Thursday, 10 November 2011

A Simple Model of Personal Branding

In business and entrepreneurship, we often talk about “business model” and “revenue model”. Put simply, a business model describes how a business work and compete.  A revenue model says how the business earns its revenue and profit.
It’s my first time to come up with a more formal model on real life problems. It is not meant to be complete or entirely accurate.  A model is just a representation of the real world.  It is meant to help us make decision on real life problems. It has weaknesses and we shall not depend on a model entirely.
I came up with this model on personal branding as I’m preparing for a talk on the topic.  The model doesn’t try to cover everything about personal branding. Nor does it explain why we should do brand our self, or how to go about doing it. But it’s more on the elements of personal branding and the kind of questions we should ask our self when developing and evaluating our own personal brand.
Ricky's model on personal branding
I hope to elaborate more on the model soon. But for now, I’ll let the mind map do the talking. Click on the map to get the full picture. If you can roughly get the ideas I want to convey simply by looking at the mind map, then I know my mind mapping skill has improved :)
Your comments and criticisms are much welcome.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Mattel 2006 Annual Report

Mattel 2006 Annual Report -

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Entrepreneurship in Society_3/23/2011 - Keith Baisden

Entrepreneurship in Society_3/23/2011 - Keith Baisden

Entrepreneurship in Society_4/15/2010 - Steve Hannah and Mike McAvoy

Making a Name for Retail

April 1, 2008

Thanks to local and national partnerships, UW-Madison’s Center for Retailing Excellence is flourishing once again.
About three years ago, a group of UW-Madison alumni debating the revival of the School of Human Ecology’s Center for Retailing Excellence asked many retail companies what their opinions were on the school’s graduates. The overwhelming answer: “We don’t know.”
One executive, though, the CEO of Kohl’s Department Stores, said he would get back to them.

Kelly Mansell, a UW-Madison retail major, helps put out merchandise as part of her student internship at The Purple Goose, a Verona clothing store, arranged with help from the UW’s Center for Retailing Excellence.
“He did a little research, and called back and said, ‘Well, we hire more from UW, they stay longer and they promote faster. We like it a lot. What can we do to help it be better?’” says Jerry O’Brien, the center’s director. Using a seed grant of $200,000 from that company, along with other prominent sponsors such as Target and Shopko, O’Brien was hired to reinvigorate the center, which had become less active over time due to funding issues.
Besides making a name for UW-Madison students among retail companies, another main objective for the center is promoting retail as a career path for all types of students — from history to retail to pharmacy majors — and dispelling myths about working in retail. Myths such as low pay and long hours are untrue, O’Brien says.
“Our goal with the students is to introduce them to the wide variety of careers that the industry offers. Most students are aware that you can be a buyer or a store manager, but there's so much more to it than that,” he says.

Networking, internships benefit students

While many companies contribute financially to the center, which operates without state funding, they also are involved personally with students through networking or career-related events, a lecture series, a symposium class that features a weekly speaker and by hiring interns. Students can intern nationally at major corporations such as Macy’s, which is headquartered in New York, regionally at companies such as Kohl’s and Land’s End, and locally at stores such as The Purple Goose, a Verona-based women and children’s clothing store.
The owner of The Purple Goose, Halley Jones, says she began hiring UW-Madison student interns as soon as she opened her store in October 2005 — even before the Center for Retailing Excellence had been revived.
“I just love interns,” she says. “They just bring this energy because they’re here to learn. Things change all the time in retail, and they're really excited about different ideas that we come up with together and trying different things.”

