shared services
Strong support for people and collaboration

For more information on agile read the article

Related articcle

August 25, 2017

Cost Center Reports and Analysis

Cost Center Reports and Analysis

Any activity can be analysed by its costs and the ’output’ it generates. A business might want to know the cost of running a production line compared to other production lines or ways of producing things. Similarly, a firm might want to look at the total cost of running training courses (salary, rents, training materials, utilities and so on) compared to the number of people actually trained.

Cost centre analysis tries to attribute all costs involved in a particular activity to one ’location’ or ’cost centre’. To calculate costs involved in a particular activity it is necessary to calculate the cost of:

All materials used directly  and materials used indirectly (for instance packaging).

All labour costs directly involved and the proportionate cost of any supporting labour (for instance
administrative staff).

Sales And Marketing Costs
Regular, on-going costs of advertising and promotion of that activity’s product or service.

Proportionate costs of regular expenses associated with that activity such as rent, rates, power, interest repayments, other charges.

Additional Costs
Other costs solely attributable to the activity (for instance higher insurance costs for a new machine).

ABC Novelties company  management want to know the real cost of manufacturing toys. Materials used cost $2,000 per year. Production involves 5 trainees paid $500 expenses each per year. The single machine
used is used for toy production 20% of the time and full depreciation is valued at $1,000 per year. Electricity costs $600 a year and toy production takes up half of a workshop costing $2,000 in rent, rates and repairs
per year. The paid administration worker calculates that he spends 30% of his time on book-keeping, sales and marketing toys. He is paid $8,000 per year. The total income of the project is $25,000 per year
and sales of toys contribute $5,000 to this. 

Its total costs are $24,500 per year.

Cost Centre Analysis
Materials            =    $2000
Labour (5 x $500) =   2500
Depreciation ($1,000 x 20%)   =  200
Electricity ($600 x 20%)   =  120
Rent ($2,000 / 2) =           1000
Administration ($8,000 x 30%) = 2400
Total                 =   8220
From these figures we can calculate the following:
Toy making is responsible for 34% of all costs ($8,220 / $24,500 x 100)

August 21, 2017

Design Thinking - Introduction

Design Thinking: Understand Phase

Design Thinking: Explore Phase

In his 1969 seminal text on design methods, “The Sciences of the Artificial,” Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon outlined one of the first formal models of the Design Thinking process. Simon's model consists of seven major stages, each with component stages and activities, and was largely influential in shaping some of the most widely used Design Thinking process models today.

A five-stage model was proposed by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford ( is the leading university when it comes to teaching Design Thinking. The five stages of Design Thinking in this model are as follows:

Empathise, Define (the problem), Ideate, Prototype, and Test.

A process guide describes the stages in more detail. Download: An Introduction to Design Thinking - Process Guide

Five stage explanation - Another article

IBM Design Thinking

Marketing Management Subject Update

Marketing Management Revision Article Series


5 Ways Words Can Destroy Your Marketing Messages (And How to Fix Them)
Use these copywriting tips to improve your marketing messages and ensure you don't lose sales or money on your marketing investments.

There is No Luck. Only Good Marketing.


TEDx Talks

Article in HBR on Organization of Marketing Department

Developing a marketing plan  (interesting information is in the article)

Key competencies for general sales effectiveness
By Amir Qureshi
12 December 2016

Dec 2016

March 2016

Marketing Managers' Salary Guide for USA - 2016



May 2015

Negotiation: What Makes the Right Business Deal

I searched for this topic today in my interest to write an article on the topic marketing support for Make in India Campaign. I found that there a huge literature in the area of macromarketing. The reference I came across today are:

Marketing Theory: Philosophy of Science Perspectives

April 2015

Marketing communication messages have to be different when you announce a product and build buying intention for it. The communication has to change when the product is actually made available in the market for purchase.  Read the summary of a recent research paper on adoption of products.

February 2015
Planned Revision schedule for marketing chapters is in February and March

January 2015

Why Your Customers’ Social Identities Matter.

