Disruptive innovation in practice
New Markets Blog
Read more in Capturing New Markets: How Smart Companies Create Opportunities Others Don't (McGraw-Hill, 2011)
Fiat's return to the United States has been preordained since the company took control of Chrysler in 2009. Yet the way it chose to enter the U.S. was far from certain, and its path speaks volumes about the perils and potential of creating new categories. Fiat has launched through stand-alone dealerships emphasizing Italian style and built to handle substantial traffic, despite there being just one model available at first. It also has kept advertising minimal. In other words, it has inverted the traditional model of launching a new car. This heresy has earned the wrath of the industry press, which has attacked Fiat for slow initial sales. Yet the launch -- while not ideally executed -- follows a strategy that works in building new markets for the long-term. Read more in my piece for Harvard Business Review.
Stephen Wunker is the Managing Director of New Markets Advisors and the author of Capturing New Markets: How Smart Companies Create Opportunities Others Don't. Read more of our perspectives on winning in emerging markets.
Research in Motion (RIM) has a new CEO today. Imagine the list of strategic challenges confronting Thorsten Heins. Not only is his company in near free-fall, but his industry is moving at warp speed. How can leaders plan strategy in such uncertainty?
Looking across strategic planning efforts, we can identfy six lessons for how to approach the task. The key is to break from traditional approaches to strategizing and embrace a process suited to uncertain and typically contentious environments. Read more in my piece for Harvard Business Review.
Stephen Wunker is the Managing Director of New Markets Advisors and author of Capturing New Markets: How Smart Companies Create Opportunities Others Don't (McGraw-Hill, 2011).
Much of today's huge management consulting industry is based on analysis of facts. Huge decks of prettily-presented data justify difficult business decisions and help to bring fractious executives to consensus. Given that so many companies face turbulent strategic environments today, the reliance on facts is ironic. Peter Drucker, arguably the greatest management scholar of the last century, had a deep distrust of facts in these situations. His advice: first seek out opinions and dissent. Read more in my piece for Harvard Business Review.
Stephen Wunker is the Managing Director of New Markets Advisors and the author of Capturing New Markets: How Smart Companies Create Opportunities Others Don't.
The first impulse of companies on the current stock market roller coaster may be to fasten their seatbelts and sit very tight. But with record amounts of cash on their books, many firms have been sitting tight for some time, and their prospects for organic growth have shrivelled. There are five things companies can do to nuture growth even when cash is dear and markets are volatile. Read more in my post at Harvard Business Review.
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Partnerships can speed company responsiveness, open firms to new thinking, and shorten the path to commercializing new ideas. So why are a rash of high-profile start-ups shunning partnerships in favor of a go-it-alone approach to product development and marketing? Despite the business orthodoxy that sings the praises of partnerships, sometimes the most innovative firms will excel through a do-it-yourself approach to building their business. Read more at Harvard Business Review.
Stephen Wunker is Managing Director of New Markets Advisors and Author of Capturing New Markets: How Smart Companies Create Opportunities Others Don't (McGraw-Hill, 2011)
If American companies are to grow their way out of the doldrums, they will need to show some of the imagination of upstarts. Consider Zipcar, whose recent IPO valued the 11-year old company at over $1 billion. The company came from nowhere into a rental car business dominated by giants such as Hertz and Avis, creating a new market of by-the-hour rentals. Meanwhile, the incumbents focused on battling each other at longstanding airport locations. As the giants continue to duke it out, Zipcar has captured 80% of the industry it created. Ironically, Zipcar repeated a story that happened once before in the rental car industry. Hertz is the leader at the airport, but Enterprise Rent-A-Car grew to become more than double Hertz's size through concentrating on neighborhood-based locations, where the giants did not compete.
Read the rest of my post at Harvard Business Review.
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