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November 24, 2009
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The Big Idea 
 
  • Can Keynes still help us?
    The work of John Maynard Keynes could hold the key to America's long-term economic health, writes Michael Hiltzik. Keynes says that systemic reform is vital, but can only happen once a recovery is well under way; move too quickly, and you smother the recovery in its cradle. That means that for now, America's leaders should spend freely to stimulate the economy -- but shouldn't rock the boat with far-reaching financial reforms, Hiltzik argues. Los Angeles Times (11/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Strategic Management 
  • AOL loses Time Warner and gains a period
    AOL is preparing to rebrand itself as "Aol." -- complete with period -- after it spins off from Time Warner next month. The new brand identity came only after soul-searching at the company about whether to even retain the AOL name, once one of the most powerful brands on the planet. "To re-establish AOL as relevant today requires a massive shift in what it stands for to be effective," says brand consultant Allen P. Adamson. "Being around a long time in technology is already one strike against you." NYTimes.com (11/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Don't leave loyal customers holding a grudge
    New research indicates disgruntled customers typically will hold a grudge over time, but their desire for revenge eventually decreases. Some tips for reducing damage from unhappy customers include offering an immediate apology to the most loyal customers and not worrying too much about complainers who aren't so dedicated since their need for revenge likely will fade shortly anyway. MarketingProfs (free registration) (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
On Leadership 
  • Sizing up Marks & Spencer's billion-dollar man
    Iconic British retailer Marks & Spencer has snagged Marc Bolland -- a supermarket executive dubbed the "$1bn man" by British bankers -- to take over as its chief executive. Experts say Bolland could have his work cut out for him: He will inherit an aging customer base, a struggling food division and chaotic, half-implemented plans for international expansion. "M&S continues to inspire huge national affection," notes Elizabeth Day. "But a business cannot rely on goodwill alone." The Guardian (London) (11/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Learning from Bernie Madoff
    Business schools are teaching their students to commit fraud in the hope that by explaining how such acts are carried out, they'll be able to inoculate would-be business leaders against future ethical lapses. The classes are part of a drive to give business schools the same emphasis on professional ethics that you'd find in medical schools, says Aine Donovan, an ethics professor at Dartmouth College. "All we need are a few more Bernie Madoffs, and we'll definitely get there," she adds. Portfolio.com (11/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Innovation and Creativity 
  • Innovation isn't everything
    Most entrepreneurs rely less on flashes of creative genius than on scrappiness and hard work, writes Daniel Isenberg. In fact, he adds, our current focus on innovation could even be counterproductive: Too many potential entrepreneurs sit around waiting for lightning to strike instead of simply getting started. "You don't need to have a Ph.D., a team of engineers, a wall of patents, or even the proverbial garage," he writes. "More often than not you need that little twist on an existing idea, the tweak of the business model ... or even just the ability to put together and lead a fantastic team." Harvard Business Review online/Conversation Starter blog (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Sustainability 
  • Is there something fishy about your sushi?
    Researchers at Columbia University and the American Museum of Natural History conducted genetic tests on sushi from 31 restaurants -- and found that at more than half of the eateries, fish had been mislabeled or misrepresented. Some sushi bars sold endangered bluefin tuna as regular tuna; others offered up slabs of escolar, a fish whose meat can trigger bouts of diarrhea and intestinal discharge. "A piece of tuna sushi has the potential to be an endangered species, a fraud or a health hazard," wrote the dismayed researchers. "All three of these cases were uncovered in this study." Wired.com/Wired Science blog (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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SmartQuote 
AOL is a turnaround situation. It will take every ounce of blood, sweat and tears to make it successful."
--Tim Armstrong, chairman and CEO of AOL, as quoted by The New York Times
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