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Rotman Management Spring 2013

Published in January, May and September by the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, Rotman Management explores themes of interest to leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. Each issue features thought-provoking insights and problem-solving tools from leading global researchers and management practitioners. The magazine reflects Rotman’s role as a catalyst for transformative thinking that creates value for business and society.

Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
$19.90(Incl. tax)
$52.45(Incl. tax)
3 Issues

in this issue

3 min
secret sauce

THERE WAS A TIME, not long ago, when people with average skills, doing an average job, could eke out an average lifestyle and live happily ever after. But as Thomas Friedman recently declared in The New York Times, “Average is officially over.” What was seen as average performance in the past will no longer earn people an average wage or a middle class standard of living. The result? Every one of us needs to ask ourselves if what we are doing is — to some degree — unique and irreplaceable. While Friedman was writing about individuals, his message holds equally true for organizations. The people and organizations that are most successful these days are those who offer something extra — a unique value contribution that makes them stand out in their…

14 min
coaching high performance: lessons from veterans in two arenas

IN MODERN ORGANIZATIONS, the mindful management of talent — highly-creative, uniquely-skilled, value-producing individuals — is an absolute necessity. High-performing players, whether they be star CEOs, world-class salespeople, great product developers or professional services rainmakers, exist at the tail end of the distribution in terms of ability and impact. They have high aptitude, sought-after skills and the ability to ply their trade almost anywhere around the globe. How can a leader take a brilliant, talented individual and bring out his or her very best, sustained performance? Great sports coaches — like Harry Hopman in tennis, Bill Walsh in football or Mike Krzyzewski in college basketball — are prime exemplars. They are able to draw outstanding performance from individuals and to create a legacy of sustained excellence. But how do the lessons from producing…

12 min
thought leader interview: alice waters

Before you opened Chez Panisse [in 1971], people had a choice: they could eat in stuffy ‘food temples’ where the atmosphere was hush-hush and the food was really good, or they could relax and eat ‘cheap and cheerful’. How did you go about combining the best of both worlds? When I was 19 I did a semester abroad, and I spent three weeks in France that completely awakened my senses. At the time, TV dinners were all the rage in the U.S.; dining was all about convenience, efficiency and sterilization. Suddenly, I was surrounded by a way of life that was all about touch and taste and aromas and sounds; I was beside myself. I went to lots of those stuffy French restaurants you describe, because I had a real admiration for…

15 min
unlocking growth in the middle: how to capture the critical middle class in emerging markets

OVER THE NEXT TWO DECADES, one of the fiercest battles in business will be for the billions of people joining the middle class in emerging markets — a group that will make up 30 per cent of the global population by 2020. Yet even if they’re already active in emerging markets, many multinational companies are not prepared to tap into this new stream of revenue growth. Simply put, their business models were not designed to reach the new middle. Many firms have imported their existing high-end products and services through standard distribution channels to target the most affluent tier of customers in emerging-market cities such as Delhi, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro and Moscow. While this strategy has proven successful in the past, the top-tier segment is becoming saturated, and developed-world business…

13 min
secret recipes: the power of culture in an experience economy

IN JANUARY OF 2009, TED Airlines flew its final route and ceased operations, after only five years in service. Parent company United Airlines acknowledged that its attempt to create a low-cost carrier had failed, and began repainting the planes and absorbing them back into its general fleet. A few years earlier, Delta’s attempt at a low-cost airline, Song, fared even worse, folding after just three years in operation. Both ventures had set out to take on America’s most consistently profitable airline, Southwest, along with its young protege jetBlue, and beat them at their own game. At face value, TED, Song, Southwest and jetBlue had several things in common, including budget pricing, ‘no frills’ service and recognizably-quirky brand identities. Nevertheless, TED and Song were unable to replicate Southwest’s success. In Europe, a…

12 min
neuroleadership 101: an interview with david rock

Research shows that the brain requires three things to function optimally. What are they? The first is moderate stress. People tend to think we need low stress to function at our best, but that isn’t true. Most problems related to poor performance arise when people are already at a moderate level of stress, and they suddenly experience very high stress. The second requirement for optimal brain functioning is positive affect, or emotion, which creates the right neurochemistry for our conscious and non-conscious processes to function at their best. If you experience negative emotions consistently, your cortisol levels will be too high, and you won’t experience the healing effects of positive emotions to recuperate. The third factor is a good night’s sleep, which is critical. For some of us, that means five…