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Posts By Rita McGrath

rethinking audience attraction in the media business model

In an article that is forthcoming in Long Range Planning, I’ll be talking about a discovery driven approach to identifying new business models.  One of the points I make in the piece is that with the advertising model, businesses are paid by advertisers to attract an audience and provide the advertiser with access to that audience.  It struck me somehow this evening that this simple idea is one which could... read more »

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Sweden pulls back

I ran across a really interesting article in Forbes recently. The article quotes Sweden’s Finance Minister as encouraging the country to turn its back on the policies that, in his words, led to a “lost” couple of decades for the country.  Fascinating reading.  read more »

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Health care:  If it’s free, why not?

One of the unfortunate aspects of the way we manage health care in this country is that many people who can’t (or don’t wish to) spend money on routine care put it off.  They then sometimes end up in emergency rooms with urgent issues. Yesterday, I was working with an amazing group of women CEO’s, one of whom runs a company that manages care for companies, reducing their costs by... read more »

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Taxes, the structure of incentives, and why I’m worried about the plan for health reform funding

When I was a Ph.D. student studying entrepreneurship, one of the most influential articles I read was by economist William J. Baumol.  Entitled “Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive and Destructive”, it basically suggested that a nation gets the type of entrepreneurship it rewards.  Countries that reward productivity-enhancing risk-taking richly encourage those with entrepreneurial inclinations to pursue those activities.  Countries, in contrast, that reward other kinds of activities, such as politicking, status-seeking through... read more »

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Guerrilla strategies - 2009 version

Many fans of our work together have heard my colleague Ian MacMillan talk about an entrepreneurial business he was involved with in his younger years as a perfect example of a ‘guerrilla’ strategy.  Guerrilla strategies imply that you have a defensible market niche that you can exploit, which other organizations would find difficult to address, or inappropriate for them to address.  In Mac’s case, his entrepreneurial business was a travel... read more »

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This disruption thing is harder than it looks

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, writer Kimberly Chou reviewed the fates of several contenders to be disruptive technologies in the industries in which they were introduced. . Among these are the flip videorecorder, the "peek" phone and various forms of internet enabled devices. What they have in common is that they are all trying to carve out a niche in markets that were established at much higher price... read more »

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Unintended side effects of post-9/11 fear of flying

Garrick Blalock, Vrinda Kadiyali and Daniel H. Simon, writing in the journal Applied Economics (June 2009 – Volume 41, issue 14, pg. 1717) came to a fascinating conclusion.  After the highly dramatic 9/11 attacks, many travelers elected to go by automobile, in preference to taking airplanes (as the airlines know all too well – their business really suffered after 9/11).  One little-known aspect of these decisions, however, is that by... read more »

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Total Recall - Closer than you think!

As many of you will know, at the World Economic Forum annual conference in Davos this year, I presented on the concept of Total Recall Systems in which everything you do and say is captured to be replayed.  Well, lo and behold if it isn’t becoming a reality much faster than many of us thought.  My parents sent me this clip from the BBC which reports how a Google product... read more »

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Discovery Driven Growth is Now Available in a Kindle Edition!

That should be good news for those of you who like your reading in digital form. The book will soon also be available in a chapterized version from Harvard Business Publishing.  read more »

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Heard on the Street - Discovery Driven Planning Changes Leadership Decisions - at Harvard, no less!

One of our dear colleagues at Wharton happened to be teaching at a conference up at Harvard Business School.  He was kind enough to report the following exchange to us: Dear Mac – I just came back from a long conference at HBS that included a lot of business people and HBS alumni.  The discussion came up about best advice for pushing their leadership team, and one of the business... read more »

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Consumer Leverage Ratio - A tool to measure the ticking credit time bomb lurking for your customers

My co-author, Ian MacMillan and one of his colleagues, William Jarvis have just weighed in on a topic near and dear to my heart—the deadly situations companies create when they lend more and more to over-extended consumers (see post on why the smartest behavioral economists in the world work for credit card companies).  In an article forthcoming in the Harvard Business Review, they show how devastating accumulations of such debt... read more »

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Unsubscribe me, Please!

I’m not sure when it happened.  Maybe it was the fact that since attending the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos, I’ve been on the road about half the time.  Maybe it was that with the economic crisis and concomitant uncertainty, more bits of potentially meaningful information are floating around.  Maybe it’s that as more people and organizations go digital, there is just more digital communication going around.  Or maybe... read more »

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McGrath’s Research cited in Sloan Management Review

Recent article in Sloan Management Review cites some research done by Rita. read more »

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Colin Raney on getting a degree in design in 2012

This fascinating fully fleshed out curriculum for a design based curriculum was put together by my great colleague Colin Raney of design firm IDEO.  See this link.  read more »

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Gems from the Ashes - How to Recover Value from Discontinued Ventures

May 19, 2000A scholarly study conducted over two years by Rita and her co-authors, Thomas Keil and Taina Tukiainen, has just been published in Organization Science.. This is our abstract: Our longitudinal study of the entire population of internal corporate ventures within a large European electronics manufacturer finds that the conventional focus in the corporate venturing literature to evaluate ventures based on business growth and financial performance may be misguided.... read more »

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