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Grades, And Artificial Intelligence

Dear students, If you ask about your grade, I’ll gladly tell you that you’re doing well...

A Speculation On The Evolution Of Science

“Terror is the normal state of any oral society, for in it everything affects everything all...

Robots, Imagination, And Spirit

Last month in Korea a computer scientist struck up a conversation on the subway. He told me in...

Get Rid Of ‘Innovation Ecosystems’

To say ‘business ecosystem’ or ‘innovation ecosystem’ is to commit the teleological fallacy...

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Fred PhillipsRSS Feed of this column.

After a dozen years as a market research executive, Fred Phillips was professor, dean, and vice provost at a variety of universities in the US, Europe, and South America. He is now Professor at University... Read More »

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A true story. To protect the innocent – and the writer – I’ll use no names.

The president of a large, multi-national engineering and construction firm decided to attract more contracts by reducing customers’ risks. A sound decision, yes? 

It was what he did (which was to offer fixed-price contracts instead of cost-plus contracts) and how he did it (by developing his people and by continuous process improvement) that got him fired - even though the move was showing every sign of success.

So why was he dismissed? The answer lies in that ol’ stereotype of the corporation as an externality-generating machine.

You may find these remarks cynical. You may find them helpful.

Strategy

Following my Ten Commandments for Tech Companies – which changed their behavior not one whit – I offer these shalt-nots for US airlines.

Nonsensical but oddly beautiful Bing and Google translations from Facebook posts in a variety of languages:

袁嘟嘟第一次以老公的身分參加部門聚會,泡完湯好舒服

Management students entering my thesis prep course without having been involved in research before, or taken a probability course, reliably make these mistakes. Many students go on to do empirical quantitative theses, meaning that their misconceptions about sampling and analysis will come back to bite them.

A guy messes up his life, and the lives of those around him. We send him for rehabilitation: A jail term, AA meetings, community service, anger management classes, or restitution to victims.