Thursday, February 27, 2014

Zara – a reputation made, a reputation squandered?

In some of my past blog posts I discussed the significant value a good reputation has by example of Switzerland’s repute as a high-quality producer of products and services. I showed that there is concrete evidence that a good reputation and the trust that it engenders in potential customers is not only an exercise for “doing good for goodness sake”, but also translates into hard cash and profits (see my recent blog entry on "Dismantling of a Swiss Holy Cow" ). Many corporations, due either to considerable competitive pressure or simply due to the myopic imperative of maximizing profitability, take short-cuts or systematically exploit the vulnerable. So it seems to be the case with Zara, the fashion house of the Inditex Group.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mass Immigration, the Growth Imperative and the Creative Metropolis

In Switzerland, votes can quickly turn into a political thriller accessible to the public. Here, the people as the ultimate sovereign has the right (which is rather exceptional compared to other countries) to say “stop, not like this!” in a vote, notwithstanding the recommendations of its government, of wealthy interest groups or expert warnings. This was the case with the recent initiative against mass immigration launched by the SVP that has won with a narrow majority of votes. 

The reactions to this result produced quite predictable waves of indignation, hyperbole and panic (while the winners’ joy was a bit muffled): Switzerland at the economic abyss, an isolated island of happy xenophobes, a nation of spoiled farmers who tore open the “Röstigraben” and slapped the EU.

Is this outcry justified? 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Jungle Camp Stakeholder Management

I have watched the German jungle camp (“I am a celebrity…Get me out of here”; and the confessions end here). Much has been written and discussed on this broadcasting format in which more or less famous participants face nauseating tests in the jungle with the world watching. Let’s look at the jungle camp for a moment from the perspective of corporate stakeholder management. Stakeholder management aims at generating as much value as possible by including the stakeholders of an organization, in order to achieve what is called integrative or “win-win” results. In our thought experiment, let’s assume that RTL is the company we look at, which sells and broadcasts the product “jungle camp”.