Archive for March 20th, 2012

Head-scratching polling results …

March 20, 2012

We haven’t been posting re: presidential approval numbers for awhile … the numbers have been bouncing around so much based on the news cycle that I largely dismiss them.

But, something in last week’s poll numbers caught my eye …

Note that right-leaning FOX News has Obama +2 in approval, Rasmussen and Bloomberg — also usually a bit to the right — have him +1.

But, left-leaning Gallup has Obama down 7 points.

Far left-leaning CBS/NYT and ABC/Wash Post have him down 6 points and 4 points, respectively.

I think the latter two are what caused last week’s hand-wringing among Obamites, since NYT & Wash Post have a reputation for over-sampling Dems in their surveys.  So, it’s harder for Dems to dismiss them than, say, Fox News.I still don’t make much of the results, but think they’re interesting …


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The business of business cases …

March 20, 2012

Punch line: Publishing business case studies is big business, and more schools are looking to cash in.

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Excerpted from WSJ: “The Business of Case Studies”

The three largest case-study publishers and distributors jointly sell more than 10 million cases and see tens of millions of dollars in revenue each year.

Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. dominates the market, recording sales of 8.5 million case studies in fiscal 2011 and estimating that 80% of the cases used world-wide come from there.

To maintain its edge, about five years ago Harvard started offering “simulations,” or online role-playing exercises.

Though simulations still represent a minor share of sales, they are growing fast. Sales in 2011 rose 37% from the prior year, which was double the 2009 figure.

There also has been growing interest in short cases as publishers market to part-time M.B.A. programs for time-crunched working adults, which have seen a surge in enrollment in recent years.

Harvard’s “Brief Cases” and concise offerings from other publishers can run just three or four pages, about one-quarter the length of a traditional case.

Case publishers and distributors are pushing hard into emerging markets, too, accepting cases written by faculty at up-and-coming schools in India, China and Latin America and selling products to those same institutions.

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Top five cases from Harvard Business Publishing, fiscal 2011

  • Cola Wars Continue: Coke and Pepsi, 2006 — Competitive strategies of the soft-drink giants
  • Starbucks—Delivering Customer Service — Efforts to improve customer-service satisfaction
  • Apple Inc., 2010 — Can the iPad take the company to new heights
  • Walt Disney Co. — The Entertainment King—Disney’s 1980s turnaround and strategic challenges in the early 2000s
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, USA, Inc.—Solving assembly problems with the Toyota Production System

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What qualities are coveted by employers?

March 20, 2012

According to Jenn Folsom of Momentum Resources (MSB MBA ‘02):

Nothing beats A+ communication skills, both verbal and written.

Our clients also love to see creative problem solvers and “get it done” types of people.

They need those who can strike the balance of being able to work successfully in a team and without direction.

It’s all about results

Jenn’s full interview in ForbesWoman is worth reading

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