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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Standing at the forefront of leadership in the era of globalization is Japanese professor Dr. Hirotaka Takeuchi.  Dr. Takeuchi has been the Dean of the Hitosubashi University Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy since 1998 and has championed the idea of Japanese firms developing globalization strategies to better face the future of business.

Dr. Takeuchi has been the author and co-author of several books on leadership and corporate strategies. Among his books is “The Knowledge Creating Company” which he co-authored with Ikojiru Nonaka and published by the Oxford University Press in 1995. The Association of American Publishers named the book as the Best New Book of the Year for the Business and Management Category.

Aside from writing books on leadership and corporate strategies, Dr. Takeuchi writes articles for prominent business publications such as the Harvard Business Review, Journal of Retailing, and the California Management Journal, to name a few.

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“Change” is a word that has created tidal waves in every nook and cranny of our society. From how we live our personal lives to how businesses operate and even how countries formulate their policies, change is happening at a pace that everybody is trying to keep up with. Only a handful of people in history has been able to change the world at its very core, and Steve Jobs is one of them.

Steve Jobs, at a very young age, had a vision: to place a computer on every desktop. He may or may not have known at that time, but his simple vision would be the start of changing the world forever.

Early in his career, Steve’s vision almost turned into a huge failure costing millions of dollars. Although he was successful in turning huge computers into ones that could be placed on desktops, his invention turned into flops not only once, but twice. Apple’s desktop computers “Lisa” and “Macintosh” turned into devices that no one would buy.

Being a visionary, Steve was determined to turn his visions into reality. After leaving Apple in 1985, Steve established another computer company called NeXT.  In 1986 he saw an opportunity and bought Pixar Animation Studios. He then used his computers to create the world’s first animation movie “Toy Story”. It became an instant hit and people started to realize the true power of computers.

The success of NeXT came at a time when Apple was starting to disintegrate. Apple turned to NeXT and Steve Jobs to assist in developing a new operating system for Apple computers. Returning to Apple, Steve started to turn the company around; together with it, the whole world.

Before the end of the century, Steve Jobs had started to make his vision come true in a slightly different way. Instead of placing computers onto desktops, he placed a computer in everybody’s pocket with the release of the Apple iPod.

The iPod changed the whole music industry—from how people listened to music to how music companies sold their products. However, Steve still didn’t stop changing the world. The invention of the iPhone and the iPad changed the lives of almost every human being on this planet.

Steve Jobs not only envisioned change—he created change.

Adolphus Busch was born on July 10, 1839 in Germany. He is best known as the co-founder of Eberhard Anheuser (later on known as Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.) one of the biggest breweries in the world. He was the youngest of 21 children and was part of a family delving in the business of wines and supplies for brewers. He emigrated to the US in 1857 and started a brewer’s supply company of his own. It was in 1865 when he bought shares in his father-in-law’s brewing business. When his father-in-law, Eberhard Anheuser, died in 1880, the brewery was renamed to the Anheuser Busch Company.

Busch envisioned creating a national beer with universal appeal but drank wine instead because his beer was sloppy. That was until pasteurization was implemented which allowed beer to stay fresh longer, allowing shipping to all over the country. He bought and trademarked Budweiser in 1891 and was also one of the first to adopt bottled beer.

J.W. Marriott, Jr. is the CEO and Chairman of Marriott International, Inc. one of the largest lodging companies in the world. Leading the company for over 50 years, Marriott turned a modest family restaurant business into a global lodging company boasting of over 3,700 properties across 73 countries and territories. Known as a hands-on man, Marriott built a culture emphasizing the importance of the company’s people and recognizing the value they brought. This resulted into Marriott International being known not only for taking great care of their guests but also as a great place to work in.

It was in 1956 when Marriott joined the company but he’s always been passionate about business as shown by his involvement in the Hot Shoppes restaurant chain during his school years. In 1964, Marriott became the Executive Vice President and then the President, before becoming the CEO in 1972. It was in 1985 when he became the Chairman.

Making a name for himself as an innovator in the lodging business, Marriott shifted the company’s business model from hotel ownership to property franchising and management in the 1970s. This strategic decision allowed Marriott International to grow rapidly and widen its leadership position. The shift was finalized when Marriott International split to become Marriott International and Host Marriott International. A hotel franchising and management company, Marriott International was headed by J.W. Marriott, Jr., while the hotel ownership company Host Marriott International was managed by Richard Marriott, his brother.

Through his efforts, Marriott International also has an incredible portfolio of lodging brands, operating and franchising hotels, developing and operation vacation ownership resorts, licensing and managing whole-ownership residential brands, operating Marriott Executive Apartments, providing furnished corporate housing, and operating conference centers. J.W. Marriott, Jr. is also a member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council and the National Business Council.

Carrie Marcus Neiman, of the luxury department store Neiman Marcus, was born in 1883 in Louiseville, Kentucky to Jewish German parents. Her family moved to Dallas, Texas in 1899 and that’s where she met her husband Al Neiman whom she married in 1905. The couple, along with Carrie’s brother Herbert, started Neiman Marcus in 1907 with $25,000 in their pockets.

Neiman Marcus was a hit in the early 1900s because it allowed rich Texans to spend their wealth without having to head to New York or Europe. Carrie had an eye for picking out luxurious ready-to-wear items so whatever she brought back to Texas always met the standards of Neiman Marcus patrons. She was also instrumental in the store’s fashion shows and the yearly Neiman Marcus Fashion Award given to outstanding fashion designers part of the luxury department store’s fold. She took over as chairman for Neiman Marcus when her brother died in 1950, but relinquished control over to other family members shortly thereafter.

