The business climate for companies today is a little like playing Pac-Man, says Alec Hudnut, CEO of the e-learning company Quisic. In other words, it’s eat or be eaten, and success depends a lot on how you handle the whole question of funding. Hudnut talked about the Internet, the corporate training industry and the evolution of Quisic at Wharton’s e-Commerce Speakers Series. Just-in-Time Education: Learning in the Global Information Age
Is the lecture hall outdated? Management education needs to be radically rethought for an Internet age, becoming more customizable, with delivery anytime and anyplace, and more applied, interactive learning. Two Wharton professors, Jerry Wind and David Reibstein, discuss a new paradigm for management education facilitated by advances in information technology and how it might be integrated into a decision support system. Wind is also leading the creation of a program that attempts to implement these principles in practice. Risk Management: Adding Information to Intuition
As more firms move beyond risk assessment into risk management, the need for increasingly sophisticated analyses, including simulation models, is crucial. A three-day executive education course at Wharton, Decision Models for Management, tackles many of the challenges that risk managers confront on a daily basis, ranging from product mix decisions and applications of optimization models to operations management and marketing, portfolio optimization and yield management. Mining Data for Nuggets of Knowledge
Almost every company these days collects reams of data about its customers and their transactions. The coming of the Internet has made this task both easier and faster. But how can companies drill through these mountainloads of data to unearth crucial insights and knowledge about customer behavior and market trends? Jacob Zahavi, a visiting professor at Wharton, and his colleagues Lyle Ungar and Robert Stine, plan to address the challenges of data mining in a short course at Wharton next month. So Your Sales Went Up? So What?
Do increasing sales mean that a company is in sound financial health? Not necessarily, replies John Percival, an adjunct professor at Wharton. Rising sales combined with high accounts receivable could mean that customers are buying products but not paying for them. “Increasing a company’s sales means a corresponding increase in costs for such things as production equipment, labor and inventory,” he says. “A company should concentrate on sustainable growth, which is characterized by increasing profit (as opposed to sales).” Percival teaches a six-week course about understanding financial statements, which addresses these issues and more. Dialog or Death?
If CEOs only talked more to one another, they could accomplish so much more. Sounds obvious? Perhaps. But Howard Perlmutter, an emeritus professor at Wharton who is a pioneer in the study of global corporations, has developed a framework that facilitates what he calls "deep dialog." The framework also identifies some of the principal hurdles to such communication. At a time when more and more mergers are creating global corporations, such structured conversations--and efforts to identify factors that impede them--may hold the key to success. Bargaining for Advantage
From morning decisions over who will pick up the kids until the nightly tug-of-war over which television shows to watch, all of us face negotiations as a part of daily life. Of course, the stakes are highest when our careers and fortunes depend on how well we manage the negotiation process. But, as Richard Shell and Stuart Diamond point out in Wharton's Executive Negotiation Workshop, the process looks much the same every time someone wants something from somebody else. Shell and Diamond teach a systematic approach to negotiation, large and small. Surviving the E-Trading Explosion
When a titan like Merrill Lynch declares its intention to offer online trades, as it did in early June, it means that electronic trading is here to stay. A Wharton program organized with the Securities Industry Association in April analyzed the impact of electronic trading on traditional brokerage and global stock markets. “The paradigm of investing is shifting,” acknowledges Mark Lackritz, president of the SIA. “At one time, the securities industry had two monopolies, on information and on execution. Today both those monopolies are gone.” High-Powered Ways to Develop High-Potential Executives
How does a company develop senior executives on the fast track? Time was when a deep understanding of the business and corporate culture was essential to their growth. In today's fast-paced world, where globalization and technology are turning markets topsy turvy, a new approach is vital. Some insights on how companies can develop high-voltage leadership.