By: Champniss, Guy; Wilson, Hugh N.; Macdonald, Emma K. Harvard Business Review. Jan/Feb2015, Vol. 93 Issue 1/2, p88-96.

People are highly social animals. Most of us belong to many social groups, each with its own identity.

For five years the authors have been studying how social identity affects customer behavior in a wide range of industries. They have seen that companies can trigger more-favorable reactions in customers by subtly influencing which identities they tap into. This is something firms should take into account when doing market research or designing experiences.

The first step is to surface the range of  a customer's  possible identities. If a customer's identity encourages targeted behaviors, marketers can help reinforce it.  Marketers can also work to add a desired behavior to those that customers associate with an identity, prime different identities in customers, and even create new identities that deepen relationships with existing customers and attract new ones.

2014's top The Gunn Reports' Cases For Creativity

1. 1. IBM's 'A Boy And His Atom' Ogilvy & Mat her, USA

IBM upload

2. Evian Baby & Me

99,261,360 views 29 Jan 2015

"Contagious: Why Things Catch on" by Jonah Berger was named the best book of Marketing of 2014
Talk by Jonah Berger

Talks at Google upload  (For previewing the book)

Marketing News - 15 January Issue

Why Uniqlo Is Winning
By: David Aaker
Uniqlo is Japanese clothing retailer now in top 5 and plans to beat Zara.

Updated 22 August 2017,  6 June 2017,  26 February 2017,  6 Dec 2016, 28 Mar 2016, 11 Dec 2015

Give your suggestions for adding any articles to the collection.

Developments in Retailing - New Retail - Omni-Channel

"New retail" is  a phenomenon recently coined by Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba, entails retailers integrating their online and offline businesses, and leveraging the Internet and customer data to sell better.

24 July 2017

August 17, 2017

Service to Customer: Follow Up After The Sale

Selling Skill - Service to Customer and Follow Up After The Sale

A satisfied customer is the best advertisement to you as a salesman and to your product. But if you make a sale and runaway, you do not know the feelings of your customer. The prospect became your customer after buying from you. High performing salespersons do the follow up and provide any service the customer requires and convert this interaction into further sales to the customer or to his friends and acquaintances through referrals.

Service to Customer

A satisfied customer is the best advertisement to you as a salesman and to your product. But if you make a sale and runaway, you do not know the feelings of your customer. The prospect became your customer after buying from you. High performing salespersons do the follow up and provide any service the customer requires and convert this interaction into further sales to the customer or to his friends and acquaintances through referrals.

Service will keep customers and increase sales. Use your company’s goods return policies judiciously to replace defective products with customers. Go back to the customer, check the product that you have sold and make sure that the customer is getting the expected services from it.

Become a customer benefit oriented salesman, your profits swell through your efforts to make the benefits of customers swell. Develop your reputation from providing benefit to customers. Provide service above and beyond the call of duty. Always schedule some time in your daily sales plan for delighting customers. Delight comes to a customer when you deliver something beyond expectations.

Part of Selling Process - 10 Steps

Updated 18 August 2017, 25 November 2011

August 16, 2017

Corporate Growth Strategy - Introduction and Bibliography

Strategies for Sustaining Rapid Company Growth
(Thompson and Strickland in the chapter, Tailoring strategy to Fit Specific Industry and Company Situations)

Horizon I  "Short jump" strategic initiatives

Horizon II "Medium jump" strategic initiatives

Horizon III   "Long jump" strategic initiatives to  plant the seeds for ventures in businesses that do not yet exist - Investments in R & D,  Setting up venture capital funds that invest in new ventures inside and outside the company,

Managing project portfolio consisting of multiple horizon projects is difficult, but has to be done.

