Getting mission statements right | MBA Learnings

We recently looked at a few mission statements in our Values Based Leadership class:

Wal-Mart: We save people money so they can live better.
Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad: Our vision is to realize the tremendous potential of the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway by providing transportation services that consistently meet our customers’ expectations.
Dow Chemical: To constantly improve what is essential to human progress by mastering science and technology.

As we went through these statements, our comments were around the following ideas:

Prof. Kraemer on ‘Becoming the Best’

Prof. Harry Kraemer confesses that he does not do Q&As.

He does Q&Os.

“I have very few answers but a lot of opinions,” Kraemer said recently. One thing he is passionately opinionated about is leadership, and many of his thoughts on the topic can be found in his new book, “Becoming the Best: Build a World-Class Organization Through Values-Based Leadership,” which is available for purchase today.

In his first book, “From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership,” Kraemer showed how self-reflection, balance, true self-confidence and genuine humility are the four traits of today’s most effective leaders. In “Becoming the Best,” he explains anyone can apply these principles to become a values-based leader and help create values-based organizations.

Do defaults save lives? | MBA Learnings

A powerful study by Goldstein and Johnson in 2003 explored the relevance of defaults in organ donation. We discussed their findings and the implications in our class on “Values based Leadership.” Most countries have big problems with organ donations due to the large gaps between the number of donors and the number who need organs. However, this graph illustrating the difference in organ donation rates in the European Union is telling.

The sandwich strategy | MBA Learnings

A case study on “The sandwich strategy:”

Federal Express (FedEx) created an overnight delivery service toto compete with the United States Postal Service (USPS). Responding to FedEx’s entry and early success, USPS created a product called Express Mail priced at $8.95, as compared to FedEx’s $12.

FedEx, had it been like most companies, would have reduced price and gone to war with the USPS. But, price is not just a number. It is a way of signaling value and FedEx understood that. So, they responded by redefining their market.