Jerry O’Brien
When O’Brien first contacted Jones to become involved in the center, she took him up on his offer, agreeing to speak at one of the symposium’s class meetings. She says she enjoys being involved because she can offer a unique perspective as a smaller, more localized retailer to students, both those in class and those serving as interns.
Students seeking jobs and internships also benefit from the center’s close relationship with upper-level management at many larger companies. Amy Katschnig, a UW retail major and president of the Retail Club, says she was having trouble looking for an internship in the fall of 2006. She would apply online, but often would not hear from companies or get past an initial interview. During a trip to Chicago organized by the center, she met contacts for the American Girl Company and Crate and Barrel, and was eventually offered internships at each. Beyond the trip, she adds, the events orchestrated by the center and the Retail Club help students ease into networking with retail employers.
“We all know … that networking is so important, but it’s really intimidating to go to someone in this company because you think they have all the power in the world, and you’re just a student here who doesn’t know that much,” she says. “So I think that the small events and just keep encouraging students to network — it breaks down some of that intimidation factor, so that really helps.”

Working toward responsible growth

While getting funding and helping students and companies connect has been the center’s initial focus, School of Human Ecology Dean Robin Douthitt says the next step is focusing on research. One of the biggest advantages of UW-Madison that the alumni task force noted is its strong graduate schools and research tradition, she says. Developing research projects with specific companies can create a mutually beneficial relationship by improving a retailer’s business while allowing graduate students to work with real data and issues in retail.
O’Brien adds that a grant from the Kauffman Foundation is also allowing the center to discuss creating a separate symposium for privately owned, smaller retailers to discuss starting their own businesses. Another project involves linking together alumni to form a contact database among retailers.
“It’s very exciting. The truth of the matter is, the hardest thing is prioritizing where we should go next,” he says. “We want to do what we do well, then go on.”

Standing up for business

September 15, 2009

Madison, WI – When Zoe Moore, innovation Network Manager for Vestas Global Research, was challenged with the task of forming a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where did she turn for help?

When David Ryder and his company, MillerCoors, wanted to donate fermentation equipment to the university, who did he trust to broker the initial contact?
And when UW-Madison MBA student Farhan Ahmad needed help getting his new business off the ground who did he ask?

The answer to all of these questions is the UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations (OCR) and its campus collaborators. To find out how OCR helped these individuals, and could help you and your business, read OCR’s 2008-09 Annual Report, now available 

Now in its sixth year, OCR continues to foster relationships between business and industry and UW-Madison. This year’s Annual Report highlights two of OCR’s more recent university-corporate partnerships. 

Contact: Doug Bradley                        
(608) 263-0238 

Time is Money

February 1, 2005

How the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing's time-based solutions slash manufacturing costs, lead times.
By Bill Shepard

In the fall of 2002, Chuck Gates, president of RenewAire Inc., was facing some tough choices as orders were increasing for the company's residential and commercial lines.
"We had grown by 37 percent that year, and we weren't sure how we were going to take the next step," says Gates.
Photo: Chuck Gates, president of RenewAire Inc., speaking with Rajan Suri, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Quick Response Manufacturing.
Chuck Gates (right), president of RenewAire Inc., in the company's Madison facility with Rajan Suri, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Quick Response Manufacturing. 
Gates' Madison-based company, which manufactures energy-recovery ventilation systems that solve indoor air quality problems while simultaneously saving energy, had received increased orders for both its residential and commercial lines. But this welcome "problem" of growth also presented some tough choices.
One option was to expand the plant, purchase more equipment and hire more staff to meet future growth. But there wasn't time for that, and besides, this would have been costly and potentially risky. After all, if RenewAire's growth spurt ended up being short-lived, pursuing a major plant and staff expansion would have been a grave error.
Another option was to continue operating at current capacity, yet avoid taking on new business — in essence, saying "no" to further growth. But for most companies, actually turning down business is simply unthinkable.

There was a good alternative
Fortunately for Gates, he found an alternative that allowed him to say "yes" to more growth by increasing capacity while using his existing staff and manufacturing facilities.
How did he do it?
With help from the faculty and students of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Quick Response Manufacturing, RenewAire's operations were revolutionized by the principles of quick response manufacturing.
"We dramatically increased our production capacity, yet we did it all within the same footprint, without having to expand our facilities or make additional investments," Gates notes.
Since 1993, the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) has provided a forum for learning about the concepts of quick response manufacturing, enabling companies to bridge the gap from the theoretical to the practical, from the classroom to the enterprise.
"In a sense, factories and businesses are our 'laboratories' for testing and proving the theories of QRM," says Frank Rath, QRM associate director.

