strategy

EP# 035: The LEGO Story

EP# 035: The LEGO Story

The Lego Group has an amazing history and the brand has the capacity to reawaken the sense of experimentation and play that resides within everyone. From its founding in 1932 to the introduction of the interlocking toy bricks in 1949, to the massive losses in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the story of Lego is an amazing business tale of struggle, success, failure, and reinvention. With relentless innovation over the company’s 8+ decades and overcoming aggressive competitors offering electronics or other forms of building sets, Lego has survived and prospered.

EP# 034: Toy Wars

EP# 034: Toy Wars

This episode I review a great book, The Toy Wars: The Epic Struggle Between GI Joe, Barbie, and the Companies that Make Them by G. Wayne Miller.

Toy Wars outlines the battles of the leading toy companies from the 1970s through the 1990s. Focusing primarily on Hasbro and Mattel, the book provides an excellent historical overview of each company and the legendary products they developed and the challenges of competing in a highly volatile industry that balances success and failure on the whims of short-lived fads.

EP# 032: The Indian Powerhouses

EP# 032: The Indian Powerhouses

Indian companies have gone global, and are dominating key industries. I recently read the book India’s Global Powerhouses by Nirmalya Kumar. This great resource shows how India’s global powerhouses are focusing on lucrative high-margin markets in the developed world while maintaining low-cost bases in India. 

This episode will review several of these global Indian firms which have dominated their respective markets. Indian firms are innovating and building low-cost business models to reach India’s masses and still be profitable. They combine frugal engineering and innovation, along with a low-cost business model to provide a growing customer base around the world.

EP#030: The Tata Group

EP#030: The Tata Group

The Tata Group is India’s biggest conglomerate company, founded in 1868 by Jamsetji Tata and headquartered in Mumbai, India. The Tata Group operates in over 100 countries throughout the world is believed to be India's best-known global brand within and outside the country. The ongoing mission of the group has been and is to develop India into a modern industrial nation. The story of the Tatas is another great example of dreaming big and never stop innovating.

EP# 027: The New Lanchester Strategy (Part II)

EP# 027: The New Lanchester Strategy (Part II)

Frederick Lanchester was a key figure in the development of the automotive industry and the man who defined modern aeronautical technology and science. Lanchester is another legend in technology and science that most of us have never heard of or never learned about in business or engineering school. The theories Lanchester developed were adapted for business, especially sales and marketing which we will focus on within this episode.

Japanese business consultant Dr. Nobuo Taoka adapted Lanchester’s theories into The New Lanchester Strategy which provides guidelines for creating winning business strategies for both market leaders or firms struggling to remain profitable or increase market share. The lessons in this episode are straightforward but extremely effective for developing differentiation and keeping your competitors guessing and your customers excited.

EP# 026: The New Lanchester Strategy (Part I)

EP# 026: The New Lanchester Strategy (Part I)

Frederick Lanchester was a key figure in the development of the automotive industry and the man who defined modern aeronautical technology and science. Lanchester is another legend in technology and science that most of us have never heard of or never learned about in business or engineering school. The theories Lanchester developed were adapted for business, especially sales and marketing which we will focus on within this episode.

Japanese business consultant Dr. Nobuo Taoka adapted Lanchester’s theories into The New Lanchester Strategy which provides guidelines for creating winning business strategies for both market leaders or firms struggling to remain profitable or increase market share. The lessons in this episode are straightforward but extremely effective for developing differentiation and keeping your competitors guessing and your customers excited.

EP# 024: Henry Ford: My Life and Work

EP# 024: Henry Ford: My Life and Work

A great book to expand your business knowledge is, My Life and Work by Henry Ford. Yes, the founder and namesake of the world-famous automobile empire. The book was originally published in 1922 and is a brief autobiography as well as Ford’s ideas on business and life.

My Life and Work takes you inside the mind of a person who managed to change the world, yet who lived in obscurity for the first 40 years of his life. This was a long time to develop skills, both personal and mechanical, which laid the foundation for a massive enterprise.

EP# 023: The Mongol Business Model

EP# 023: The Mongol Business Model

The Mongol Empire was founded by Chinggis Khan (aka Genghis Khan) and became the largest contiguous empire in history stretching from the Sea of Japan to the Mediterranean Sea and the Carpathian Mountains. In the 13th century the Mongols redrew world boundaries, consolidating smaller countries into larger ones. Mongols still controlled India in 1857 and the last ruling descendant, Alim Khaim, emir of Bukhara, was still in power in Uzbekistan in 1920.

So why are we talking about the Mongols on a business podcast about strategy and innovation? Well, the Mongols were some of the most innovative societies ever. Mongol leaders ruled the world with an iron fist but created amazing innovations in military, economic, and social life. As business professionals, we can all learn and be motivated by the amazing changes the Mongols brought to the world and their ability to adapt and change based on different circumstances. Also, their strategies and tactics can be incorporated into business to allow you and your organization to become a leader in your market.

EP# 020: OTC: Recap - Episodes 1-19

EP# 020: OTC: Recap - Episodes 1-19

This episode is a recap of the previous 19 episodes. Past episodes focused on key themes such as creativity, lifelong learning, strategy, continuous improvement, and the importance of never giving up. 

