News In Brief:

Student Shakes Head in Disagreement, Mouths Answer

(Cumnock 450) When EC student Yusef Smith gave the incorrect market size for the Japanese toy industry in class last week, EC student Kip Wirth shook his head “no” and mouthed the correct answer, students in their class noted. “After Yusef said ‘I think its something like $6 to $7 billion,’ Kip made this kinda ‘hmph’ sound under his breath,” said EC student Jane Alexander, who sits next to Wirth in two classes. “Then he started shaking his head and mouthed ‘Its $7.4 billion. Geez, doesn’t anyone look at the exhibits?'” Smith purportedly redeemed himself in Wirth’s eyes later in the class when he said Toys ‘R Us needed to get the US Trade Department on its side to help open up Japan to American retailing. According to another student, “As soon as Yusef started his comment, Kip started nodding his head in agreement.” The “yes” nodding allegedly continued for “seriously, like a half a minute.”

Case Discussion Continued on Spangler Couch

(Spangler Couch) Sitting on a large leather couch after class, three RC students continued to discuss the Edward Jones case, sources alleged last week. “I guess discussing the case in class for eighty minutes wasn’t enough,” said an annoyed EC student Meg Gaines, who tried to scan a VCPE case while she sat in a leather chair next to them. “All I could make out was that this ‘Tim’ guy still believed Edward Jones should’ve launched a huge internet initiative but this ‘Sandy’ chick was adamantly opposed to a low cost strategy. She said ‘Tim, Edward Jones should stick with the strategy that made them successful – differentiation!'” After Sally and Tim agreed to disagree, the third student, as Ms. Martha Jones, shifted gears completely. “We didn’t get a chance to talk about it the other day, but what do you guys think ’bout Wal-Mart’s strategy? Can it be easily duplicated? Or are there structurally barriers to K-Mart pursuing it?”

Valentine’s Day Action Plan Fails to get Student Any Action

(Hamilton Hall) Despite spending countless hours creating a “perfect” Valentine’s Day Action Plan, RC student Jason Chadwick somehow failed to get any action whatsoever this weekend. Top management experts, shocked and puzzled by the result, are currently studying the action plan to see where it may have fallen short. “If I were a woman – not just any woman, mind you, but one that is well-versed in the latest research trends in the fields of operations planning and organizational behavior – I would have given his plan a ‘one’ in my heart!” exclaimed a former TOM professor., “I mean, look at it! It included chocolate, roses, and other key elements of romantic success; he even incorporated international best-practices by taking her to an Italian restaurant, and ordering French champagne! Even the route for the walk home was a logistical beauty – linearly optimized to maximize hand-holding time. My analysis is that he did quite well in the short-term, but his follow-through on his medium- and long-term strategies was poor. Perhaps he didn’t adequately anticipate all contingencies? Or, perhaps he was squeezed out of the market by a differentiated competitor? Or, perhaps he is a hopeless dork.”

Determined to not let this failure be repeated by the next generation of the world’s business leaders, the school’s best analysts and case-writers are preparing a version of the incident to be taught in a future class: “TWAS: Trophy-Wife Acquisition Strategies”, an EC elective to be taught next Spring.

February 17, 2004
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