Business Insight: More great, free knowledge from MIT Sloan Management Review

The latest edition of Business Insight is out today and with it, we opened up 21 articles from the MIT SMR archvies. SMR articles normally require registration or paid subscription, they’re yours to read for fee courtesey of Harvard Business School Executive Education.

Business Insight is MIT Sloan Management Review’s collaboration with The Wall Street Journal. The collaboration is now in it’s fourth year, so check out the past issues for articles you may have missed.

(Don’t miss In Praise of Resource Constraints, it’s one of my favorite SMR articles.)

Why Diversity Can Backfire On Company Boards

  • The Changing Face Of Corporate Boards
    Edward E. Lawler III and David L. Finegold
    Boards in the U.S. are undergoing reforms in leadership, mem- bership and performance evalu- ation. But are all the changes for the better?
  • Bridging Faultlines In Diverse Teams
    Lynda Gratton, Andreas Voigt and Tamara J. Erickson
    Project teams can fly or founder on the demographic attributes of team members and the fractures they can create. Here’s how to recognize the potential for division, and how to respond in time when team fractures do arise.
  • How to Resolve Board Disputes More Effectively
    Ralph Hasson
    Companies have a number of internal and external conflict-resolution resources at their disposal. In addition, they should consider creating the new role of board ombudsman to mediate disagreements.


  • Ambush Marketing: A Threat to Corporate Sponsorship.
    Tony Meenaghan
    Is ambush marketing legal and ethical? How can a legitimate sponsor counteract the effects of an ambusher?
  • A Strategic Perspective on Sales Promotions
    Betsy D. Gelb, Demetra Andrews and Son K. Lam
    How to plan profitable sales promotions by considering the stature of your brand in the marketplace, the message being delivered, and how customers and competitors will react.
  • Viewing Brands in Multiple Dimensions
    Pierre Berthon, Morris B. Holbrook, James M. Hulbert and Leyland Pitt
    The concept of a “brand manifold” helps managers understand that a brand’s impact varies according to who is valuing it, in what context and at what time.

The IT Platform Principle: The First Shall Not Be First

Where Process-Improvement Projects Go Wrong

  • The Art of Making Change Initiatives Stick
    Michael A. Roberto and Lynne C. Levesque
    The seeds of effective change must be planted by embedding procedural and behavioral changes in an organization long before the initiative is launched.
  • Process Management and the Future of Six Sigma
    Michael Hammer
    Savvy companies have learned that their Six Sigma initiatives must serve the larger endeavor of process management.
  • Designing Organizations That Are Built to Change
    Christopher G. Worley and Edward E. Lawler III
    Many executives talk about the need for greater flexibility and adaptability from their companies. But most businesses have organized themselves in ways that discourage change.

How Green Should My Tech Be? It Depends on the Tech.

  • Sustainability Through Servicizing
    Sandra Rothenberg
    Suppliers can make their business both more sustainable and more profitable by focusing on services that extend their products’ efficiency and value.
  • The Profit-Making Allure of Product Reconstruction
    John A. Pearce II
    Whether it involves recycling, refurbishing or remanufacturing, product re-construction can offer attractive consumer prices, high-quality goods and a host of profit opportunities.
  • ‘Greening’ Transportation in the Supply Chain
    Susan L. Golicic, Courtney N. Boerstler and Lisa M. Ellram
    Even corporations with clear environmental aims fail to go the distance when it comes to their supply chains. But lessons from a small group of Fortune 500 companies can give them the direction they need.

Advice for Outsourcers: Think Bigger

  • Proven Practices for Effectively Offshoring IT Work
    Joseph W. Rottman and Mary C. Lacity
    It takes a tremendous amount of detailed management on both the client and supplier sides to realize the expected benefits of offshore outsourcing of IT work. Here are 15 best practices that can accelerate learning and make the strategy eminently worthwhile.
  • The Practice of Global Product Development
    Steven D. Eppinger and Anil R. Chitkara
    Senior managers often struggle to tie operations in different countries into a cohesive, unified whole that can efficiently drive growth and innovation. New empirical frameworks may help unlock practices with which managers can deploy well-coordinated global product development strategies.
  • Taking the Measure of Outsourcing Providers
    David Feeny, Mary Lacity and Leslie P. Willcocks
    Successful outsourcing of back-office business functions requires knowing not only your company’s needs but also the 12 core capabilities that are key criteria for screening suppliers.

