Having A Strategy, Being Strategic

Tom Kindem of BAE Systems presented a more traditional look at strategy by way of a military analogy (as would befit a defense contractor), the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BCE between Alexander the Great and Darius of Persia. But I still kept Clarence’s point of view in mind as Tom described Alexander’s “strategy” for defeating chariots – The Mouse Trap.

The execution of the Mouse Trap involves the center of the line raising their spears to vertical and retreating somewhat. The chariot horses will not charge a lowered spear, but will instead enter the U-shaped indentation in the front line, at which moment the spears will be lowered and ranks closed in from both sides, trapping the helpless charioteer.

‘Call Me Maybe’ Explains the Euro Crisis—Seriously

Psst, Angela. It’s time to listen to Carly Rae Jepsen on the euro crisis. She’s a savant about it.

See, “Call Me Maybe” is really a deep meditation on the nature and ironies of the euro crisis. So here’s a modest proposal. Let’s lock up Angela Merkel et. al. in a room playing “Call Me Maybe” on repeat. They can’t leave until they absorb Ms. Jepsen’s insight and reach some of kind of deal. Or go crazy.

This will work, definitely.

C-level Execs: Big Data Means Big Value

Big data and analytics are top corporate, top-three corporate or top-10 corporate priorities in their organizations’ strategic agendas, according to 65% of 1,469 C-level executives taking part in a recentsurvey by McKinsey & Co.

Forty-four percent of the respondents say that they’re generating more value from big data and analytics than their competitors, while only 28% say the same for social tools or technologies.

An even larger share of executives in healthcare and pharma (56%) and business-to-consumer companies (50%) say the same about big data and analytics.

Tried and True. One and Done. Learning From Failures.

One of the frustrations I experience is when managers or analysts share with me that their organizations tried to implement progressive management methods, and they either failed or abandoned them. A prominent example is an unsuccessful attempt to implement activity-based costing to measure and manage costs and profit levels of products, services, channels and customers. Other enterprise performance management examples include risk management, customer analytics, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and the balanced scorecard.

What causes these failures or the quick loss of interest?

How Does Predictive Analytics Work?

As any fortune-teller will assure you, predicting the future is an art as well as a science. And that truism applies as much to business decisions as to any other aspect of life. So on the one hand we can say that predictive analytics is a branch of statistics in which information extrapolated from historical data is applied to the projection of future conditions. That’s the science side.

On the other hand, we can say that predictive analytics is using information you do have to compensate for information you don’t have (yet), in order to make better business decisions. That’s the artful part, and it can depend as much on intuition and imagination as on algorithms.

Bringing the two sides together successfully is “what’s new” in the practice of predictive analytics.

One More Reason to Hit the Gym: You’ll Make More Money at Work

We don’t need a study to tell us that working out is good for us. But showing us that regular exercise is linked to higher salaries is a different matter.

In a new study published in the June issue of the Journal of Labor Research, researchers have found that employees who regularly exercise earn 9% more than their lazier counterparts.

What is it about exercise that will garner you the big bucks?

Where Have All The Euros Gone?

Strange days have tracked us down/ They’re going to destroy/ Our casual joys.

American rocker Jim Morrison of The Doors has the closest possible link to the eurozone: he’s buried in Paris. Coincidentally, his angst-ridden lyrics sum up the peculiarities of the region’s markets as investors worry that they are approaching the end of days, at least for the single currency.