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Strategy

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published: 17 Dec 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
Retail had always fascinated Katrina Lake, the youngest woman CEO to ever lead a US initial public offering. But she couldn’t help noticing that the age-old industry never changed. Brick-and-mortar retailers still competed on variety and touch-and-feel, while online competitors sought to differentiate through low prices and fast shipping. She realized that artificial intelligence and human beings -- in particular, stylists -- could be creatively leveraged to change the retail value proposition, create a fundamentally different and significantly superior buyer experience, and a differentiated and low-cost offering. The case describes how Lake turned a Harvard Business School class project into a $1.5 billion company, Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix provides a personal styling service, sending individually selected clothing and accessories based on customer preferences and constraints. Buyers receive the knowledge, creativity and style expertise of human stylists, combined with the benefits a top-tier AI provides. These are blended into a service previously reserved for the wealthy (personal styling), delivered directly to customers’ homes, at a price point that fits their budget. Lake’s Stitch Fix is founded and led by women, and has one of the largest female management and workforces in the AI space, if not almost all industries. As of 2019, Stitch Fix employs more than 6,600 employees, of which 86% are women. The case works especially well for teaching about women in business. It also looks at recent attempts by Amazon to jump into the blue ocean Stitch Fix created. This leads to an interesting discussion about the likely impact of Amazon’s Personal Shopper service, inviting student input on how to counter Amazon’s attack.

Pedagogical Objectives:
In this case students learn: • How Lake overcame extreme investor reluctance to raise funds from early-stage investors and venture capitalists who didn’t buy into her concept, with an open discussion on how she might have more effectively worked through these issues and the role gender might have played in her very difficult journey to raise funds. • How Lake unlocked a differentiated and low-cost offering leveraging both the latest artificial intelligence and the brilliance and creativity of human beings, namely stylists, to open new market space in retail. This case is among the first to explore how an organization can successfully leverage both AI and human personal interaction to create a fundamentally new offering. • How to think beyond the boundaries of an existing industry, break out of bloody competition, and create a new market space.

Keywords:
Artificial Intelligence, Ai, Retail, Machine Learning, Apparel, Clothing, Fashion, Women in Business, Personal Shopper, Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Shift, Data Science, Algorithms, Data-Driven

published: 17 Dec 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
The events in this case, which are fictional, provide a background for class discussion about problem-solving, critical thinking, stakeholder management and crisis management. The case puts students in the position of senior managers of an Indonesian geothermal energy company. Following an earthquake near the company’s main geothermal power plant (there is some suspicion that it may have been caused by the geothermal power plant), the managers are asked to devise strategies and solutions to a series of problems to satisfy various stakeholder groups. With the CEO temporarily trapped in a lift, they must come up with recommendations to handle the crisis by the time their leader arrives.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case, which can be used as an in-class assignment, is designed to facilitate discussion of concepts and approaches related to problem-solving, critical thinking, stakeholder management and crisis management.

Keywords:
Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Stakeholder Management, Crisis Management, Indonesia

published: 29 Nov 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
In the year 2000, only 2% of women in India used menstrual hygiene products. Almost a quarter-billion relied on cloth rags and many rural women were banished to a hut during their monthly cycle. In these unsanitary conditions, 62.4% had experienced at least one reproductive tract infection, with the result that teenage hysterectomies were not uncommon. The lack of menstrual products was linked to a high drop-out rate from school, forced teenage marriage, teenage pregnancy, illiteracy and often a lifetime of subservience. Yet despite the severity of the problem, taboo kept it largely hidden. Indians did not discuss menstruation. Arunachalam “Arun” Muruganantham changed this by innovating a new business method: micro-factories where women produced and sold sanitary napkins directly to other women. The case discusses how he solved a previously unaddressed problem in a way that created a new market, overcame deep social taboos, challenged centuries-old traditions and bettered women’s lives, resulting in the creation of over 3,500 small businesses. It highlights how enterprises can be economically profitable and a force for good. And why, contrary to conventional thinking, innovation does not need to be disruptive but can be based on nondisruptive market creation.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To show that innovation does not always involve disruption. It is possible to create a win-win for society and for the company that does not displace existing markets and players. This broader conception of innovation and embraces what Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne call “nondisruptive creation.”

