It is true that failures pave way for triumphs in life. No man is known to have been completely successful in his life without failure having guided him. In April 2009, I had to experience the closure of Brand Box, a marketing project that I had launched with two partners. Scarcity of funds forced us to give up on our passion. While I was forced to revert back to my old profession of legal consultancy, I realized through a long period of alienation with my consulting job that I could never be great at what I do because of lacking enough passion for consultancy. Through a rigorous process of self reflection, I stumbled upon the precious truth that my heart was not in my consultancy job. I, however, decided to rise above this alienation and reconcile my heart with my mind to achieve equilibrium in my life.
I came up with an idea of launching Pakistans first New York-style stone baked oven pizzeria. Initially, I was under-equipped to be in a food business as I had little information about the logistics. In order to make up for that, I worked closely with chefs and food experts for 6 months until Stone Baked Pizza was launched on the 1st of September 2011. I can proudly declare that the restaurant currently has revenue of around PKR 0.5 million per month. I would not just gauge this achievement in terms of monetary rewards as much as the satisfaction of being able to rise up from a deep-seated sense of alienation with my own self, which is priceless. Also, I realize that the actualization of my individuality rested upon this venture and I derive immense gratification out of this belief.
One Page Case Questions: Meg Whitman at eBay (A)
* How would you describe the culture at eBay and its roots?
Ebay internal company culture was designed to mirror its external community culture. Employees are expected to be open and honest, to treat one another with respect and to speak up if they believed they were not being treated in this manner. Ebay is a nonhierarchical, democratic organization that encourages ideas and feedback from all employees.
The roots of ebay culture originates from the primary element of ebay culture i.e. respect for its community. In any other consumer business you at least control one side of the business but at Ebay the customer experience is based on how its customers deal with its other customers. Ebay believes that values are to assume that people are basically good, to give people the benefit of the doubt and to treat people with respect. Its business depends on people having a trusting relationship and that will only happen if people treat each other well.
* What do you see as the strategic value of the eBay culture?
* What do you see as the biggest challenges that Meg Whitman faces in the case, and what are the underlying principles that shape your assessment of what eBay must do?
Fraud, scaling the organization fast enough, pressure on technical systems due to growth in customers, communication of culture and values correctly while scaling at the same time, acquisition of new companys and still maintain the current culture of eBay.
Ebay is all about its community and that
Note that much has happened at eBay since the publication of this case. Though it has not been successful in China, eBay continues to dominate the online marketplace in Singapore (ebay.com.sg).
One Page Case Questions: Managing Creativity at Shanghai Tang * What is Raphael le Masnes vision for Shanghai Tang when he joins the firm?
Move Shanghai Tang into a completely new creative direction and make it a life style brand by extending the companies reach beyond clothing i.e. fashion accessories.
* If there was going to be a newspaper article written five years after his joining, what would he want the headline to be?
Shanghai Tang a lifestyle brand with reflecting Chinese heritage and culture
* What motivates and demotivates designers?
Letting them develop creative designs
Design clothes that present themselves
To be only Chinese oriented
Only use certain colors
Only design what customer wants
Factories that cant get the right finishing because they lack adequate machinery
* What motivates and demotivates managers (i.e., the buyers and salespeople)?
A right mix of western and traditional
Chinese to cater all sorts of customers.
Designs that are too creative and thus dont have enough demand.
Designs that are too colorful and not practical enough.
Designs too expensive to develop
Factories that cant get right finishing because they lack adequate machinery
Note that there are six Shanghai Tang stores in Singapore. Do visit one of them if you have time.
One Page Case Questions: The Roller Coaster Ride: The Resignation of a Star * Who has the upper hand between Stephen and Peter at the start of the day?
* Who played the situation better?
* What should each of them have done differently to have better played the situation? Be specific.
* How well did Rina play her situation?
Name: Sheikh Muhammad Salman Ul Haque
Phase Zero: Introducing New Services at IDEO (A)
* How successful was the Simmons project (on a scale of 1 to 10)? Why?
I would rate the project success to 5. The project didnt go to well as IDEO still had not received a feedback from the customer even after 2 months.
* What is the companys traditional value proposition?
A few firms merged together to become a service firm with capabilities in mechanical, electric and software engineering who design products to meet the needs of end users. A firm whose offering is complementary to the linear, left-brained approach of the management consultant and whose deliverables are visual and tangible.
* How did the company design itself to be geared to creativity? (Think of the congruence model.)
Developing a spirit of go get on with it, figure it out, do well!! We are here to support but we believe you can figure it out. Tech Box, a five-drawer flat-file metal cabinet, containing over 200 functional playful and elegant material and technologies to jump start designers thinking. Employees were free to personalize their workspaces and all were decorated with prototypes from past projects and other gadgets. 15 inch high cube foams to define individual work space and create project enclaves. Resources from food to supplies and spaces designed for congregation and group work. A studio environment which devoted time to sharing stories, gadgets and ideas.
* What should IDEO learn from the Simmons project?
Simmons management team is only excited when ideas are packages for show and tell as they are focused on sales and manufacturing for the mass consumer in present day. However on the other hand IDEOS has 11 solution categories divided into two groups and nothing tangible to show.
* How can IDEO learn to be effective in future Phase Zero projects?
They should have something tangible show, understand the management better and not to have too many categories/solutions to loose managements interest.