Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Global Marketing Challenges!

At the current modern stage of development the problem of strengthening the compatibility of an enterprise and its production is getting more and more urgent. Today the competitive fight is a sound step towards to the civilized market, with such notions as costumers’ demands and the products themselves to be met. One of the key elements that guarantee market success is the development of the competitive product of high quality. The development of an innovation product, as I think, is one of the most risky processes, as unsound product decisions lead to huge losses. Product decisions affect greatly on the compliance of a producer interests with those of a consumer. In general, innovation goods development covers the following problems:
– the development and introduction of new product on to the market;
– product modification;
– diversification of goods and their discontinued line;
– products elimination.
Thus, for decision-making on development of the new goods carrying out of marketing researches which has specificity for the industrial enterprises is necessary. The aim of the article is mechanics of marketing researches of new product and developed algorithm of their conduction. Theoretical and methodological basis of this article is formed by the research of
Ukrainian and foreign scientists in the sphere of new goods, analysis of the effectiveness of new product testing under market conditions; as well as state laws and regulations that regulate business activities in Ukraine.
There are rational approaches to the determination and analysis of marketing research to new product. The theory of innovation development was formed in the middle of the 20th century. The conceptual approach to the innovation theory was carried out by J.Schumpeter. He considered the innovation to be the change of the production technology and to have the essential meaning and importance. The modern theory of new products development is based on the results of foreign researchers of business. They underlined the importance of thorough testing of new goods concept at the early stages of the development of a new product. They considered that it is essential to make the diagnosis of goods market portfolio and only then you have to analyze new goods development strategy. According to him the introduction of these rules are quite natural and they are dictated by our life, as any idea never comes out from nothing: the search for the idea must be based on the accurate assessment of market demands. Thus, offered the following list of stages of a product innovation process:
1. goods market portfolio diagnosis;
2. the strategy of new products development, generating ideas, selection and choice;
3. economic analysis;
4. development;
5. testing.
But other scientists (Karakai, Starostina) prefer another consequence:
1. to elaborate of ideas;
2. selection of ideas;
3. idea development and its testing;
4. business-analyse;
5. the analysis of possibilities of production and sale;
6. the development of a product;
7. testing under the market conditions.
All mentioned above shows that there is no unique approach as to the development of innovating products, with the marketing approach involved. I mean the focusing on the research at the stage of generating ideas and their selection and with piloting marketing as well. In the article methods of logical results generalizing, economic and statistics methods of analysis, structural and functional analysis, as well as graphic analysis were used.
            Carrying out of marketing researches has the specificity for development and deducing of the new products on the market. The concept of marketing of innovations is one of the main things of marketing activity of the enterprises policy. Paramount problem of services of marketing at the enterprises becomes carrying out of marketing researches with the purpose of revealing of a short-term level of demand and consumer motivations, presence of competing products and services and opportunities of an output of a novelty on the market. Thus there should be a communication between developers and experts in marketing for decision-making on innovative development of a product. In the given communication it is meant an innovation not only introduction of a new product on the market, but also other innovations, such as:
1.      the new or improved kinds of production (product innovations);
2.      the new or improved services (innovation of services);
3.      the new or improved productions and technologies (process and technological  innovations);
4.      the new or improved industrial systems.
Importance of marketing researches consists in the following: First, speed of occurrence of innovations has increased ability of experts in marketing to expect consumer behavior. The classical approach at which under each new idea marketing research was carried out Secondly, change in behavior of consumers. The aspiration to correspond to desires of consumers, led to occurrence of various novelties with the improved properties. Thirdly, the technology of carrying out of marketing researches leads the commercialization of production. Results of researches really give an opportunity to develop new and to modify the existing goods. Fourthly, today in market space firm’s in potential of networks dominate; with existing resources of a network allow providing automatically acquaintance with the new products among a wide audience of consumers.
New products development is at the cross-roads of marketing, scientific-technical and production decisions. And the main attention is focused on costumer’s needs, determination of market segments and niches in connection with technical possibilities of using achievements of science and technology to develop and promote more affective new products. The task of a new product planning consists of the search and development of alternative variants of product policy, analyzing their possible chances and risks. Within the view of improving the results of planning actions it is important to pay attention to basic problems of product innovation, which are the follows: generating ideas stage, ideas selection stage and ideas realization stage (piloting marketing).

Business Ethics!

