* From your own work/task experience, recall a situation where you really stretched yourself—a situation where you worked not only hard but also well (resourcefully, using all of your strengths and abilities). In no more than one page, describe what makes it stand out in your mind as a stretch experience and the factors leading up to or bringing about this experience.
It is true that failures pave way for triumphs in life. No man is known to have been completely successful in his life without failure having guided him. In April 2009, I had to experience the closure of Brand Box, a marketing project that I had launched with two partners. Scarcity of funds forced us to give up on our passion. While I was forced to revert back to my old profession of legal consultancy, I realized through a long period of alienation with my consulting job that I could never be “great” at what I do because of lacking enough passion for consultancy. Through a rigorous process of self reflection, I stumbled upon the precious truth that my heart was not in my consultancy job. I, however, decided to rise above this alienation and reconcile my heart with my mind to achieve equilibrium in my life. I came up with an idea of launching Pakistan’s first New York-style stone baked oven pizzeria. Initially, I was under-equipped to be in a food business as I had little information about the logistics. In order to make up for that, I worked closely with chefs and food experts for 6 months until Stone Baked Pizza was launched on the 1st of September 2011. I can proudly declare that the restaurant currently has revenue of around PKR 0.5 million per month. I would not just gauge this achievement in terms of monetary rewards as much as the satisfaction of being able to rise up from a deep-seated sense of alienation with my own self, which is priceless. Also, I realize that the actualization of my individuality rested upon this venture and I derive immense gratification out of this belief.
One Page Case Questions: Meg Whitman at eBay (A)
* How would you describe the ‘culture’ at eBay and its roots?
Ebay internal company culture was designed to mirror its external community culture. Employees are expected to be open and honest, to treat one another with respect and to speak up if they believed they were not being treated in this manner. Ebay is a nonhierarchical, democratic organization that encourages ideas and feedback from all employees.
The roots of ebay culture originates from the primary element of ebay culture i.e. respect for its community. In any other consumer business you at least control one side of the business but at Ebay the customer experience is based on how its customers deal with its other customers. Ebay believes that values are to assume that people are basically good, to give people the benefit of the doubt and to treat people with respect. Its business depends on people having a trusting relationship and that will only happen if people treat each other well.
* What do you see as the strategic value of the eBay culture?
* What do you see as the biggest challenges that Meg Whitman faces in the case, and what are the underlying principles that shape your assessment of what eBay must do?
Fraud, scaling the organization fast enough, pressure on technical systems due to growth in customers, communication of culture and values correctly while scaling at the same time, acquisition of new companys and still maintain the current culture of eBay.
Ebay is all about its community and that
Note that much has happened at eBay since the publication of this case. Though it has not been successful in China, eBay continues to dominate the online marketplace in Singapore (ebay.com.sg).
One Page Case Questions: Managing Creativity at Shanghai Tang * What is Raphael le Masne’s vision for Shanghai Tang when he joins the firm?
Move Shanghai Tang into a completely...