TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

Why Talented People Don't Use Their Strengths

Experts have long encouraged people to "play to their strengths." But based on my observations, this is easier said than done, because we often undervalue what we inherently do well. As a leader, the challenge is not only to spot talent but also to convince your people that you value their talents and that they should, too. Begin by identifying the strengths of each member of your team. You might ask them, "What compliments do you tend to dismiss?" since people often downplay what they do most easily. Once you've identified their key strengths, ask them, "Are you doing work that draws on your strengths? Are we taking on projects that make the most of your strengths?" If the answer is no, reassign people to new roles where their strengths will be put to better use.

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

How Moderna, Home Depot, and others are succeeding with AI

When pharmaceutical company Moderna announced the first clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine, it was a proud moment but not a surprising one for Dave Johnson, the company's chief data and artificial intelligence officer.

When Johnson joined the company in 2014, he helped put in place automated processes and AI algorithms to increase the number of small-scale messenger RNA (mRNA) needed to run clinical experiments. This groundwork contributed to Moderna releasing one of the first COVID-19 vaccines (using mRNA) even as the world had only started to understand the virus' threat.

"The whole COVID vaccine development, we're immensely proud of the work that we've done there, and we're immensely proud of the superhuman effort that our people went through to bring it to market so quickly," Johnson said during a bonus episode of the MIT Sloan Management Review podcast "Me, Myself, and AI."

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

First GM, now Ford - why India is becoming a graveyard for world's auto giants

India is a market for low-priced cars with low running costs, and global majors don't have the models to match Maruti and Hyundai's entry-level vehicles.

If you leave out Hyundai, which has become a bigger car manufacturer than Ford and General Motors (by numbers, not value), the top four global makers of automobiles command barely 6 per cent of the Indian passenger vehicle market. Among them, General Motors (GM) left India four years ago. Ford's announced exit now will make little difference since it has less than 2 per cent of the market. And the global No. 1 (Volkswagen), together with its Skoda subsidiary, has barely 1 per cent. Of the big four, Toyota has been the most successful, but has barely 3 per cent of the market. And recall that even Toyota, while complaining of high taxes, announced a halt last year to further investment in India before quickly retracting. Regardless, it has stopped the production of two three-box models, the Etios and Corolla Altis. Honda on its part has stopped the production of the Civic and Accord.

So why is India becoming a graveyard for the world's auto majors? One answer is that the Indian car market is no longer what it once promised to be, its global ranking expected to move from fourth to third - again, measured by vehicle numbers, not value. Instead, it has slipped to fifth (overtaken by Germany) because the market levelled off and then shrank for two years before recovering this financial year. This is part of the larger story about the loss of momentum in India's consumer markets.

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