Thursday, March 24, 2005

Knowledge@Wharton | Blogs, Affordable Drugs, and Strategic Management

Well, if something is around long enough, eventually the Wharton School will opine on it (Football, blogs ...). I just received the latest Knowledge@Wharton Newsletter, and there are three stories that caught my attention: Blogs, Everyone? Weblogs Are Here to Stay, but Where Are They Headed?
Recently, blogs have been credited with everything from CBS News anchorman Dan Rather's departure, to unauthorized previews of the latest Apple Computer products, to new transparency in presidential campaigns. The big question is whether blogs, short for weblogs, have the staying power to become more than just online diaries. Will bloggers upend the mainstream media? What legal protections should bloggers have? Is there a blogger business model? While no definitive answers exist just yet, experts at Wharton advise questioners to be patient. Blogging, they note, will be around for a long time.
The Price of Progress: Can Drug Companies Make Medicines More Affordable?
The pricing system for drugs in the United States is broken, according to David Brennan, executive vice president of the North American division of AstraZeneca, the drug maker with headquarters in the U.K. and Sweden. Trouble is, no one, including the drug companies themselves, has any clear idea how to fix it. Speaking at a Wharton healthcare conference in February, Brennan said he doesn't advocate a radical overhaul: Such a move could hurt the productivity of an industry that has contributed substantially to advances in human health and longevity during the last three decades. What's needed, he argued, is realistic cooperation among all the players -- drug makers, insurers, consumers, doctors, hospitals and employers.
Got a Good Strategy? Now Try to Implement It
For nearly 30 years, Wharton management professor Lawrence G. Hrebiniak has taken the art of business strategy and put it under a microscope. Over time, he has brought one critical element into irrefutable focus: Creating strategy is easy, but implementing it is very difficult. In his new book, Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change (Wharton School Publishing), Hrebiniak presents a comprehensive model to help business leaders bridge the gap between strategy making and successful strategy execution. He challenges executives to recognize that making strategy work is more difficult than setting a strategic course - but also more important -- and he documents the obstacles that get in the way of successful performance.

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