For more detail on multiple horizon projects model

Article McKinsey Quarterly December 2009
Enduring Ideas: The three horizons of growth

Interview April 2008
A fine-grained view of the sources of growth - Video

INNOVATION and Company Growth
To Succeed in the Long Term, Focus on the Middle Term
Geoffrey Moore
Managing Director at TCG Advisors, a strategy consulting firm located in San Bruno, California.
Harvard Business Review,  JULY–AUGUST 2007 ISSUE

The roots of organic growth

By Kabir Ahuja, Liz Hilton Segel, and Jesko Perrey
Article McKinsey Quarterly August 2017

Three types of growth strategy clusters

Investors - Investing in profitable products by finding cash fron non profitable area - Cost leadership strategy.

Creators - New Product development and introduction

Performers - Focus on commercial activities - marketing, fine pricing and service

Either investors or creators who pursue one more strategy are more successful.

Analytics is providing advantage in all three strategies at the moment

The Alchemy of Growth: Practical Insights for Building the Enduring Enterprise

Mehrdad Baghai, Stephen Coley, David White
Perseus Books, 2000 - Business & Economics - 272 pages

Growth unleashes benefits beyond the economic. It revitalizes organizations and invigorates the people in them, creating energy, a sense of purpose, and the glow of being on a winning team. Like the alchemy of old, it seeks to transform the everyday into the exalted by means that seem little short of magical. Yet growth is often elusive, achieved at unacceptable costs, or managed in fits and starts. Based on over three years of research and application at high-performing companies around the world, The Alchemy of Growth is a comprehensive, practical approach to initiating, achieving, and sustaining profitable growth?today and tomorrow. As the book shows, the secret is to manage business opportunities across three time horizons at once: extending and defending core businesses, building new businesses, and seeding options for the future. The Alchemy of Growth offers managers at all levels the tools and concepts for investing in the right initiatives, capabilities, and talent to propel their companies into the future.

Interview with Alchemy of Growth Author - Mehrdad Baghai

CEOTalkRadio upload
Hosted by professor Robert G. Barnwell, CEO Talk Radio provides senior executives with practical advice on enhancing the competitiveness, profitability, and market capitalization of their companies. Guests include leading CEOs, CFOs, authors, academics and other renowned management thinkers.

Staircases to growth
By Mehrdad Baghai, Stephen C. Coley, and David White with Charles Conn and Robert J. McLean
Article McKinsey Quarterly November 1996

Smart Growth: Building an Enduring Business by Managing the Risks of Growth

Edward D. Hess
Columbia University Press, 2010 - 230 pages

Wall Street believes that all public companies should grow smoothly and continuously, as evidenced by ever-increasing quarterly earnings, and that all companies either "grow or die." Introducing a research-based growth model called "Smart Growth," Edward D. Hess challenges this ethos and its dangerous mentality, which often deters real growth and pressures businesses to create, manufacture, and purchase noncore earnings just to appease Wall Street.

Smart Growth accounts for the complexity of growth from the perspective of organization, process, change, leadership, cognition, risk management, employee engagement, and human dynamics. Authentic growth is much more than a strategy or a desired result. It is a process characterized by complex change, entrepreneurial action, experimental learning, and the management of risk. Hess draws on extensive public and private company research, incorporating case studies of Best Buy, Sysco, UPS, Costco, Starbucks, McDonalds, Coca Cola, Room & Board, Home Depot, Tiffany & Company, P&G, and Jet Blue. With conceptual innovations such as an Authentic Earnings and Growth System framework, a seven-step growth funnel pipeline, a Growth Decision Template, and a Growth Risks Audit, Hess provides a blueprint for an enduring business that strives to be better, rather than simply bigger.

The Granularity of Growth: How to Identify the Sources of Growth and Drive Enduring Company Performance

Patrick Viguerie, Sven Smit, Mehrdad Baghai
John Wiley & Sons, 13-Jan-2011 - Business & Economics - 256 pages

While growth is a top priority for companies of all sizes, it can be extremely difficult to create and maintain—especially in today’s competitive business environment. The Granularity of Growth will put you in a better position to succeed as it reveals why growth is so important, what enables certain companies to grow so spectacularly, and how to ensure that growth comes from multiple sources as you take both a broad and a granular view of your markets.