Let’s Make a Deal

The Final Tally, 2009 Book List

Tougher year than I thought. “Development of Freedom” stalled me for a month. When Laura left for Walla Walla, I couldn’t bring myself to read much of anything (well, except back issues of some magazines). Found my groove there for a while with the fiction. Most important (recent) book of the year: “Half the Sky.” Favorite new (to me) authors:
Niffenegger, Attwood, Suskind.

For 2010 I had to do some bookshelf clearing, anyone interested in a copy of “Learning GNU Emacs (2nd Edition)? How about “lex & yacc?”

  • Angler, (Gellman 2008) – 1/4/2009
  • Hot, Flat and Crowded, (Friedman 2008) – 1/14/2009
  • When You Are Engulfed in Flames (Sedaris 2009) – 1/21/2009
  • How Fiction Works (Wood 2009) – 1/26/2009
  • Imperial Life in the Emerald City, inside Iraq’s green zone (Chandrasekaran 2006) – 1/28/2009
  • McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern (Vol 25 2007)
  • The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism, (Suskind 2008) – 2/7/2009
  • The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature (Pinker 2007) – 2/22/2009
  • Tribes (Godin 2008) 2/23/2009
  • The elephant, the tiger, and the cellphone: reflections on India, the emerging 21st century power (Tharoor 2007) – 2/28/2009
  • The Encore Effect: how to achieve remarkable performance in anything you do (Sanborn 2008) – 2/28/2009
  • The Other (Kapuściński 2008) – 2/28/2009
  • Beyond Bullshit: Straight-Talk at Work (Culbert 2008) – 3/2
  • The Age of Heretics (Kleiner 2008) – 3/9
  • The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth (Friedman 2005) – 3/19
  • Planet India (Kamdar 2007) – 3/25
  • The 21st Century Economy (Epping 2009) – 3/25
  • In Defense of Food (Pollan 2008) – 3/27
  • The Cost of Living (Roy 1999) – 3/31
  • Lexus and the Olive Tree (Friedman 2000) – 4/6
  • The God of Small Things (Roy 1997) – 4/12
  • Development as Fredom (Sen 1999) – 4/3
  • Heat, Bill Buford
  • In The Graveyard of Empires, Seth G. Jones
  • Under The Banner of Heaven, John Krakauer
  • Muhammad, Karen Armstrong
  • One to Nine, Hodges
  • In Pursuit of Elegance, Matt May
  • That Old Cape Magic, Richard Russo
  • The Time Traveller’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
  • Oryx and Crake, Margaret Attwood
  • Lake of the Woods, Tim O’Brien
  • The Shipping News, E . Annie Proulx
  • Busted, Edmund Andrews
  • The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb.
  • The Elements of Style, Strunk and White
  • The Genius Machine, Gerald Sindell
  • Catching the Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort
  • Hanibal Rising
  • The Handmaid’s Tail, Margaret Attwood
  • Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, Thomas E. Ricks
  • The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America’s Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11, Ron Suskind
  • The Red Tent, Anita Diamant
  • The Life of Pi, Yann Martel
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini
  • The Year of the Flood, Margaret Attwood
  • Her Fearful Symetry, Audrey Niffenegger
  • Indignation, Phillip Roth
  • American Pastoral, Phillip Roth
  • Half the Sky, Nicholoas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  • Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout
  • Giliead, Marilynne Robinson
  • The Help, Kathryn Stockett
  • Coranado, Denis Lehane
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  • The Plot Against America
  • The Girl Who Played With Fire
  • What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures, Malcolm Gladwell
  • A Change in Altitude, Anita Shreve
  • Book of clouds
  • 100 Days of Solitude
  • The brief wonderous life of Oscar Wao