Sustainability: a business opportunity
By the year 2040, only 15 per cent of the world's population will be living in what are now called developed countries. It's therefore essential for today's business planners to start focusing on the rest of the planet. Fortunately a strategy centred on emerging markets can be both financially profitable and socially responsible, says Barbara Kux of the Dutch multinational Royal Philips Electronics.
"Developing countries are a fantastic source of opportunities for companies," says Kux,
Europe as a power: Financial and economic challenges ahead
There has been so much 'hype' about the rise of the BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - that one begins to wonder about Europe's relevance as an economic power. 'Is the European economy as relevant as it once was?' asks Alice Rivlin of The Brookings Institution.
Creating a climate for change
A new INSEAD-European Business Summit report on climate change has highlighted a surge in green activities by US entrepreneurs, backed by venture capital. Until 2005, the amount of VC funds invested in clean technologies such as solar and wind power had been running almost neck and neck in the US and Europe. But then there was a sudden surge of VC interest in the US in 2005, the report says, which resulted in US firms raising $4.5 billion in VC funds to invest in clean technology the fol
Coping with Copenhagen: the business implications
The Copenhagen Climate Summit (COP 15) began on December 7, 2009, on the heels of the pirating of the East Anglia University Climatic Research Unit's email exchanges, and calls of climate sceptics to re-examine the scientific basis for undertaking actions to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions originating from human activity.
In defence of hedge funds
Hedge funds have come in for scrutiny of late, particularly for their role in the financial crisis. According to Christopher Fawcett, CEO of Fauchier Partners, which manages hedge fund and alternative investment portfolios, hedge funds have become a scapegoat as they are an easy target.
Gold lures small-scale miners into global market
Victoria Paxi used to live in Lima, the capital of Peru, working in a restaurant or washing clothes to earn about 60 dollars a month, while her husband worked hours away in a mine.
Effecting change management: a reality with the LingHe Simulation?
With China's business environment undergoing fast and significant change - partially driven by the introduction of information and communication technologies into business relationships - managers now need to be more effective than ever in implementing change within their organisations.
A case of poor corporate governance?
On August 6, Hewlett Packard’s board forced CEO Mark Hurd to resign after the conclusion of a sexual harassment investigation. Hurd had apparently been accused by Jodie Fisher, a marketing contractor, of giving her less business with the company because she did not respond to his sexual advances. Fisher worked for HP from 2007 to 2009 helping to organise networking events. Hurd denies all the charges and the HP board also agreed that he did not violate the company’s sexual harassment policie
CEO View: Paul Desmarais, Jr. of Power Corporation of Canada
In 1925, Power Corporation of Canada pioneered the development of the hydroelectric industry, supplying power to homes and business across the country. But today the company is no longer about electric power; it’s all about the financial services industry. Instead of generating kilowatts, this family-controlled management and holding company has responsibility for overseeing many billions of dollars in assets.
New paradigm needed to mitigate brain drain in the Middle East: INSEAD has role to play
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an interesting case study in human capital, in part because there are few places in the world where you will find a predominantly expatriate workforce. While the economies of this and other oil-rich countries are still robust, the long-term effects of relying on transient foreign talent could very well derail progress for future generations.
KFC China's recipe for success
If there were just a few things that China has wholly embraced from the West, it would be their love for Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC as it is more commonly known. In 1987, the fast-food operator opened its first outlet near Tianamen Square in Beijing. Then came 2,000 other outlets, which sprung up across China within the next 20 years – a phenomenal achievement by any standard.
Unshackling the ‘double bind’ of the female leader
According to Robin Ely, a Professor of Organisational Behavior at Harvard Business School, women often end up in a ‘double bind’. “If they try to enact the traits that are seen as ‘leaderly’ – and these tend to be the traits that are more associated with idealised images of masculinity – they tend to be respected for that, but not necessarily liked. Whereas if they take up a more stereotypically female role of being nurturing and caretaking, they may be liked but not necessarily re
CEO view: Fadi Ghandour of Aramex
The Aramex story – that of a small player in the Middle East rising to compete against the biggest companies in the global transportation and logistics market – has been heralded by Thomas L. Friedman in his book The World is Flat as a model for companies benefiting from the ‘flattening’ of the world through globalisation – the levelling of the economic field and the destruction of barriers to entry, opening the door wide for individuals or companies anywhere in the world to collaborat
Can leadership withstand the ravages of a crisis?
The sudden collapse of Lehman Brothers and the fall of AIG have not just shaken the financial community to its core, which has sent reverberations worldwide, its leaders have also come under fire.
But there's more to these highly-publicised institutional collapses than meets the eye, according to Subramanian Rangan, Associate Professor of Strategy and Management at INSEAD.
CEO view: Ben Verwaayen of BT
Sustainability is becoming an increasingly hot topic in business circles, but when it comes to grasping the sense of urgency surrounding the issue, many of the current generation of business leaders arent very good at getting it. Thats according to the outgoing CEO of BT plc, Ben Verwaayen.
Business has to play a focal role in sustainability, he says, adding its in the interest of businesses to take the issue seriously.
The dark side of trust
By and large, trust is a good thing. But there can also be too much of a good thing. One needs to look no further than the scandal involving disgraced Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff to appreciate the detrimental effects of misguided or excessive trust, for which there are dire consequences.
Improving organisations through performance feedback
Performance feedback plays an important role in indicating when a firm needs to change its management strategy. It doesn’t, however, indicate just what this new strategy should be, and firms do not always respond appropriately, says Henrich Greve, INSEAD Professor of Entrepreneurship and Organisational Behaviour.
The changing face of the CIO
As CEOs increasingly turn to technology to help them cope with a rapidly changing business environment, chief information officers (CIOs) are no longer simply ‘the IT guys’. Increasingly, they are expected to play a more strategic role. According to the 2008 ASEAN CIO Leadership Study – based on a survey of some 160 CIOs in six Southeast Asian countries - CIOs are finding that this change in responsibilities also means that a new set of skills is required to carry out the job.
Re-tooling the microfinance model in Asia
More than three billion people live in poverty around the world, but millions are managing to raise their living standards to some degree, thanks to microfinance. Even so, there’s plenty of scope for scaling up the current model of microlending to help others.
On Adam Smith, Gordon Gecko and controls on self-interest
Maybe it’s due to technology, maybe the global economy or maybe the revelations about corporate behaviour as one company after another, melting down and asking for taxpayer aid, laid bare the truth behind their balance sheets. Layman and businessman alike have come to realise that the old taboos surrounding ways of behaviour in the business world no longer work – or perhaps worked inefficiently at best.