The Physics of Business Growth: Mindsets, System, and Processes

Edward Hess, Jeanne Liedtka
Stanford University Press, May 24, 2012 - 130 pages

Organic business growth is governed by its own natural laws underlying truths that set the stage for growth and innovation, much in the way that Einstein's law of relativity accounts for the movement of objects in the space-time continuum. The most fundamental law is that uncertainty is the only certainty. Dominating forces are ambiguity and change; the processes at work involve exploration, invention, and experimentation. Unfortunately, these truths run counter to the principles of stability, predictability, and linearity that have long informed the design of our firms.

The Physics of Business Growth helps readers understand how to create growth in today's business environment, providing them a roadmap and a set of practical tools to navigate its challenges. The book lays out a three step formula that will prove invaluable to professionals who have the opportunity to influence growth now, as well as to tomorrow's growth leaders, guiding them in (1) creating the right employee and organizational mindsets to enable growth (2) building an internal corporate growth system, and (3) putting in place processes that result in identifying opportunities, launching growth experiments, and managing a growth portfolio.

Updated 18 August 2016, 8 October 2016

August 7, 2017

Scanning of Environment for Marketing Ideas and Decisions

Marketing Management Revision Article Series

Unmet needs of people always exist. Companies can make fortunes if they can find a solution to problems of people like cancer, mental diseases, nonfattening but tasty food etc. There are many more problems awaiting a solution. Marketers have to scan the environment and find out problems requiring solutions and report them back to their product development specialists to facilitate focused efforts to develop solutions for them.

For this purpose marketing executives scan macro environment. Macro environment is further divided into different environments for study purpose.

Demographic Environment

The first macro environment that marketers monitor is global and domestic population and trends in it. The parameters they look for are worldwide population growth, population age mix, and geographical shifts in population, household patterns, educational groups and ethnic groups.

Economic Environment

An exchange market requires purchasing power for transactions to take place along with people who want goods. The available purchasing power in an economy depends on parameters like current income, prices, savings, current debt levels and credit availability. Marketers have to identify major trends in income and spending patterns.

Natural Environment

Marketers need to consider the threats and opportunities associated with four trends in the natural environment: the shortage of raw materials, the increased cost of energy, the increased levels of pollution, and the changing role of governments.

Technological Environment

There is a rapid technological change. Technology is creating opportunities for new products and services. Research and development expenditure is an important variable that determines development of new technologies. Marketers have to promote R & D activities both at company level and country levels through government funds. Government regulation of technology has increases to assure public safe technologies.

Political/Legal Environment

Regulation of various businesses by government and liberalization of some businesses are issues that need to be monitored by marketers.

Social/Cultural Environment

There is high persistence of core cultural values of societies. There are subcultures in every society. There are shifts in secondary cultural values through time. Marketers have to be alert to such changes and analyze marketing implications of such changes.

For Further Reading

The Marketing Concept - Kotler

Philip Kotler, Marketing Management, Text Book

Planned Revision schedule for marketing chapters is in February and March

Originally posted on Knol

Knol number 122

Updated 8 August 2017, 25 November 2011

August 6, 2017

Target Costing and Target Cost Management

Strategic Cost Management Course Articles

Target costing is strategic decision.

Target costing is based on three premises: 1.) Product design and development has to be oriented to customer affordability or market-driven pricing, 2.) Product cost is to be treated as an objective or a constraint variable determined by the market conditions during the definition of a product's requirements, and 3.) Proactively working to achieve target cost during product and process development.

Target costing builds upon a design-to-cost (DTC) approach with the focus on market-driven target prices as a basis for establishing target costs. The target costing concept is similar to the cost as an independent variable (CAIV) approach used by the U.S. Department of Defense and to the price-to-win philosophy used by a number of companies pursuing contracts involving development under contract. 

