AI, Word of Mouth, and Word of Machine: Context Is Everything

Word-of-mouth is a powerful, organic form of marketing. But what about word-of-machine? Research from Professor Luca Cian shows that customers trust artificial-intelligence recommendations when a product or service is practical but resist when they’re pursuing a product or service for pleasure. What can companies do with this information?

Why WeWork Didn’t Work as Planned: 4 Lessons on Corporate Governance

Hype vs. discipline. Charisma vs. responsibility. The buzz around Adam Neumann’s WeWork went from enthusiasm for a unicorn with billions in venture capital to backlash for a company with a plummeted valuation and scrapped IPO. Yet with new leadership and governance structures, long-term profit may be in sight. What might we learn from WeWork?

Go Time: How Leaders Can Learn to Manage Crises and Uncertainty

Leading in the face of crisis and uncertainty is a different practice from daily management and decision-making. But good managers can learn to anticipate and manage through such high-stress experiences and embed lessons learned in the enterprise. A Darden expert shares best practices — do’s as well as don’ts — for successful crisis management.

Spotlight on Spotify: Scandal, Governance and the Potential for Prevention

Spotify is under scrutiny for content on Joe Rogan’s podcast and talent compensation. Darden experts explain how crises can be tempered with good governance — who’s on the board, how it thinks about risk, the business model, strategy, process and culture. Ultimately, “Governance is the way a firm organizes around and executes on its purpose.”

USA Track & Field: To Field Challenges, You Need the Board on Track

Issues of governance: It’s easy to focus on issues as they arise, rather than long-term vision and getting ahead of problems. A case that shows the importance of focusing on mission, strategy and communication with stakeholders: USA Track & Field, a nonprofit that oversees sports, training and events for professionals, coaches and students.

The Tao of Strategy: 12 Principles and 4 Action Directives

Western analytical tools are important to the process of understanding industries and competitors, but true insights can be achieved with what the Buddha called beginner’s mind. In this The Tao of Strategy excerpt, the authors explore how Eastern philosophy complements Western strategy-making and offer 12 principles that can inform business leaders

How to Write a Brand Essence Statement

To develop and manage a brand effectively, marketers start by defining it with a brand essence statement. In an excerpt from her book Positioning for Advantage, Professor Kim Whitler discusses the blueprint for building a brand from the bottom up, including the foundation, the support, the impact on a consumer and, ultimately, the brand essence.

The Core of Apple’s Strategy

A Matter of Strategy: The laptop industry is competitive, and the product is highly available and highly interchangeable. Faced with unfavorable market dynamics, how did Apple carve out its niche among laptop makers? What implications are there for other organizations and industries? The answers lie in a capacity to rewrite the playbook.

Design Thinking vs. Cognitive Biases: 10 Biases for Innovation to Overcome

Professor Jeanne Liedtka calls out 10 specific biases that cause especially serious problems for innovators. Design Thinking’s ability to fight these common biases accounts for its ability to help us test our ideas successfully.

Scale Up a Startup: The Importance of Operations

Professor Chao looks at Husk Power Systems and the operations surrounding this start up.