Editor’s Note: Screaming Into the Future!
One observer of current global business events recently noted, “Someday we’ll all look back on this, laugh nervously, and change the subject.” Certainly the last few weeks have been a roller coaster ride in terms of the stock market, leaving business practitioners with plenty of questions and much to consider, not to mention weaker knees. In keeping with this trend, this issue of the GBR also poses many questions. Should you consider an IPO? Is the sales force alive and kicking? Do marketers still have a place in the new economy? Just when you think you have past the last twist on the roller coaster, you run into more surprises in this issue’s wide ranging topics.
The fun begins at the top of the first spiral as Michael Davis gets the adrenaline going with an insightful look at doing an IPO. This work addresses questions which could make even the most courageous entrepreneurs throw their hands in the air and scream in the current business environment. The two weeks between the time this article was written and our publication date (the first two weeks of April) have certainly made people think twice about going public. Yet many companies still need to consider this option, at least at some point. If you are in this situation, this article can help you understand what issues you need to consider.
Just around the bend on the ‘inside’ track, Charles Kerns presents a method for improving internal customer service and making sure those vital relationships within a company are given the same attention that outside customers receive.
In a gravity-defying turn, Charles Morrissey draws us into the topsy-turvy world of corporate venturing. He explains one model large businesses can use to nurture innovative products, get them to market, and reap some potentially nice rewards by spinning them off into new ventures with the support and guidance of an internal venture capital fund.
Then, David McMahon takes us on a death-defying plunge into the transformation of the sales force. He looks at what is happening to the traditional sales position as a result of the new ECR-style management in large-scale retailing. If you are contemplating a career in sales, be sure to read this first!
We zoom across some bumps in the track with William Smith who asks whether marketers are also an endangered species in the brave new world where consumers have access to nearly perfect product and price information.
Scott Fletcher spins us 360 degrees around the LOOP. This always fun, informative, and often up-side down look at the world focuses on Sabbaticals — and after this ride, we may all need one.
If you are dizzy after all of this, take time to visit with one of our business executives who has practical advice and insights to offer in our interview feature.
Finally, Frieda Gehlen drives us home with the Quiz. This Quiz reviews articles from the past few issues to see where we’ve been and help us to see where we are going.
After you have left the turnstile, don’t forget to visit the Arcade, one of the new interactive knowledge management features of the GBR. In this issue, the Arcade introduces StarOffice, a free tool which may be useful to practitioners and has received some notoriety in the media. It’s a knockout with my boxing coach.
So enjoy the ride! Warning: Keep your safety harness firmly locked in place, and height restrictions may apply.
About the Author(s)
Charla Griffy-Brown, PhD, is an associate professor of information systems at the Graziadio School of Business and Management. In 2004, Dr. Griffy-Brown received a research award from the International Association for the Management of Technology and was recognized as one of the most active and prolific researchers in the fields of technology management and innovation. A former researcher at the Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development in Tokyo, she has also served as an associate professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Dr. Griffy-Brown graduated from Harvard University, is a former Fulbright Scholar, and holds a PhD in technology management from Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. She has worked for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center and has taught innovation/technology management courses in Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan. She has also served as a consultant for the United Nation's Global Environmental Facility and the European Commission.