Keywords:
Arunachalam Muruganantham, Period. End of Sentence., Pad Man, India, Nondisruptive Creation, Disruption, Social Entrepreneurship, Indian Women, Women’s Health, Menstrual Hygiene, Developing Nations, Innovative Healthcare, Academy Award Winning Documentary, Blue Ocean Strategy, Sanitary Paper Product Manufacturing

published: 12 Nov 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
The case describes how three INSEAD alumni founded fintech company Prodigy Finance and created the market for international student loans by solving a problem long overlooked by the finance industry: funding for students in pursuit of advanced education outside their home country, especially “high-earning degree programmes” at top universities with high tuition fees and few scholarships. Traditional banks had ignored this burning need and stayed focused purely on domestic borrowers and local credit records. The founders of Prodigy Finance took a radically different approach, creating a lending platform based on a forward-looking, cross-border risk assessment model and connecting international student borrowers with individual and institutional investors. By 2019, Prodigy Finance had helped over 11,200 students from 132 countries, lending more than US$538 million. This strategic move offers an illustration of “nondisruptive market creation”, a concept coined by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, authors of the bestselling Blue Ocean Strategy and Blue Ocean Shift. By identifying and solving a problem that had never been addressed, Prodigy Finance created a new market beyond existing industry boundaries, unlocking and capturing burgeoning new demand without displacing or competing with what the financial services sector had to offer.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case is intended for use in MBA and executive classrooms, with the following objectives: 1) To illustrate nondisruptive creation and the major advantages of this market-creating method. 2) Use the case as a context to take students through the major steps of identifying potential opportunities for nondisruptive creation. 3) Demonstrate how to use new technologies, new platforms and new business models to achieve nondisruptive market creation.

Keywords:
Fintech, Loan Industry, Student Loans, Bond, Community Investment, Debt Financing, Credit Risk Assessment, Social Good, Social Impact, Disruption, Nondisruption, Nondisruptive Creation, Nondisruptive Innovation

published: 30 Sep 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Preferred Networks, Inc. (PFN), a start-up specialized in deep learning technologies, a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) research, differentiated itself early on by aligning with Japan’s manufacturing might and bringing deep learning to the internet of things (IoT). The case follows the start-up as it evolves into a highly valued company with over 200 employees and global partners across various industries. It offers an overview of the AI business landscape and an explanation of deep learning. PFN’s trajectory shows how technology-heavy research firms spark innovation, attract business partners and collaborators, manage as they grow, and decide what business model best suits their needs. The case is intended for use in classes on artificial intelligence, technology and operations management, marketing of complex products and technologies, entrepreneurship and strategic partnerships for research-heavy startups.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The purpose is to learn how to build a business around new and emerging technologies such as deep learning and other advanced machine learning methods. In addition, it can be used to study • Alliances and partnerships between tech-oriented startups and large organizations interested in the technology; • The marketing of new and complex technologies without a marketing team; • Team management and recruitment in an organization with abundant technical talent but limited business experience; • How deep learning and other machine learning methods can be applied to industries such as autonomous driving, factory automation, and healthcare. Key takeaways: • Understand the meaning of “artificial neural network”, “machine learning”, “artificial intelligence”, “shallow” vs. “deep learning” and their role in the AI boom; • An overview of the AI industry and its growing importance across various sectors; • (as seen through the lens of PFN) Specific applications of deep neural networks in autonomous driving, factory automation, and healthcare; • Assess different business models for technology and research-heavy start-ups (in this case integrator/partnerships, profit shares and new product development).

Keywords:
Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Artificial Neural Networks, Startups, Research and Development, Marketing of New Technologies, Autonomous Driving, Factory Automation, Predictive Diagnostics, Biomedical Technology, Computer Vision, Competitive Strategy

published: 28 Aug 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
The background notes accompany the free online case “Indian Premier League: Innovation Without Disruption”, a self-paced, interactive case that lets readers analyze the strategic logic behind the launch of Indian Premier League (IPL) using blue ocean analytical tools and frameworks. With visual aids and interactive exercises, the case explores how the IPL transformed traditional days-long cricket matches into a thrilling three-hour sports drama with Bollywood music and cheerleaders, and opened up a new market space - “cricketainment” on the pitch and on primetime TV for families to enjoy. Students and executives come to understand the IPL and cricketainment market as an example of nondisruptive creation, i.e., they did not displace or disrupt the existing sector (players, products or services). They were creative but not destructive of what went before, i.e., the domestic cricket league and other forms of entertainment. Applying Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne’s three-step process, readers discover how the IPL unlocked a new market that was beneficial to both the domestic cricket league and the entertainment industry.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The teaching objectives of the online case and background notes are: 1) To explore how the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) reinvented the way cricket was played and enjoyed; 2) Apply Blue Ocean concepts, tools and frameworks to the BCCI’s strategic move to create the IPL; 3) Understand that innovation and growth can be driven by “nondisruptive creation”; 4) Illustrate that concept/process using the BCCI’s success in creating a new market and exponential growth without displacing or disrupting the existing order.

