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Operations

The transcultural leader: Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault, Nissan

“I think one of the basics of transcultural leadership is empathy,” says Carlos Ghosn, the man who is credited with turning around major Japanese car maker Nissan.
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Strategy

Engaging with Africa

After years of stagnation, Africa is finally experiencing economic growth. Are there opportunities in Africa which are not being recognised by the business community outside of Africa?

Strategy

Mergers and acquisitions: Reducing the private firm discount

Owners of private companies normally sell their shares at a 20-30 per cent discount during mergers and acquisitions. The ‘private firm discount’ is one reason the stock market reacts more favourably when companies announce a private acquisition than when the target is a publicly-listed firm.

Marketing

On the Branding Edge

INSEAD Knowledge

Branding expert Ken Cato is the man that some major companies turn to for help with overhauling their branding. His clients include Taiwan’s BenQ, Germany’s Siemens, Australia’s Commonwealth Bank and most recently, Dubai World Central, the world’s largest planned airport. He believes that building iconic brands require companies to dare to be different and have a clear idea of their corporate identity.

Responsibility

Shell CEO van der Veer

If governments do not intervene, industries will meet the growing demands for energy in the cheapest way possible, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will increase. That puts Jeroen van der Veer, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell plc, one of the world’s leading petroleum companies, in an odd position: a leading capitalist campaigning for more government regulation.

Responsibility

Intel’s Craig Barrett

INSEAD Knowledge

The United States will need to improve its capacity to innovate if it wants to maintain its economic position in the world, says Craig Barrett, Chairman of Intel Corporation. Furthermore, government must make R&D more of a priority, as should private industry.

Strategy

Fast Strategy: staying ahead of the game

How can you make sure your company not only keeps its edge over its competitors, but also seizes new opportunities? In a new book called Fast Strategy: How strategic agility will help you stay ahead of the game, INSEAD professor Yves Doz and co-author Mikko Kosonen, a former senior Nokia executive, say the best way to do this is by making the most of what they call ‘strategic agility’.

Strategy

Banyan Tree: The brand imperative

“There are only two advantages in life which are proprietary: technology and branding. Since I’m not a technologist, I decided that whatever business I was going to do next had to have a strong brand.”

Strategy

New media: The online evolution of newspapers

In September, the New York Times did an about-face of sorts. It ended its paid-for online subscription model, under which it had been charging for access to premium content by columnists and commentators such as economist Paul Krugman and writer Thomas Friedman.

Strategy

Buying companies for new competencies: Is it worth it?

INSEAD Knowledge

In fast-moving industries, large companies are increasingly using acquisitions as a strategy to obtain new competencies from smaller firms. The key aspect of the acquisition is to gain access to the knowledge assets of the target firm. This knowledge- which often resides in the employees- is critical for the acquisition to create value for the acquiring firm. However, the difficulty of evaluating and monitoring employees in a large firm and the reduction in employees’ incentives, due to less control over their efforts and lower profit-sharing, can lead to a persistent decline in their productivity after the acquisition.

Strategy

In search of blue oceans: AOL (Europe)

Internet business America Online (AOL) has had a chequered history since its marriage to the US media giant Time Warner in 2002. In fact, Time Warner’s $106 billion deal to buy the internet business is regarded today as one of the worst in corporate history.

Strategy

Globalising the brand: Looking beyond lower costs

While many multinational firms are choosing to outsource services and production to Asia, one company says it’s looking beyond lowering costs and is aiming to ‘globalise its corporate brand,’ by developing a major R&D base in India.

Strategy

CEO view: Judy Leissner of Grace Vineyard

A mainland Chinese winery is establishing its name internationally for its wines, even though it’s currently targetting the domestic market. A recent article in the Financial Times by wine critic Jancis Robinson, called ‘Bordeaux, Burgundy and ...Yongning?’, spoke of Grace Vineyard’s Chairman’s Reserve Merlot/Cabernet 2004 as ‘the finest wine so far made in the country that is already the world’s sixth most important grower of grapevines.’

Strategy

Building global brands in Asia

Look closely at the top 100 Global Brands, according to Interbrand and BusinessWeek, and you’ll see many European and North American favorites that have given great products or services over many years. What you won’t see on that list are many Asian firms, apart from some notable companies in Japan and South Korea.

Leadership & Organisations

The global business leader

INSEAD, INSEAD Knowledge, J. Frank Brown, The Global Business Leader: Practical Advice for Success in a Transcultural Marketplace