The company can have a policy of target costing. For any new product to be introduced, marketing comes out with an estimate of the price and sales quantity schedule. From this information, and information available on capital outlays required (an approximate estimate), a decision is taken to target a price point. From this price point, the required profit margin is deducted to get a target cost for the product and the product development team is given this target cost as the development goal. Therefore, development has a technical goal, the new product has to perform the specified function, it must be durable, maintainable, it must have quality, and also it has to be within the target cost.
To ensure that the developed product is within the target cost, the development team needs cost estimation assistance on a continuous basis. Value engineering is normally taken up after some years of selling the new product. Target costing requires concurrent value engineering. Value engineering requires cost information.

Cost accountants and cost estimators have a significant role to play in an organization which is pursuing target costing as a strategy.

For More Detailed Reading

Target Costing

What is Target Costing? A Presentation in pdf format

Best Practices in Target Costing

Index of articles on Financial, Cost and Management Accounting 

Original Knol - 2utb2lsm2k7a/ 380

Updated 7 August 2017, 24 November 2011

August 5, 2017

Financial, Cost and Management Accounting - Review Notes List

Financial Accounting - Horngren - Review Notes List

Introduction to Financial Accounting - Google Books Link

Links to review notes and power point presentations accompanying the book are available as follows:

1. Accounting: The Language of Business

2. Measuring Income to Assess Performance

3. Recording Transactions

4. Accrual Accounting and Financial Statements

5. Statement of Cash Flows

6. Accounting for Sales

7. Inventories and Cost of Goods Sold

8. Long-Lived Assets and Depreciation

9. Liabilities and Interest

10. Stockholder's Equity

11. Intercorporate Investments and Consolidations

12. Financial Statement Analysis

Cost Accounting
1. Role of Costing and Cost Accounting in the Organization
2. Introduction to Cost Terms - Review Notes
3. Traditional Cost Objectives and Their Utility
4. Job Costing - Review Notes

Variance Analysis, Flexible Budget and Management Control

Management Accounting

1. Managerial Accounting or Management Accounting - Role in Business and Industrial Organizations

MBA Knowledge Revision Schedule

January  - February  - March  - April  - May   -   June

July       - August     - September  - October - November  - December

Updated 6 August 2017, 27 June 2014

Wisdom - Theory Development

Targowski, Andrew
Harnessing the Power of Wisdom (2013),

Cognitive Informatics and Wisdom Development: Interdisciplinary Approaches: Interdisciplinary Approaches

Targowski, Andrew
IGI Global, 31-Dec-2010 - Psychology - 260 pages

Wisdom is the ultimate human virtue. Its development and  application is important for humans and civilization.

Cognitive Informatics and Wisdom Development: Interdisciplinary Approaches argues that wise civilization cannot function without wise people and vice versa, that wise people cannot function without positive conditions for the development of wise civilization. Using the cognitive informatics approach as a basis for the investigation of wisdom, this book offers solutions on how to study and evaluate the state of wisdom in 21st century society and the requirements for wise civilization and its monitoring systems.

Wisdom is information reflecting good judgment and choice; it is the final cognition unit in the Semantic Ladder and has different levels of scope and quality depending on the four minds, namely basic, whole, global and universal mind, which are supported by the art of living, understood as the reflection of behavioral aspects of wisdom within the philosophical framework of the hierarchy of possible purposes of one’s life.

Emotional Intelligence Quotient Test - Patent - Sajid Khan

Cited Patent Filing date Publication date Applicant Title

US4931934 * Jun 27, 1988 Jun 5, 1990 Snyder Thomas E Method and system for measuring clarified intensity of emotion
US6375470 * Nov 9, 1999 Apr 23, 2002 Dennis Rohan Method for facilitating alliance building
US6418435 * Aug 11, 1999 Jul 9, 2002 Connotative Reference Corporation System for quantifying intensity of connotative meaning
US6497577 * Jan 8, 2001 Dec 24, 2002 Janet M. Kanter Systems and methods for improving emotional awareness and self-mastery
US6651071 * Aug 4, 2000 Nov 18, 2003 Alverno College User interface educational database system for monitoring proficiency, performance and evaluation of student
US20030108849 * Dec 10, 2001 Jun 12, 2003 Hodges Vannie Kay Method of grouping patient information

