Will Sony get the mojo back?

Building on Drucker’s famous words “The customer defines the business“, Sony’s Chief Transformation Officer George Bailey is pushing the company to realise that what the market wants the mark should have. And not only that, he wants Sony to retake their top position when it comes to design. Sony didn’t get worse but the competitors got better. The fact that Sony is looking to the future is further supported by the search for a new president who could succeed Howard Stringer, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Stringer currently also holds the role of president but relieving him of this would lighten 69-year old Stringer’s workload. Let’s keep an eye on Sony shan’t we?

Today was the Graduation for the 2009-10 full-time MBA class and we had the formal celebrations in McEwan Hall. We had lunch with the graduates in Teviot Row House, the oldest purpose-built student union in the world, and then an informal reception for the MBAs in the new School in the afternoon. It’s always sad to see a class leave but that’s the nature of this job. As Meriem said: “Inger, in your job you must really be aware of the years passing by.” You are so right Meriem!

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Capability Maturity Model Integration

Just wanted to share this great video case study about CMMI that a group of MBA students from the University of Edinburgh Business School have shot. It’s fun and you can also learn from it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD_MjxdWLS4

The cast is Enrico Pisano, Dawn Dunlop, Jeff Sablatnig, Juan Manuel Suarez, Promit Das and Libing Xue.


Pudsey day!

If you don’t know what that is then you’ve never dyed your hair purple. Or had a cake sale. Or had a Sponsored Silence Day (recommended for parents and school teachers). Or had your beard shaved off. Or whatever people get up to, all in help of the charity called Children in Need.  Here at the University of Edinburgh Business School we have a book sale and a cake raffle today so let’s hope we raise lots of money.

On the MBA side, we have the last day of the weekly classes. Next week we have a week-long course in Strategic Management to cap it all off. It’s taught by my Director colleague, Dr Brad MacKay. That’s going to be fun. And of course more hard work but it all pays off. I know that when we get into the next semester then the class is so well prepared. Next semester is of course very different. The semester the class is taking all the same courses, have the same assignments and the same programme. After Christmas it will be very different when the only shared class is Corporate Strategy. That’s when you see individuality beginning to develop.

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Are you on Facebook?

Did you know that if Facebook was a country then it would have the fourth largest population in the world? Just goes to show why social media has become so important in advertising and marketing. I picked up this titbit about Facebook in the University of Edinburgh’s staff magazine called bulletin and the provider of this information was Miles Osborne from School of Informatics. I certainly didn’t know.

As a matter of fact I’m not a “citizen of Facebook”. I’m one of the many who are concerned about privacy issues. Yes, I’ll probably be converted one day but not just yet.

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Spreading the word…

If you live in Beijing or Shanghai and you are on the look-out for an MBA then I hope you had a chance to meet us at the QS MBA fairs on 6 and 8 November. Meeting people and especially alumni from the school you are considering is essential. Visiting the school is highly recommended if at all you can. It is after all to be your home for a year, maybe two years if not more. We’ll also attend the QS MBA Fairs in New Delhi (27 November), Mumbai (29 November) and Bangalore (4 December) so I hope you will come and meet us.

Did you notice by the way that gold  reached another record today? $1,421 an ounce at 1030 GMT. Gold has been the safe haven for investors for as long as we can remember, and gold hitting another record high is of course a sign of serious worries about inflation. This is probably exacerbated by the US decision to print more money in an effort to stimulate the economy. Does this and the currency wars link to the suggestion by World Bank president Robert Zoellick to implement a kind of gold-standard guide to floating currency rates? The US decision to pump more green stuff out into the system has not been received kindly by world leaders. The words “clueless” and “undermining the G20” feature in the critical comments.

MBA news this week is that we have a Postgraduate Open Day this Friday so you are very welcome to visit the University of Edinburgh Business School to learn about our MBA programmes and also our MSc programmes. Hope to see you!

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More ash clouds

Do you remember when Eyjafjallajökull erupted on Iceland in the Spring? Maybe you were even affected by this. Now the volcano Merapi in Indonesia is affecting flights in the region and the Indonesian government has issued warnings to airlines about avoiding the area. Merapi has been rumbling for a week time now causing tens of thousands to flee the area and 38 people have lost their lives as a direct consequence. The eruption may be linked to an earth quake which triggered a tsunami killing more than 430 people. The geography of Indonesia makes it difficult to send the much needed aid. Despite all our technological advances there are still many barriers to mankind.

Not nearly as far away, just outside my door in fact, MBA life is moving on. Although I’m sure Agus from Indonesia may worry for friends and family. We are now in the seventh week of classes and all are still looking reasonably bright. Some even had took the time to visit the Highlands in the weekend. Although a bit windy I hear that they had a a very nice break.

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