Stanford Executive Briefings: Profitability and Finance

Understanding your market, your costs, and your opportunities are key to building your organization and keeping it healthy. In these briefings, market leaders share their wisdom and provide insights into how you can keep your organization financially competitive and fiscally sound.

Seven Principles for Building Successful Businesses

Based on 25 years of experience in Silicon Valley, David DeWalt details his seven principles for building a successful enterprise. While not all seven are neccessarily critical to success, DeWalt says if you can't get the first two right you're bound to fail.

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Don't Just Set Prices: Manage Them Strategically

When customers reject your price, it is often thought that the price is too high. But according to Tom Nagle, this may not be true. Price levels are only the visible "tip of the iceberg" of pricing strategy. Nagle explains that in order to get customers to pay for value, you have to do more than just set a value-based price.

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Creating the Future

Never has there been a more exciting or hazardous time to be at the helm of a corporation. How do you stay out of the band of mediocrity and position your company to become an architect of industry revolution? Reinvent who you are in meaningful ways, and move beyond incremental change to industry reconception.

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How Great Companies Achieve Extraordinary Results with Ordinary People

Dr. Charles O'Reilly argues that the source of sustained competitive advantage already exists within every organization. O'Reilly's prescription for an overheated labor market: abandon the obsession with hiring high-priced stars, instead motivating ordinary people to build a great company and achieve extraordinary results.

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The Exceptional Leader

Jack Zenger believes that average managers can develop the traits shared by exceptional leaders—traits that improve retention, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and bottom-line profitability. Based on the best practices of leading organizations, he offers ten specific recommendations proven to enhance leadership development.

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Leveraging China and India for Global Advantage

A successful China or India strategy is likely to become a matter of survival for multinational companies. China’s GDP will catch up to that of the U.S. by 2025, predicts Professor Gupta. By 2050, GDP of both China and India will reach or surpass that of the U.S., Europe and Japan combined. Strategies that capture market share, talent, and innovation opportunities in these emerging giants necessitate understanding their unique yet complementary strengths.

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Finding Untapped Growth in Existing Markets

Managers are under constant pressure to grow, but it is often difficult to find new avenues of growth within an existing line of business. In order to win in the marketplace, it is essential to understand which customer behaviors make and lose money for your organization. Dr. James Hollingshead offers specific tools for seeing existing markets differently and uncovering hidden opportunities for growth.

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People-First Management

Daniel Amos follows two straightforward management principles: he sets clear expectations, and he listens to employee concerns. His focus is communication followed by action. Amos ensures that employees experience an evenhanded response to their input, and he provides a reward system that gives them a vested interest in the profitability of the company.

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Building the Market-Focused Culture

Truly market-focused organizations must pursue more than a sound market strategy. Professor Hayagreeva Rao details the six levers of culture building, and explains how aligning these factors reduces employee stress and turnover, creating a self-selected, productive workforce that is in touch with the demands of potential customers.

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Doing Well and Doing Good

Jeffrey Swartz firmly believes in commerce, and that profits for Wall Street are necessary—but not sufficient. It's no longer enough to be solely focused on the bottom line. Timberland is proof that profit-minded companies can "do well" for shareholders and "do good" for communities.

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