Citing Patent Filing date Publication date Applicant Title

US20100293492 * May 12, 2010 Nov 18, 2010 Lewis Farsedakis Systems, Web Sites, Games, Calculators, Meters and Other Tangible Items for Measurement of Love

US20140032277 * Jul 18, 2013 Jan 30, 2014 Infosys Limited Methods, systems and computer-readable media for computing performance indicator of a resource

Process for assessing and developing emotional intelligence in early childhood
US 20040009457 A1
Publication date Jan 15, 2004

Method for improving the emotional quotient in infants and children
US 20080268408 A1
This invention is a method to teach emotional awareness to children. The method uses a video to increase the child's emotional quotient. The emotional quotient is a measure like intelligence quotient that measures sensitivity to emotions. Because the video uses images it can be used with pre-literate or even pre-language children. It can also be used as a tool for teachers, parents and therapists who are using a larger education system or the video can be used by the child as a primary educational tool.
Publication date 30 Oct 2008

August - Management Knowledge Revision

August Revision Subjects

Product Design and Development

1 August to 5 August

1. Introduction - Product Design and Development
2. Product Development Process

3. Product Planning
4. Identifying Customer Needs for Product Development

Business Research Methods

Cooper and Schlindler - Chapter 1
Download PPT Slides


15.  Basics of Statistics

Statistical Process Control

16. Statistical Quality Control

Test of Hypothesis

HYPOTHESIS TESTING FOR THE PROCESS CAPABILITY RATIO - 2002 MS Thesis!etd.send_file%3Faccession%3Dohiou1040054409%26disposition%3Dinline

17. Design of Experiments


Application of Six Sigma

19. Statistical Forecasting

Operations Research

(from the perspective of an industrial engineer)
(From Maynard's Industrial Engineering Handbook, 5th Edition, pp. 11.27-11.44)
Jayant Rajgopal (From Rajgopal's website)


What is mathematical programming?
Examples of Mathematical Programming.

Video with 600,000+ views



Simplex Method

Transportation Problem

25.  Queing Models


26. Dynamic Programming

Game Theory

To September - Management Knowledge Revision

Industrial Engineers support Engineers and Managers in Efficiency Improvement of Products, Processes and Systems

One Year MBA Knowledge Revision Plan

January  - February  - March  - April  - May   -   June

July  - August     - September  - October  - November  - December

Economics - Revision Articles - List

Updated  6 August 2017  13 September 2016, 31 July 2016, 31 Aug 2014

Strategy Execution - Best Practices

What Is Strategy Execution?

By: Ed Barrows

Execute strategy through strategic projects

Identify strategy projects.
The first step in improving project-oriented strategy execution is to capture and organize all strategy projects

Resource strategy projects.
Projects that directly impact the strategy should be resourced.

Manage projects.
Organizations must develop a capability in project management if they are to execute strategy effectively.   The full complement of strategy projects  should be coordinated and controlled by a central strategy project office or officer with the responsibility for monitoring both progress and performance.

Communicate strategy.
It is difficult to execute strategy when the strategy itself isn’t well understood, or performance relative to it is not communicated.  Leaders must communicate their strategy to the workforce in a way that will help them understand not only what needs to be done, but why.

Align individual roles.
Senior leaders have to ensure that roles are modified so that employees at all levels see their contribution to the strategy success and can articulate and evaluate their personal roles toward achievement of specific strategic goals.  This is perhaps one of the most critical aspects of the execution process.

Reward performance.
In strategy execution, as in any other area of management, what gets measured gets done.  Taking this one step further, what get measured and rewarded gets done faster.  After explaining the strategy and aligning the workforce to it, senior managers institute the incentives that flow from the success of strategic endeavors or projects,  that drive behaviors consistent with the strategy.

Research on the strategy-execution gap

Updated 6 August 2017, 30 October 2016