July 28, 2008

July 28th Submission

Had a good week last week although it was tiring. We had visitors from our Netherlands group in the twin cities on Monday and Tuesday. Sorry about missing the class. I reviewed the powerpoint briefly and tried to retain as much as I could. It is difficult to stay on track when you miss class.

For Wednesday through Friday we spent time in strategic planning at the IBM Learning Center in Armonk, NY. That was a really nice setting for a strategic planning session. We are going through a lot change as we look to better integrate together and work towards being a "true" global company.

One of the larger issues that we are facing is that our styles and cultures are different. The way that we are

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July 20, 2008

July 17th Submission

Been distracted this week with a combination of work and personal issues, so not able to add a lot in the area of insights this week. However, I did have a good conversation with our CEO this week as we prepare for a set of meetings with our Netherlands partners on how to build a better global business. While we have been fairly progressive in the area of international growth, we are both concerned that our international partners have many individuals who are not fully on-board with the concept of global integration.

Part of their issue is that they have built such a strong presence with local companies and government agencies that the purchase of of US based company could be more of a distraction from their core business. It is strange from the sense that we were the acquired company but have been pushing integration and change more so than they are necessarily willing to go. Part of it is culture, the Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemborg style regarding change

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July 13, 2008

General Mills Feedback

Very interesting class. Thanks for the opportunity to see Gen Mills use technology in action.

I think the class went very well. I can see how the use the technology to test and do lots of R&D that would be effective in real life. I see this as a competitive advantage for them in the future, especially in relation to how they work with their retailers. As presented, this tool would be invaluable to a retailer as they look to optimize their store space. I knew that retailers and manufacturers were very particular in their SKU settings, but I can better appreciate the amount of detail time and thought that needs to go into this exercise. We didn't discuss in class, but I can see how the marketing department could use this to optimize new product roll-outs and figure out how to supplement the major "Icon" brands with something new to innovate.

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July 6, 2008

july 6th submission

Enjoyed the class on the 30th. Obviously helpful to my own situation as I try to link the concepts in the class to my real life issues that i am doing in my workplace.

After going through the exercise, the answer reiterated what I was already thinking. That in the case of performing non-core services in the organization such as accounts payable, it is much better to oursource the technology and process to those who have expertise in the area. Without the distraction of these non-core services, the organization (such as ours with environmental consulting) will be better to concentrate on how it creates value.

I am slightly concerned with the thought of outsourcing non-core functions such as IT and accounting, since these are the primary areas in which I envision the majority of my career to be concentrated. However, I am also intrigued

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June 29, 2008

June 29 Submission

Good class again for Monday. Not sure if I buy the five key principles of businesses of the future, but it does get you thinking. Particularly I am thinking about how do we effectively manage change and look for disruptive forces that could affect our business.

While I am not a person who likes to think that the ways of the past are best for the future, I probably do not spend enough time trying to figure out who is out there thinking of a much better way to replace our business. The concept of disrupting the business is something that I will need to add into my visions for our business.

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June 22, 2008

Class One Blog Entry

This is a different class from what I have become accustomed to at the University, which is a breath of fresh air. Not used to using a blog, so I will be interested in seeing if it will be a useful tool to use.

Big item that I got out of class one is that the use of technology is more than simply providing information and communication means by which organizations and people interact. Information systems can be used to completely re-define the way in which a business can conduct its business.

I become worried that with such a dramatic change in the way that business will be conducted, will many people who are not educated or willing to embrace changes in technology will be left behind as automatic processes and machines will replace many of the manual processes that we have traditionally used.

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Test to see if the internet blog works.

DS 06-20-08