HBR's Review of China's Mid-Market Innovators

HBR's Morning Advantage, May 8, 2012

A glowing review of the recent article co-authored by Ed Tse, John Jullens and Bill Russo:

Harvard Business Review Morning Advantage
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May 8, 2012
HBR's daily scouting report on provocative ideas for business
Here I Am Stuck in the Middle with You
The middle market has gotten a bad name in some business circles. It connotes a lack of differentiation, a dull aimlessness at a time when high-end distinctiveness and extreme value rule the day. This is the era of Prada, Zappos, and Target. Not Sears and GM. Except, that is, where it may matter the most.

In China, middle-market innovators are on the come and a "game-changing disruptive force,"write Edward Tse and two co-authors in Strategy+Business. "They are rapidly reshaping the dynamics of many industries — including agriculture, construction, and healthcare — but many (global) competitors are still largely unaware that they exist.” Mid-market innovators represent the next stage in China’s economic rise, and are a “major potential threat to well-established global manufacturers, one that could jeopardize their existence." The authors say companies in capital- and scale-intensive B2B industries, in which consumer branding isn’t important, are particularly vulnerable. See the full piece for the "whys" and "what to dos."

The U.S. Army's Adaptable Approach to Training and Development (Washington Post)
We could all learn a thing or two from the U.S. Army's training and development methods. Last week, for example, Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno announced a sweeping overhaul of solder training aimed at creating a force that's "better equipped to deal with losses in personnel, respond to changing threats, and adapt to regions of the world that are expected to grow in importance, such as Africa." The Army is also busting long held silos between its conventional troops and Special Forces, recognizing the importance of fostering collaboration early on. Not only is the Army reacting to the new realities in which its people must operate, but it is preparing them for what's yet to come. Imagine if companies were so adaptable.

Why Retiring Makes the Unemployed Happier (Vox)
Sometimes our source's summaries are better than anything we'd write. To wit, this intro from Vox: "Most people’s wellbeing is permanently affected by unemployment. This column argues that the unhappiness is due to a loss of identity, rather than daily experiences. Using German data, it shows that the long-term unemployed become happier upon entering retirement, thus changing social category, even though this does not change their daily lives."

At Morning Advantage, we scan the world of business ideas from beyond the walls of HBR (and sometimes from within) and recommend to you just those items we think are must reading (or viewing).

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