Will Keith Kellogg, more generally called W.K. Kellogg, is the American industrialist best known for establishing the Kellogg Company. He was born in 1860 in Battle Creek, Michigan, inventing cereal flakes as healthy breakfast food in 1894. His efforts at promoting corn flakes as a healthier alternative to the usual eggs-and-meat breakfast started in 1897 when Kellogg founded the Sanitas Food Company with his brother John. In 1906, W.K. Kellogg started the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company, a throwback to his place of birth. This company later on became the Kellogg Company that is known today. Aside from being the first to promote healthy breakfast food, the Kellogg Company was also the first to place nutrition labels on their products and offer prizes for children inside cereal boxes.

Though the Kellogg Company became really successful, W.K. Kellogg remained a modest man, choosing to live in a two-storey stucco in Battle Creek when the rich of his time spent their days in summer cottages the size of castles. He was also worried about his children falling to the woes of unearned wealth. Thus, he was very tight on money and generously gave what he had to charity. This kind of mindset also led to the establishment of the Kellogg Foundation, also giving the man an outlet with which to continue his philanthropic activities. To help the foundation get started, it was said that Kellogg donated over $60 million in stocks and investments from the Kellogg Company.

Kellogg was undeniably a competitive businessman because otherwise he wouldn’t have been successful. Still, the man was quiet and reserved, and would rather focus attention on his charities than himself. Because his causes mainly focused on helping children, President Herbert Hoover assigned Kellogg as a delegate for a White House Conference on Child Health Protection. It was also after this conference that he decided to put up the Kellogg Foundation.

Dong-hoon Chang is the Executive Vice President and Head of the Design Team of the IT and Mobile Communications Division, as well as the Head of the Design Strategy Team of the Corporate Design Center, at the giant electronic company, Samsung. He has been the man behind the sleek and sophisticated mobile designs of the company for the past six years.

Educated at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a former professor, Chang aims to integrate his designs into the lifestyles of its customers. His design philosophy is known as “Design 3.0”, with the slogan, “Make it Meaningful”.

Under the guidance of Chang, Samsung has been getting ahead of the smartphone game. The company has further propagated the “Phablet” craze, which unseated iPhone the previous year as the best-selling gadget in the entire world. As of the moment, Chang is busy creating new design paradigms, with a cool factor that may finally be enough to overthrow iPhone from its number one spot.

Dubbed as a “number-crunching prodigy” and “spreadsheet psychic” by the New York Magazine, and one of Time Magazine’s World’s Most Influential People, Nate Silver is a statistician, psephologist and sabermetrician unlike any other. He made an unforgettable impact in the world of numbers when he predicted the results of the 2008 presidential elections and correctly foreseen the outcome of all but one American state. His unparalleled predictive abilities, incomparable insights and amazing forecasting models took the entire realm of current events and politics by storm, and have paved the emergence of a brand new perspective on modern statistics and how one can use it to foresee the future.

Today, Silver is utilizing his talent to run his multi-awarded, politically-oriented website, FiveThirtyEight.com, wherein he publishes moving articles about hot issues and forecasts of elections. Currently being featured in the New York Times, FiveThirtyEight.com has transformed Silver as the face of political forecasting and statistical analysis.

Long before he became a psephology rockstar, Sliver established his superior credentials as a baseball statistics analyst. He formulated a highly-appraised system called the Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm (PECOTA), wherein he predicted seasonal winners, player performance and career development. He also authored several books about baseball statistics including It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over, Baseball Between the Numbers and Mind Game. Silver has written for ESPN, Slate, Sports Illustrated, New York Times and New York Sun. His work has been featured in numerous high-end publications as well, including Vanity Fair, Newsweek and Huffington Post.

Silver recently published his new book entitled, The Signal and The Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail – But Some Don’t. Data-based forecasts fortify a rapidly-growing sector of vital disciplines, from political polls to hurricane watch to war on terrorism to stock market. This implies that it is of utmost importance to know which forecasts people should trust, what methods of predicting are the most reliable and what kind of things can be predicted and what cannot.

Silver gives us valuable insights on modern prediction science, unearthing an unexpected connection between uncertainty, humanity and accurate results. His works are extremely essential for all of us who are interested on how data can be utilized to not only predict, but understand the future.

The name Bose has become synonymous with high quality sound system, thanks to the imagination and tinkering of the company’s legendary founder.  However, Amar Bose, who passed away in July of 2013, was not only a brilliant entrepreneur; he was also a teacher and mentor.  Through his pursuit of scholarship and innovation, he was able to train generations of engineers while giving generations of consumers the outstanding quality sound system.

Bose was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1929.  As a teenager, he started his first business: a neighborhood electrical repair service during WW II.  He then attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”) where he eventually received his PhD and became a Fulbright Scholar. He remained at MIT as professor until 2001 and was so well respected that two awards were named in his honor.

For all his success as a professor, the world knows him for an entirely different contribution.  When Bose was a young man, he bought what he thought were high quality speakers, but was totally unimpressed with the quality.  He decided to build speakers that replicated the sound experience one would get in a concert hall.  From this idea, the Bose Sound System was invented.

With financing from one of his professors, Bose built a privately held company where he could focus on innovation instead of quarterly income statements.  He used his company as a platform to pursue his ideas and push the limits of sound technology and other fields in research focused business.  This led to patented breakthroughs that set the standard for speaker quality.  The company, which is still privately held, employs 9,000 people and put Bose on the Forbes list of 400 richest Americans.  Between his work with the company and his teaching at MIT, Amar Bose was able to spend his life doing not one but two things that he truly loved.