            Ethics, fairness, trust, and freedom from corruption are all part of the social capital of country, and social capital matters in financial markets because investors consider not only the available information when assessing the trade-off between risk and return but also how much they trust the accuracy of the information and the fairness of markets. The experience of WorldCom, Health-South Corporation, and Enron Corporation teaches investors that even information issued by U.S. companies cannot always be trusted, and their experience with the colluding behavior of NASDAQ's market makers and many reports of insider trading teaches them that they are not always assured of fair markets. Deficiencies in ethics and fairness mark all markets, but such deficiencies are more pronounced in some markets than in others.
Ethics and fairness in the financial markets of a company are reflected, in part, in people's assessments of the fairness of trading practices, such as insider trading. Why is insider trading considered more unfair in some countries than in others? And what can be done to improve levels of ethics and fairness around the globe? These are the questions I address in this article. I present assessments of fairness in financial trading by people in eight countries.
            Culture, religion, and politics explain some differences in levels of corruption among countries. Egalitarian or individualistic religions, such as Protestantism, encourage challenges to power, whereas hierarchical religions, such as Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Islam, discourages them. They found that Protestantism is associated with lower levels of corruption. The effect of political structure on corruption is nonlinear. Partial democratization may increase corruption, but established democracies inhibit corruption. Researchers have reported that 40 years of democracy are required for countries to become less corrupt.
Differences between ultimatum game offers in societies of vastly different standing in the global economy, such as those of the United States, the Polynesian Lamalera, and the Amazonian Machiguenga, are large. For example, although the mean offer in the ultimatum game played in Pittsburgh was 46 percent, in line with offers in other developed markets, the mean offer in the game played among the Lamalera was 56 percent; among the Machiguenga, it was only 25 percent. Some of the differences in offers to differences in market integration and differences in payoffs to cooperation. The Machiguenga, Peruvian hunter-gatherers, ranked low on ultimatum offers and also ranked low on payoffs to cooperation. The Machiguenga are almost entirely economically independent at the family level, so their well-being does not depend on cooperation with non-relatives. In contrast, the economy of the whale-hunting Lamalera depends on the cooperation of large groups of non-relatives.
In addition, there is little market integration among the Machiguenga, whose members engage in market exchange only infrequently and whose way of life would change little if markets were to disappear. In contrast, market integration among the Lamalera is substantial. Ensminger (2004) noted that the idea that people in developed market economies are more fair minded than people in societies where markets play a less prominent role seems counterintuitive because markets are often accused of undermining the moral foundations of society. But she found support for the idea in the work of earlier scholars, such as Montesquieu, who wrote in 1749 "wherever there is commerce, manners are gentle. . . .commerce polishes and softens barbaric ways" (vol. 2, no. 8). Current levels of trust reflect past economic structures; current culture affects future economic structures. He related the prevalence of family business in Italy's Tarza region, where levels of trust are low, to its economic history of sharecropping based on long-term contracts between landowners and heads of the families who contracted on behalf of the other family members.
Leaders are change agents. Leaders should be responsible for building ethical organizations where individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire, and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to collective organizational success.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Organize your mind to organize your life!

There is a wide spread misconception that self-help books, articles, and audios are for the weak hearted. But in reality they help in changing your way of thinking which further translates into greater peace of mind, success, and happiness, provided you align and customize these ideas with your personal settings.

I have written in the past about habits that can make or break a person. Good things about habits are that they can be modified, reversed or sustained based on your needs.  Today, I want to share an interesting study conducted by a leading Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Paul Hammerness and leading wellness coach Margaret Moore (aka Coach Meg) on organizing your mind. In their famous book, “organize your mind to organize your life” shares the key insight; an organized mind enables full engagement in a health-giving style of life. According to these authors:
1. The connection between disorganized minds and unhealthy habits is compelling
2. Before you can focus your attention, you must tame negative emotions
3. Exercise, deep breathing or meditation, and a good night's sleep all help mentally
While you may not think anything extra-ordinary about these findings, learning about your own strengths and weaknesses and developing positive habits based on these findings may bring in extra-ordinary results.  When we think about organizing what immediately come to our mind are arranging our work place or home or removing physical clutters and using to-do lists and organizers to better control the work flow or activities. However, Dr. Hammerness and Coach Meg are moving further ahead and are sharing the views on mind's ability to attain a higher order of order -- a calm, wise, positive, strategic perspective -- and the skills it takes to get there in small or large domains of life, including health and well-being. These are based on clinical and wellness coaching experiences after working with several thousand people.

Neuroscientists are opening a window into the disorganized minds of those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD,) providing insights into how to train our brains to become more organized. We need to understand this is not only an issue with ADHD patients; people in all walks of life would face these challenges while trying to multi-task on variety of activities in their lives.

The connection between disorganized minds and unhealthy habits is compelling. The National Institute of Aging concluded from a recent study, as reported by CNN, that symptoms of a disorganized mind, namely impulsivity, chronic negativity, high stress and multitasking, all correlate with higher weight. For example, adults in the top 10% rating for impulsivity (most impulsive) weighed an average of 24 pounds more than those in the bottom 10% rating for impulsivity.

Organized mind depends on your ability to “drive” your attention and keep them focused.  Good thing is that our brain has these powers and our job is to leverage them.  Dr. Hammerness and Coach Meg recommend the following six steps in organizing your mind.

Rule No. 1: Tame your frenzy

Before you can focus your attention, you need to take charge of your negative emotional frenzy (worry, anger, sadness, irritation). This frenzy impairs and overwhelms your prefrontal cortex, the brain's CEO or executive function region, so that you can't "think straight." Too much negative stress damages your ability to focus and harms your health. The great news is that the same things that improve your health can improve your mind's ability to manage negative frenzy. Sleep well, exercise, do a mindfulness practice or choose the slow lane from time to time, even for a few minutes. Find your unique formula to tame your frenzy so that you drive your attention to its best possible focus.