Keywords:
Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Shift, Indian Premier League, Value Innovation, Sport, Cricket, India, Bollywood, Ipl, Nondisruptive Creation, Sports Business, Public Private Partnership, Disruption, Entertainment

published: 28 Jun 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Personal navigation devices
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Garmin 2019 is the second in a two-part case. Case A reviews the history of Garmin from 1991 to 2008, when the personal navigation device (PND) industry is disrupted by the entry of smartphones with mapping applications. Garmin 2019 covers the decade until 2019, describing how Garmin and other major players responded to shifting consumer preferences, new developments in digital mapping and satellite networks, and the race to develop self-driving cars. In the face of a massive decline in the PND market in this period, Garmin staged a remarkable recovery, shifting focus to spread over diverse products segments, each with its own threats and opportunities. The core of the case is management’s reassessment of corporate strategy across the portfolio of businesses.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Whereas Case A offers a close-up view of an industry moving from growth to maturity to decline in a short timespan, forcing incumbents to reanalyse their strategy, Garmin 2019 (Case B) explores how companies faced with disruption respond according to their capabilities, their respective choices, and the role of corporate strategy in securing competitive advantage. It generates discussion of the influence of strategic repositioning on a firm’s scope, the need to reassess that scope and then decide whether its business units remain integrated or seek alternatives like strategic alliances and long-term contracts.
Part B can be taught together with Part A or as a stand-alone case.

Keywords:
Garmin, Industry Decline, Smartphones, Smartwatch, Disruption, Global Positioning, Gps, Digital Maps, Hd, Repositioning, Corporate Advantage, Corporate Strategy, Satellite Network, Wearables, Outdoor, Fitness

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Abstract:
The Universidad Privada Boliviana (UPB), the Private University of Bolivia, was founded in 1993. Not long after, in the late 1990s, civil unrest erupted with coca growers battling police in the streets outside the campus. Students and faculty fled, the prior President retired, and UPB was functionally insolvent. Manuel Olave was hired as Rector (President) in 1999 to salvage the struggling school. Charged with turning around the struggling university, Olave realized that head-on competition would not help UPB thrive. Instead of benchmarking against leading universities, Olave formed a team to explore growth opportunities, using blue ocean methodologies like the Buyer Utility Map, Strategy Canvas, and ERRC Grid. Based on insights from the blue ocean shift process, UPB made a series of strategic moves to capture untapped demand for higher education that was more affordable and of higher value for students. Two decades later, UPB is ranked the best private university in Bolivia, enrollment is at capacity, and the school is planning a third campus.

Pedagogical Objectives:
• To explore a real world example of how a struggling education institution can turn around based on the blue ocean shift process. • To learn how a noncustomer analysis can help an organization uncover hidden pain points and create new demand. • To understand how a blue ocean leader can galvanize support and build confidence through the blue ocean shift process.

Keywords:
Education, University, Business School, Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Shift, Value Innovation, Turnaround, Bolivia, Universidad Privada Boliviana, Upb Bolivia, Evo Morales, Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Latin America, Non Profit

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Abstract:
The Universidad Privada Boliviana (UPB), the Private University of Bolivia, was founded in 1993. Not long after, in the late 1990s, civil unrest erupted with coca growers battling police in the streets outside the campus. Students and faculty fled, the prior President retired, and UPB was functionally insolvent. Manuel Olave was hired as Rector (President) in 1999 to salvage the struggling school. Charged with turning around the struggling university, Olave realized that head-on competition would not help UPB thrive. Instead of benchmarking against leading universities, Olave formed a team to explore growth opportunities, using blue ocean methodologies like the Buyer Utility Map, Strategy Canvas, and ERRC Grid. Based on insights from the blue ocean shift process, UPB made a series of strategic moves to capture untapped demand for higher education that was more affordable and of higher value for students. Two decades later, UPB is ranked the best private university in Bolivia, enrollment is at capacity, and the school is planning a third campus.

Pedagogical Objectives:
• To explore a real world example of how a struggling education institution can turn around based on the blue ocean shift process. • To learn how a noncustomer analysis can help an organization uncover hidden pain points and create new demand. • To understand how a blue ocean leader can galvanize support and build confidence through the blue ocean shift process.

Keywords:
Education, University, Business School, Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Shift, Value Innovation, Turnaround, Bolivia, Universidad Privada Boliviana, Upb Bolivia, Evo Morales, Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Latin America, Non Profit

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Abstract:
At the BMW Group, Gregor Gimmy, a serial entrepreneur and former consultant, introduces the Venture Client (VCL) model to engage with start-ups and boost corporate innovation. The case discusses its initial success at BMW and the rationale that drove Gimmy to establish a new model of external corporate venturing (ECV). It also provides background information on the key forces shaping the auto industry today, the challenges faced by legacy automakers as technological developments accelerate, and the emergence of new rules and new players.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case can be used for many different audiences and contexts including MBA, executive MBA, undergraduate courses and executive programmes on Competitive Strategy, Innovation Strategy and Process, Digital Disruption, Digital Transformation, Customercentricity, Consumer Behaviour, Smart Ecosystems and Value Creation.

Keywords:
Competitive Strategy, Innovation Strategy, Innovation Process, Digital Disruption, Digital Transformation, Customercentricity, Consumer Behaviour, Smart Ecosystem, Value Creation, Bmw, Automanufacturing, Corporate Venture Capital, Start-Up, External Corporate Venturing

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