Changing the face of manufacturing
Through student team projects involving the analysis of businesses' real-life challenges and problems, as well as seminars, conferences, case studies and publications, the Center for QRM is dramatically changing the face of manufacturing at large and small companies around the world.
Just what is quick response manufacturing?
"There are many continuous improvement systems out there that focus on reducing waste and non-value-added overhead, but this system is unique in that it focuses on relentlessly reducing lead times in all aspects of a company's operations. This in turn results in the elimination of waste, improved quality and reduced costs," explains Rajan Suri, director of the QRM Center and author of the book "Quick Response Manufacturing: A Companywide Approach to Reducing Lead Times."
Speed and the ability to adapt quickly are the keys to competitiveness in today's marketplace. For companies that have production volumes that vary or possess a high degree of customization, quick response manufacturing can be just the ticket.
Central to the theory and practice of quick response manufacturing is manufacturing critical-path time, or MCT, which is the typical amount of calendar time from when an order is created, through the critical path of designing, engineering, fabricating, assembling, packing and shipping, until the first product is delivered to the customer.

The key to cutting waste
The longer the MCT, the greater the amount of waste. But the key to cutting waste is to measure each step of the manufacturing critical-path time to determine when people are actually working on the product and when it is laying idle, awaiting the next phase of production.
In the case of RenewAire, students from the Center for QRM carried out time-based studies of the company's operations to pinpoint different types of idle time.
"The students conducted 'job tagging,' in which they attached tagging sheets to individual jobs, in order to determine the manufacturing lead times and individual processing times associated with each operation," Gates said. "For example, we found the average manufacturing lead time for high-volume units was over two days."
The QRM student teams also conducted "multi-observational studies" of what RenewAire workers were doing at any given time to identify non-value-added activities, such as walking around looking for tools or parts or waiting for tools or parts to be delivered.
As each of these non-value-added activities mount, lower productivity results and lead times get stretched out. In turn, longer lead times cause companies to stockpile larger inventories, adding warehousing costs to the mix. Longer lead times also result in increases of cancellations or order changes or obsolescence due to warranty changes. All of these scenarios can be costly to companies.
But by eliminating idle periods in manufacturing critical-path times, companies such as RenewAire in turn can remove waste and unnecessary costs and can bring products to market more quickly.

Spotting room for improvement
When RenewAire received the results of the student teams' studies, it found that much wasteful idle time resulted from technicians walking around gathering parts and tools or looking for them. The biggest room for improvement was in RenewAire's commercial business. To remedy the problem, RenewAire decentralized its production flow into production cells, in which technicians have parts and tools right at their fingertips, so they don't have to walk back and forth to get them. By organizing tools and materials into a more efficient production configuration, idle time spent retrieving them from different plant areas was eliminated.
However, these improvements were just the tip of the iceberg. RenewAire has implemented more sophisticated QRM techniques, such as better planning methods for their workload, as well as POLCA (Paired-cell Overlapping Loops of Cards with Authorization), a method to manage capacity and space on the shop floor. As Gates points out, the results have dramatically improved RenewAire's operations.
"The university students' studies and recommendations, and the overall conceptual structure of QRM that we learned from the center — these were the tools we needed to build a more efficient, flexible business," Gates reflects. "The Center for QRM gave us a focus, a starting point to improve upon."

