The first ever meeting of Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts held in 1956 ended with a declaration from delegates that intelligent computers would be a commonplace in our lives in that decade or soon after. However, progress seemed to be illusory and the disappointment of Expert Systems at the start of the 1980s meant for many business leaders, AI came to mean ‘big hype’.
As supply chains become increasingly complex, identifying the legal risks inherent in managing such a widely dispersed network of suppliers, manufacturers and other trading partners is key to spotting issues and being able to solve them as soon as possible. Global supply chains come under threat from a wide range of risks including natural disasters, financial crisis, strikes, and, perhaps a most prominent concern of late, cybercrime and terrorism.
Stewart Macaulay – Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Wisconsin Law School – occupies a unique place in the evolution, awareness and acceptance of relational contracting. In fact one might safely argue that he helped set relational contract theory in motion in 1957, with the publication of his famous article, ‘Non-Contractual Relations in Business: A Preliminary Study.’ He was 26.
Economist and philosopher Deirdre McCloskey has some thought-provoking and highly nuanced takes on innovation and ethics in the commercial arena.
How about this for starters: capitalism is innovation, in her estimation. And she contends that capitalism/innovation backed by liberal economic ideas “has made billions of poor people pretty well off, without hurting other people.” Did I mention she is also controversial?
The tricky question that most if not all companies face on a constant basis is how to get their suppliers fully engaged and committed to – and even be instrumental in driving – innovation.
While the importance of innovation is a given that dates back more than 50 years to the teachings of Peter Drucker in The Practice of Management (1954), it has only been fairly recently that academics and organisations have been studying how to make innovation go from idea to reality. John W. Henke Jr. and Chun Zhang are two such academics.
Jean Tirole, the French professor of economics who recently received the Nobel Prize, is one of the most influential modern economists for his extensive theories and rigorous mathematic analysis of strategic behaviour and information economics in what is known as “Industrial Organisation” (IO).
As part of his research, he studied firms and markets where a firm had “power” to dominate the market and perhaps abuse that power.
Clay Shirky, New York University professor, author, and a leading thinker on the effects of the internet on society, delves into the disruptive power of technology and collaboration on how people live and work.
At some point a buyer and supplier will talk about pricing, maybe not right away – but it’s always the elephant in the room. Pricing is also potentially the most volatile topic, and could be a deal-breaker if the negotiation is not handled correctly.
If you’ve been in the outsource industry for more than five minutes you probably know that buyer-seller relationships are, well, complicated. And just when you think you have the collaboration thing nailed, more complications can ensue.
Do you have one of those really tough business problems that seems to plague you? No matter what you try, nothing seems to solve the problem?