Rule No. 2: Sustain your focus

Now that your mind is calm, identify one task and one task only. The brain was not designed to focus on more than one thing at a time. Tell your brain what the intention or goal is for your focused session. Turn off your phone and e-mail, shut the door and set the timer for 20 to 30 minutes as a first step.

Rule No. 3: Apply the brakes

Your focused brain also needs to be able to stop, just as surely as a good pair of brakes brings your car to a halt at a red light. Your brain's radar regions are always scanning your internal and external environment, even when you are focused. Distractions are inevitable if you are human. Rather than mindlessly succumb to a distraction while in the midst of an important task (including health-giving activities such as exercising, cooking a healthy meal or relaxing), stop, breathe and consider whether the distraction is urgent enough to trump the current priority. If not, bring your attention back to the important task until it is time to take a brain break to recharge your brain's batteries, or move to a new task.

Rule No. 4: Access your working memory

Your brain is designed to store a basket of bits of information in short term memory (aka "working memory"). Accessing your short-term memory, turning over various elements in your mind, helps you problem-solve, generate new ideas and insights, and see the new patterns that lead you to a strategic perspective. More great news: The same strategies that allow you to tame frenzy enable you to better access your working memory -- exercise, deep breathing or meditation, and a good night's sleep.

Rule No. 5: Shift sets

Now it's time to move your focus to a new task. Move all of your attention fully to the next task and give it your undivided attention. This brain skill, called "set-shifting," allows you to leave behind one task and leap to a new one with a fresh and productive focus. Set-shifting is also described as cognitive agility or flexibility. Often our most creative ideas come, seemingly out of the blue, when we're taking a brain break or focusing completely on something else. How interesting it is that having a fit and flexible mind is just as valuable to a life you love as a fit and flexible body.

Rule No. 6: Connect the dots

You've learned how to tame your frenzy and focus your attention on one thing at a time. You can handle distractions. Your working memory is ready for action when you need it. You are nimble, able to shift deftly from one task to the next. You take breaks, move your body and shift your focus to invite new ideas, insights and connections.

Together, these "rules of order" will help you change not only your habits of attention, but the way you look at your life. Instead of being stressed, you'll be calmly in control. You'll be more productive and therefore have more time to do things that are healthy for your body and mind. You'll feel good about yourself, and positive emotions are health promoting. And you'll be able to use your organized mind to set health and fitness goals and focus well on achieving them.

I wish you good luck and see you next week!


Saju Skaria

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Strategic Leaders!

What successful activities or behaviors do strategic leaders engage in? To facilitate this discussion some key factors associated with strategic leadership are shared below. These are, first, those abilities to undertake organizational activity and, second, individual abilities:

Organizational ability to:

1.    be strategically orientated;

2.    translate strategy into action;

3.    align people and organizations;

4.    determine effective strategic intervention points;

5.    develop strategic competencies

Personal characteristics of:

6.     a dissatisfaction or restlessness with the present;

7.     absorptive capacity;

8.     adoptive capacity
9.     Leadership wisdom

Organizational abilities

1.      Strategic leaders have the ability to be strategically oriented. This quality involves the

ability to consider both the long-term future seeing the bigger picture, as well understanding the current contextual setting of the organization.

2.      Strategic leaders have the ability to translate strategy into action. In addition to strategic leaders leading the creation of an appropriate strategy for the organization is the need to translate strategy into action by converting it into operational terms. 

3.     Strategic leaders have the ability to align people and organizations. This ability involves

aligning individuals, or the school as a whole, to a future organizational state or position.

4.      Strategic leaders have the ability to determine effective intervention points. Strategic leaders are able to define the key moment for strategic change in organizations. Strategic leadership does indeed matter … it seems the real question is not whether it matters but rather under what conditions, when, how and on what criteria.

5.      Strategic leaders have the ability to develop strategic capabilities. Leadership thinkers Prahalad and Hamel use the term ‘core competencies’ while researcher Stalk use the term ‘strategic capabilities’. Either way, the key message is to ability of leaders to develop core capabilities that differentiates them.

Personal characteristics

6.      Strategic leaders have a dissatisfaction or restlessness with the present. This restlessness involves what researcher Senge describes as ‘creative tension’ which emerges from seeing clearly where one wishes to be, one’s vision, and facing the truth about one’s current reality.

7.      Strategic leaders have absorptive capacity. They have the ability to absorb new information and assimilate it and learn from it and importantly to apply it to new ends.

8.      Strategic leaders have adaptive capacity. They have the ability to change which is termed as ‘adaptive capacity'.

9.      Strategic leaders have leadership wisdom. Wisdom may simply be defined as the capacity to take the right action at the right time.

Finally, if moral leadership is to be exercised and pedagogy re-engineered with any degree of success, then future strategic leaders will need a firm set of personal values. No doubt many will have their own lists, but integrity, social justice, humanity, respect, loyalty and a sharp distinction between right and wrong, will all need to be included. Strategic relationships will soon flounder unless such a value system is held with conviction and exercised on a regular consistent basis.

I wish you good luck and see you next week!


Saju Skaria