QRM has partners worldwide
Indeed, the UW Center for QRM has given focus to its many industry partners around the world, including the Trek Bicycle Corp. in Waterloo; Varco B.J B.V. in Etten-Leur, The Netherlands; and Irving Shipbuilding in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada.
One of the center's largest industry partners, the John Deere Worldwide Commercial and Consumer Equipment Division, has embraced the concepts of QRM, and even has built QRM concepts into its supplier relationships. The results of this enterprise-wide effort have been astounding. Manufacturing critical-path times were reduced by 94 percent for wiring, by 93 percent for hydraulic valves and by 87 percent for consumer garden tractor blades.
"The center provided training for John Deere's engineers, who in turn passed on the knowledge and concepts to the suppliers," Rath explains. "It began at the John Deere plant in Horicon, Wis., and has been implemented throughout the entire Commercial and Consumer Equipment Division headquartered in Raleigh, N.C."
Paul Ericksen, division manager of supply management services at John Deere Worldwide, was the key leader of Deere's supplier development initiative that focused on QRM and is perhaps one of QRM's most eloquent and persuasive proponents. He notes that John Deere's Commercial and Consumer Equipment Division has gained tremendous manufacturing flexibility from QRM.
"If you can flex up your production above what was forecast, that's almost like gold," Ericksen says. "And that's what our division is known for. When forecasts come in, if we need to flex up, we can boost 20 percent with two weeks notice. And if we need to change the model mix, flexing up in one model and flexing down in another — if something is selling and something else isn't — we can do that, too."

An edge over low-wage countries
While the UW-Madison Center for QRM is having a quantifiable, positive impact on companies large and small throughout the United States, Suri contends that it could give American manufacturers an edge over low-wage countries that have been absorbing manufacturing jobs in recent years.
"With this QRM approach, companies have reduced lead times by more than 80 percent and product costs by 20-40 percent," Suri states. "These reductions eliminate the labor cost advantage of overseas competitors, showing that local manufacturers can recover their competitive edge and retain significant numbers of jobs in this country."

Where CFOs Come From

March 1, 2005

The Applied Corporate Finance Program in the School of Business at UW-Madison takes on some weighty financial questions from industry, here and abroad.
When a major corporation needs some special assistance in financial management — such as suggestions on how to deal with the fact it that it may have too much cash on hand — it can turn to the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Applied Corporate Finance Program (ACFIN) for expert advice.
ACFIN is the specialized MBA program in the School of Business for students aiming for careers in corporate finance.

Professor Jim Seward teaching his MBA students.

Photos by Bob Rashid
Students in this small, intense MBA program are gaining a reputation for their competence, maturity and foresight as they work with organizations to come up with recommendations and solutions to companies' financial challenges. Each semester, teams of three ACFIN MBA students work on four separate projects.
Organizations such as John Deere, Deutsche Securities, Medtronic, Qualcomm, 3M, Procter & Gamble, Berbee Information Networks, Promega and American Family Insurance have used ACFIN student teams to help analyze various financial issues and challenges.

Training tomorrow's CFOs
While industry gains from their labor, the projects primarily are intended to provide growth and learning opportunities for the students, who often are the CFOs of the future.
They learn fast, according to Professor Jim Seward, who started the program in 1999. He says he sees them grow in confidence, competence and professionalism in each successive project.
"Sometimes, on their first project, students come to me and ask where they can find the answers, what references they should use," says Seward, who outlines team projects on one-page summary sheets. "I tell them to use everything they've learned until now and figure out what other resources they need. There is no right answer to these complex problems."
ACFIN teams are expected to distill everything they learned into a written presentation, then deliver their results in an oral presentation to CEOs and other high-level corporate executives. This experience gives students the opportunity to develop comfort with their own expertise as they face powerful executives, Seward says. He sees marked growth in competence as students move from their first project to their fourth.
"I almost think we should video tape before and after — to show the students' growth in confidence from their first presentation to their fourth," he says.

