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The imitator’s dilemma

I have enjoyed the book “The Innovator’s DNA” by my INSEAD colleague Hal Gregersen with Jeff Dyer and Clayton M. Christensen. It made me recall the earlier book “The Innovator’s Dilemma”, and realize that part of my own research has been on a complementary issue. These books document the difficulties in maintaining and directing innovation efforts, and one possible response to them would be to say: Why bother innovating if I can wait for others to innovate and focus on being the best at implementing the innovation?

Leadership & Organisations

The Iron Lady’s failed mid-career transition

With the recent movie, The Iron Lady, leadership scholars like myself have seized the opportunity to reflect on the lessons of her life and career. In the film we see an old and diminished Maggie flashing back to Thatcher at the pinnacle of her power. But, perhaps the most important and the least obvious lesson— for Thatcher herself as well as for us— is about the midlife transition she failed to make; victim, as many of us, of her own success.

Leadership & Organisations

Being a Bridge

Anyone who loves Apple products should profusely thank Bill Fernandez.

Leadership & Organisations

When spending hurts

You’d think that creating a more equitable distribution of wealth would curb the urge to spend on status symbols – be they designer handbags or flat-screen TVs – as the “have-nots” try to keep up with the Jones.” But new marketing consumer research shows that the people will pay the price to stand out, even if they can’t afford it.

Leadership & Organisations

Leading During Downturns

Continuing on the theme of what the current market uncertainties may mean for leaders and their organizations…

Leadership & Organisations

Value Creation Logic – Not Budget Logic – Is Key to Successful Turnarounds

Javier Gimeno

Profits come from the gap between revenues and costs. So it is not surprising that when a downturn hits (typically in the form of lower demand and revenues), the typical emergency response is to develop plans to (a) increase revenues, and (b) decrease costs. How this is done, however, explains the difference between successful turnaround strategies and incremental, cosmetic responses.

Leadership & Organisations

Locked out of the boardroom

When new rules mandating seats for women on corporate boards go into effect in Europe next year, on which side will you be sitting?

Leadership & Organisations

Women on Boards: First, Diversity

For companies to be competitive, they should think strategically and unconventionally about the composition of their board.

Leadership & Organisations

Fortis Healthcare: Moving beyond India

Mrinalini Reddy

Healthcare needs are almost desperate in many parts of Asia and one company is ambitiously ramping up its services across the region.

Leadership & Organisations

Over-achieving and under-represented: The case for women on

The Vice President of the European Commission, Viviane Reding, says quotas are the only way to move women into the boardroom quickly enough. But will this really open the door?


Networking: Is it vital to an entrepreneur’s success?

Can sharing an idea help take it from the drawing board to the marketplace? Talk may cost nothing but new research indicates it gives an entrepreneur a better chance of success.

Leadership & Organisations

“Special Forces” in Recessionary Times

A final entry on coping with recessionary times (for now), although a theme we may return to…

Economics & Finance

Repairing Europe and reviving the US

Paul Volcker served as Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve during a period of economic turbulence when his prescribed monetary policies helped tame double-digit inflation rates in the early 1980s. More recently, he served as chairman of President Barack Obama’s Economic Advisory Board from February 2009 until January 2011. A vocal advocate for banking reform, his eponymous Volcker Rule, due to come into force next year, is meant to prevent American banks from making big bets on markets with their own money or from backing private equity and hedge funds. In an interview with INSEAD Knowledge at the Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) School of Public Policy in Singapore recently, he discusses Europe’s response to the sovereign debt crisis, stagnant U.S. unemployment and shortfalls in banking legislation in the aftermath of the credit crisis.


Want a successful merger?

Companies frequently cite synergies as a motivation for mergers. However, research shows many related mergers do produce increased cash flows and new products.

Leadership & Organisations

Women in news

Christine Ockrent has set new standards for women in news for the past three decades. Here she discusses candidly the heights scaled, and battles fought, won and lost.