From amazing historical figures from business and military such as Sun Tzu, W. Edwards Deming, Peter Drucker and Col. John Boyd, The Business Fanatic podcast focuses on sharing stories to help you succeed in business and life. Sharing military and business examples that are not often taught in business or engineering schools, these incredible people and the companies they created provide important lessons to change yourself and the world.

EP# 019: The Japanese Motorcycle Industry

EP# 019: The Japanese Motorcycle Industry

The Japanese motorcycle industry is one of Japan’s most profitable and leading industries today. From over 200 motorcycle manufacturers in 1955 to only four by 1973, the Japanese motorcycle industry has gone through massive changes. This episode reviews how this industry started, grew, and went from hundreds of manufacturers to only four in less than 20 years.

EP# 018: The History of Toyota (Part II)

EP# 018: The History of Toyota (Part II)

Toyota influenced many organizations around the world and created the foundation of modern manufacturing. Toyota is the world’s most valuable automaker with a market cap of $200 billion and $50 billion in cash.

Part II of this two-part episode focuses on the Toyota Production System and its key elements. The Toyota Production System is based on continuous improvement and identifying problem areas first-hand. In addition, the Toyota Production System is the basis for current lean manufacturing. Also known as the Thinking People System, the Toyota Production System is about empowering every employee, at every level of the organization to continually improve themselves and the organization.

EP# 016: Konosuke Matsushita: Overcoming Adversity (Part II)

EP# 016: Konosuke Matsushita: Overcoming Adversity (Part II)

Part II continues the amazing story of Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic. If his early life was not incredible enough, the start of WWII puts the company and Matsushita in uncharted territory as the Japanese Imperial Army puts incredible pressure on the company to support the war effort.

Matsushita’s experiences during WWII led him on a spiritual journey to change the world and help humanity. His never ending creativity and innovation to transform society to help all of mankind moved him beyond business to help Japan overcome massive changes and ensure a great future for his country and the world. Well into his 80s, Matsushita was still innovating and working hard to improve society.

EP# 015: Konosuke Matsushita: Overcoming Adversity (Part I)

EP# 015: Konosuke Matsushita: Overcoming Adversity (Part I)

This episode’s topic is on Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic. Also known as KM, the following quote epitomized his philosophy on business and life.

 “An enterprise as a whole is as good or bad as the abilities of the individuals who comprise it. The development of the individual therefore, becomes of critical importance to an organization”

KM was one of the most amazing businessmen and philanthropists that most people have never heard of. He was the founder of the massive electrical firm Matsushita Electronics (or MEI), known today as Panasonic. He built one of the world’s largest and most prosperous electrical companies. He was born into a comfortable, wealthy family but soon his world was upended and his family was driven into poverty.

He had minimal formal schooling, lost the majority of family to tuberculosis, and was hampered by poor health that kept him bedridden for long periods of time. However, he continually developed new ideas to innovate his business. As he aged he maintained a youthful outlook on life that continually grew the business, while focusing on improving society.

EP# 014: OTC: Deception and Surprise

EP# 014: OTC: Deception and Surprise

Military theorists, most notably Sun Tzu focused on the benefits of deception to shock and surprise your opponent. Unfortunately, most business leaders ignore this technique as the daily requirements of Wall St. requires a short-term perspective and pressure to share to plans publicly. Unfortunately, this short-term mindset prevents leaders from using many effective ways to outmaneuver competitors.

Sun Tzu and his Art of War is a great resource for military and business strategists. Sun Tzu noted that all warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable, when using our forces, we must seem inactive, when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away, when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

This episode will review four key military campaigns that demonstrate the effectiveness of deception and surprise. These examples are great models for business leaders to adapt similar strategies and tactics to outmaneuver competitors and continually wow customers.

EP# 011: Momo-san: The Inventor of Instant Noodles

EP# 011: Momo-san: The Inventor of Instant Noodles

This week’s topic is about the incredible story behind instant ramen and the man who made it a worldwide source of tasty, inexpensive food. One man had a dream to provide low-cost, healthy food to ensure Japan’s citizens were able to recover from the destruction of the war.

The man was Momofuku Ando and the company he created was Nissin Food Products. Ando-san, better known as Momo-san, created the revolutionary product of instant noodles and later CUPNOODLES. His products and continuous innovations helped Japan be recognized around the world as a source of innovation.

EP# 006: OTC: Market Research 101

You don't often hear business gurus or professors at top level universities talk about market research. What you will hear most often is sexy musings regarding strategy and innovation, or the wonders of finance. But if an organization does not know what is going on in the market, their competitors will pass them and customers will not return.

Dr. O outlines 8 points to consider to ensure market research is the cornerstone of your success.

Show notes (with time stamps)

Introduction: 00:00 – 02:44

Train Yourself & Everyone Else: 02:47 – 8:18

Train Every Department: 08:22 – 13:32

Genchi Genbutsu: 13:36 – 18:06

Quantitative Data: 18:10 – 22:34

Qualitative Data: 22:39 – 30:43

Primary Research: 30:47 – 33:17

Secondary Research: 33:21 – 36:32

Technology: 36:36 – 43:22

Summary: 43: 27

Music

Artist: Scott Holmes

Album: Road Trip

Track: Indie Rock