What can happen to a bad idea
Although Seward is available "100 percent of the time" for students as they work their way through complex problems, he says he will not speak at the actual presentations to the industry clients.
"I tell the students don't even look at me," he says.
He notes that if there is a mistake, or bad data, it could be torn to shreds by members of the sponsoring organization.
"I tell the students you don't know who's going to be in that room. If you're criticizing what you believe is a terrible idea, and the author of that idea and his boss are in the room, you're going to be in for a rough time," Seward says.
Students get research assistance from undergraduate finance students who serve as a part of each team. Advice also is available from ACFIN's 24-member board of advisers, executives in strategic finance positions around the country. Students often call on board members, says Seward, to help decide if they have covered all their bases as they work on their reports. Board members from organizations such as AOL Time Warner, Citigroup, UBS Securities can give them a broader perspective on issues.
ACFIN has worked with companies as small as four people, up to corporate giants such as Procter & Gamble and 3M.

What to do with $5 billion?
In most cases, the sponsoring businesses accept the students' oral and written reports and implement some — or all — of their ideas. In some cases, the advice is not taken. After doing a critical and strategic evaluation of the company with too much cash, the ACFIN team recommended the corporation give back between $4 billion and $5 billion to shareholders. The organization chose to give shareholders closer to $1 billion, but not because the answer was wrong.
"It was just too dramatic a move for the conservative company," Seward says. It was one of many real-world lessons students got as part of their ACFIN experiences.
ACFIN projects are performed at no charge to the sponsoring organization and present a wide variety of complex challenges. They range from evaluating characteristics of a company's major competitors to providing recommendations for improving internal financial reports. Students working with Kraft Foods, for example, were asked to determine the attractiveness — from a valuation standpoint — of acquiring more properties in the natural foods segment and to suggest strategies for growing that business segment.

Working in the international arena
Students recently took on a project that involved issues of hedging and risk management for Titan Petrochemicals & Polymers Berhad in Malaysia. Although many projects require an international perspective, it was ACFIN's first internationally based project.
Seward, who is the program's executive director, comes to Wisconsin from Dartmouth, where he taught a variety of finance subjects. ACFIN, he says, is the synthesis of everything he felt should be included in a program aimed at producing corporate finance officers. No other school has the level of student involvement in actual finance projects, he states. When he came to Wisconsin, he brought along many Wall Street contacts with him, and the desire to create a premier program in the area of corporate finance.
That fit right into the school's strategy of creating top-quality MBA programs that are career-focused. When Dean Michael Knetter came to the school in 2002, he deleted many of the school's MBA offerings. ACFIN not only survived, but a $6.4 million gift from Milwaukee financier Albert "Ab" Nicholas, with another $2 million from an anonymous donor, assured the program a future as one of the school's premier MBA programs. The home of the ACFIN program now is officially the Nicholas Center for Applied Corporate Finance. A grand opening of its new quarters was celebrated on Sept. 30.

How industry clients are served
ACFIN students enjoy the amenities of a top MBA program. While Seward works with students on the academic side, center Director Cindie Horner works to develop relationships with industry that include placement, internships and projects. She also coordinates ACFIN's alumni relations and board events and supervises the students who serve as research assistants to the ACFIN teams.
"Our ACFIN program is unique in the depth and breadth it offers students," says Knetter. "Jim Seward and Cindie Horner, with help from the gift from Ab Nicholas, have developed an outstanding applied corporate finance program — not only for Wisconsin, but as a model for anyone who wants to give their students real-world experience."

Q&A with David Ward: Interim chancellor sets agenda to reform UW finances Read more:

