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Adaptability: The New Competitive Advantage PDF Print E-mail
Traditional approaches to strategy assume that the world is relatively stable and predictable. But globalization, new technologies, and greater transparency have combined to upend the business environment.

In this period of risk and uncertainty, more and more managers are finding competitive advantage in organizational capabilities that foster rapid adaptation. 
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The Ultimately Accountable Job: Leading Today's Sales Organization PDF Print E-mail
 In recent years, sales leaders have had to devote considerable time and energy to establishing and maintaining disciplined processes. The thing is, many of them stop there and they can't afford to, because the business environment has changed.

Customers have gained power and gone global, channels have proliferated, more product companies are selling services, and many suppliers have begun providing a single point of contact for customers.
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Innovating on the Cheap PDF Print E-mail
Rain Bird is a unique business. But at the same time, it is like so many other businesses: Its product line is specialized—it makes sprinklers and other irrigation systems for lawns and gardens.

To keep growing, it must continually introduce new offerings that appeal to consumers and excite retail channel buyers. And like most companies, Rain Bird has felt pressured to spend less on innovation in a down economy.
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Eager Sellers and Stony Buyers: Understanding the Psychology of New-Product Adoption PDF Print E-mail
Companies that introduce new innovations are the most likely to flourish, so they spend billions of dollars making better products. But studies show that new innovations fail at a staggering rate. While many blame these misses on lackluster products, the reality isn't so simple.

The goods that consumers dismiss often do offer improvements over existing ones. So why don't people purchase them? And why do companies keep peddling products that buyers are likely to reject? 
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The Best Way to Understand Your Customers PDF Print E-mail
 The first time I heard department stores referred to as dinosaurs (e.g. facing extinction) was at least twenty-five years ago, and even then it was old news. So when Terry Lundgren, CEO of Macy's, gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal talking about how he was using the downturn to improve operations, I thought it wise to pay attention.

First and foremost, Lundgren is a realist. When asked if he "worried about" customers holding out for discounts, he replied: "I'm not worried about it. I'm counting on it."
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Productive Friction: How Difficult Business Partnerships Can Accelerate Innovation PDF Print E-mail
Companies are becoming more dependent on business partners, but coordinating with outsiders takes its toll. Negotiating terms, monitoring performance, and, if needs are not being met, switching from one partner to another require time and money.

Such transaction costs, Ronald Coase explained in his 1937 essay "The Nature of the Firm," drove many organizations to bring their activities in-house. But what if Coase placed too much emphasis on these costs? What if friction between companies can be productive? 
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