Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Britain's changing High Street

Interesting facts and figure. Some of these could be sources of uncertainty particularly on the socio-cultural front.

Britain's changing High Street
The UK economy continued to grow, according to the latest figures, but consumer spending has slowed and retailers across the country are still feeling the effects of the recession. And research commissioned by the BBC into the number of vacant shops in England, Wales and Scotland suggests our changing consumer habits, as well as the downturn, are transforming the face of our High Streets.

Read the whole article at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11915437

Saturday, 30 October 2010

China reassures US on key 'rare earth' minerals

Could rare earth materials availability become an uncertainty for the future of some industries?

China reassures US on key 'rare earth' minerals
China has reassured the US it has no intention of withholding "rare earth" minerals from the market, the US Secretary of State has said.
China suspended export of the metals, key to the global high-tech industry, to Japan after a diplomatic spat.

Read the whole artile at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11657982

Monday, 18 October 2010

Terrorism and cyber attacks among top threats to UK

For businesses that rely on online transactions, the cyber-terrorism is a significant uncertainty for the future.

Terrorism and cyber attacks among top threats to UK

Terrorism and attacks on computer networks are among the biggest threats to the UK, Home Secretary Theresa May has said ahead of the publication of a new National Security Strategy
The strategy will form the background for Tuesday's Strategic Defence Review, setting out the shape of UK forces after expected budget cuts of 8%.

Read the whole article at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11562969##

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Microsoft's Bing deepens ties with Facebook

Good example of how Microsoft creates synergies between one of its SBUs (search engine) and facebook.com (which they do not own 100% but they are one of the main shareholders). This actually workds as a good example of how strategic alliances work, too. Interesting to note, that Microsoft has spent almost a decade trying to catch up Google and it seems that are not capable of developing the reource/capability in terms of technology and they are definetely lacking in terms of reputation; however creating synergies with the most popular networking site could help them boost Bing's popularity and usage.

Microsoft's Bing deepens ties with Facebook

Microsoft's Bing search engine has begun showing US users which sites and products their Facebook friends like.
The move is an attempt to make web search results more personal.
It is part of a four-year alliance between the two companies and marks another step in Microsoft's attempt to displace market leader Google.

Read the whole article at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11540661

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Edward E. Whitacre Jr.

Whitacre is a good example of 'expertise' leadership, he is brought in problematic companies and helps them recover.

Edward E. Whitacre Jr.
Edward E. Whitacre, the former chairman of AT&T, was named the chairman of the "New G.M.'' on June 9, 2009, as the federal government continued to shake up the bankrupt auto giant. The company said in January 2010 that he would become G.M.'s permanent chief executive. The move was not unexpected given how he had taken control of management since the ouster of G.M.'s former chief executive, Fritz Henderson.

Read the whole article at: http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/w/edward_e_whitacre_jr/index.html?inline=nyt-per
This is a classic example of strategic management. A series of factors in the macro environment increase the attaractiveness of an industry. BHP enters this industry, with an aquicition (note the bidding process). This is a vertical integration. Their strategy is justified by their long the vision.

BHP Billiton launches hostile bid for Potash

Mining giant BHP Billiton has launched a $40bn (£25.8bn) hostile takeover bid of Canadian firm Potash Corp after having had an initial offer rejected.
On Tuesday, Potash, the world's largest fertiliser producer snubbed BHP's offer, saying it undervalued the firm.

Read the whole article at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11009145

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

“Straddling” bus–a cheaper, greener and faster alternative to commute

Not really an uncertainty as the key word indicates, but for those working on scenario planning it may provide some inspiration on uncertainty regarding forms of transportation, urbanisation, city life development, technology etc.

“Straddling” bus–a cheaper, greener and faster alternative to commute

A big concern on top of urban transportation planner’s mind is how to speed up the traffic: putting more buses on the road will jam the roads even worse and deteriorate the air; building more subway is costly and time consuming. Well, here is an cheaper, greener and fast alternative to lighten their mind up a bit: the straddling bus, first exhibited on the 13th Beijing International High-tech Expo in May this year. In the near future, the model is to be put into pilot use in Beijing’s Mentougou District (bjnews). (The official site of the high-tech expo put it as 3D fast bus, which I think is more confusing, for now I’ll just call it the straddling bus.)

Read the whole article at: http://www.chinahush.com/2010/07/31/straddling-bus-a-cheaper-greener-and-faster-alternative-to-commute/

Friday, 2 July 2010

Google enters travel market with flight data purchase

Google is diversifying while building on its core competences.

Google enters travel market with flight data purchase
By Daniel EmeryTechnology reporter, BBC News

Search engine giant Google has entered the travel market after acquiring flight information firm ITA Software.
ITA provides software that organises fares, flight and journey times that are used by airlines, travel agents and flight comparison sites such as Orbitz.
Google said it may well expand the scope, enabling users to search directly for flight destinations.

Read the whole article at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/10486358.stm