David Ward may only be an interim chancellor, but he doesn't want the next two years to be wasted time for UW-Madison.
He's set out an ambitious agenda to implement newly gained authority from state government and reform the university's finances.
 "It's not a happy message," Ward said in an interview in his Bascom Hall office Wednesday, the day after his interim term was extended a year through summer 2013. "Even though people may applaud, a lot of them are very troubled by it. I don't see this as a quick fix."
Ward, 73, is a familiar face on Bascom Hill. He was chancellor from 1993 to 2001. Since Biddy Martin left in July and Ward took over, he's proved to be popular. It was in large part because of requests from students, faculty and staff members that his tenure was extended.
Here are edited excerpts of the interview:
Q: How did you make your decision to continue on for a second year?
A: I thought it would be a huge challenge to reassimilate. But to be very frank, it's like wearing old clothes. While the issues are different, functionally and culturally, the place seems to work like I remember it. ... Second thing, in terms of the extension, I tried to create a dialogue about change. Almost every public flagship institution is probably facing a revenue crisis. There's just not enough money to be of the quality we currently aspire to be. How can we use — if you like — self-help, as well as new money, to work our way through that? I want to create a dialogue about that.
Q: How did your wife (Judith Ward) feel about extending your term?
A: Whatever happens, I think we find it to be an adventure. It's not like committing the rest of your life. It's an incredible opportunity to do a limited number of things in a short period of time.
Q: Would you consider a permanent job as chancellor?
A: I wouldn't be an applicant. I'm old. I'll be 75 after two more years. My inclination is the university should look for younger leadership. I think I can be very helpful transitionally.
Q: You've said you've heard from almost everyone that salaries are a huge problem. Do you have a plan for bringing back raises or a pay plan?
A: I do think the morale-salary relationship is a problem. Having said that, I think everybody has to recognize that outside the university, it's not seen as a problem. In a recession, looking at a relatively high-paid, upper-middle-class occupation, if you're in a rural community or if you're in Racine, or even perhaps the East Side of Madison, there's something odd about this. I think there's an enormous communication problem in trying to express that issue. And by the way, the same is true of tuition increases.
Q: You've said the university needs to look to "self-help" to handle budget problems. What does that mean?
A: If we can find money in administrative savings, in rethinking how we're academically organized, or even persuade donors to think about the core budget as well as the excellence budget, maybe we can create a war chest that allows us to do something on the inside.
Q: Does that mean cutting jobs?
A: What it means is you resize. I'm not sure everybody gets cuts. There may be some areas where you have to increase as well. I'm not sure it's one-size-fits-all. ... Reallocation is something that universities have never — not just here, anywhere — been very good at.
Q: When will UW-Madison employees see pay raises next?
A: I don't know. What I'm suggesting would be very selective. I think it would have to be, maybe almost everybody receives it, but it would have to be based on merit. I think the challenge here is to do this in a way that doesn't arouse public ire.
Q: How would you gauge the university's relationship with the state Legislature?
A: I've met with leadership on both sides. I really wanted to see how they felt after the spring. It's fairly clear the idea of autonomy or independence for Madison is just not there politically. It's incumbent on me to figure out how I can help the (UW) System-campus relationship work more effectively. I think I've worked on that a lot. I've been very impressed by how Kevin Reilly and the (UW) Board (of Regents) have responded to the feeling of unhappiness with the System that came out of the debate about whether Madison should be a public authority.
Q: Are you a football fan? Predictions for Badgers season?
A: I came here in 1960, so I remember the Rose Bowl in '63, which I listened to on the radio. The next Rose Bowl was when I was chancellor. The next three. We won them, too. I'm a sports fan. I like ice hockey, too. ... It's very exciting to come back and see a very competitive team and see the kind of public bonding that comes from a football program. It's really a great form of outreach that we have.

Read more:

The Write Stuff

The Write Stuff
Even something as simple as that pen you hold in your hand can play an important part in how we save money and better manage university resources during these economic times.
Our efforts showed that there were 723 types of pens purchased at UW-Madison last year.  Of that, 295 were different types of black pens.  Imagine if, as a campus, we bought a smaller selection of pens.  That small change could mean savings of about $35,000 a year–funds that could support a staff position or better benefit our educational mission.

Monday, 17 October 2011

How to Say You’re Sorry: 10 CEO YouTube Apologies

Mike Lazaridis, the founder and co-CEO of Research In Motion, took to YouTube yesterday to apologize for the BlackBerry service outages that plagued his customers this week. In doing so, he joined many other corporate chiefs who have chosen to eat their hat on Google’s video-sharing service, staring into their webcams (or professional video equipment) for an effect that’s somewhere between intimate and “David After Dentist.” Below, we’ve collected 10 such examples of executive YouTube apologia, which is clearly an emerging art form.
Research In Motion
Lazaridis, sporting a BlackBerry polo shirt and standing in front of a neutral backdrop, offered a straightforward explanation of the BlackBerry outage without offering a timeline for when service woud be fully restored. Time to the word “apologize”: 18 seconds.

Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, took his YouTube video to the great outdoors last month and brought along COO Andy Rendich. Hastings said he was sorry for poorly communicating recent Netflix price increases, then surprised everyone by announcing that he intended to spin off his DVD business into a separate company called Qwikster. (There was no YouTube video when Hastings abandoned that plan this week.) Time to the word “apologize”: 17 seconds.

“Konichiwa,” began Groupon CEO Andrew Mason’s apology in January after the company faced a backlash in Japan over a botched New Year’s deal. He delivered the rest of the mea culpa in English with Japanese subtitles. Time to the word “sorry”: 34 seconds. 

David Neeleman, former CEO of JetBlue, was an early adopter of the YouTube confessional, turning to the form in 2007, when a breakdown of the airline’s operations stranded more than 130,000 passengers. Clearly working without a script, Neeleman outlined new policies at JetBlue but never explicitly apologized in the video. He lost his job a few months later.

Domino’s Pizza
In 2009, two Domino’s employees posted a video that — well, let’s not relive the incident, but it wasn’t anything you would want on your pizza. Patrick Doyle, then president of Domino’s USA, was dead serious in his YouTube apology: “Two team members have been dismissed, and there are felony warrants out for their arrest.” Time to the word “apologize”: 14 seconds.
Skype CEO Tony Bates was low-key and appropriately low-tech when his Internet calling service suffered a worldwide outage last year. “I know this has been a very tough 24 hours for many of our users,” Bates said, striking an empathetic note. He also promised credits for paying customers. Time to the word “apologize”: 13 seconds.

The high-speed railway that connects London and Paris was felled by snow in December 2009, leaving some passengers stranded between the two cities. Richard Brown, then CEO of Eurostar, didn’t exactly find a flattering light source, leading one YouTube commenter toobserve, “He looks like a kidnap victim.” But his apology was rapid, unequivocal and didn’t slack on reparations for affected customers. Time to the word “sorry”: 5 seconds.
How could this list not include BP? The company apologized in various forms after last year’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but the least equivocal mea culpa may have been then-CEO Tony Hayward’s 60-second TV spot that BP also posted to YouTube. Standing on the Gulf shoreline with a soundtrack of seagulls and b-roll of the spill, Hayward detailed BP’s cleanup efforts and said taxpayers wouldn’t have to pay. (He didn’t repeat his infamous line, “I’d like my life back.”) Hayward resigned later that summer. Time to the word “sorry”: 38 seconds.
Sony executives famously bowed at a press conference to apologize for a prolonged outage of PlayStation services and a breach of customer data. Kazuo Hirai, Sony’s president of consumer products, also took to YouTube from his minimalist office. His apologia is notable for the chill-out music playing in the background. Time to the word “apologies”: 19 seconds.
When Toyota faced massive safety recalls last year, most of the apologizing was done at press conferences in Japan. But the heads of Toyota’s international operations sometimes chose YouTube as their forum, including Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., and Jon Williams, commercial director of Toyota Great Britain. Lentz went for compassion while Williams preferred an extraordinarily detailed explanation of the problem. Time to the word “apologize” or “sorry”: 20 seconds (Lentz) and 4 minutes, 7 seconds (Williams).

    Saturday, 8 October 2011

    Informative website

    EEO training resource for recruitment consultants