Science

Storytelling, the Brain & Work Culture

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I love the quote by the poet Muriel Rukeyser that says “The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” Humans live for stories. We learn from stories at home, school, from friends, and also very compellingly at work. Humans within a work culture are motivated by stories. Look at the famous founding myths of HP and Apple in the garages, of Fred Smith and FedEx, and ...

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Inside Four Decades of Breakthroughs at IBM Research

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American industry has a rich heritage of top-notch corporate labs. Bell Labs created not only the transistor, but also other fundamental breakthroughs, such as the laser and information theory. PARC, developed much of the technology we associate with modern computers, such as the mouse and the graphical user interface. Both labs have attained mythical status and rightly so. Yet IBM ...

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Innovation Doubts

Innovation Doubts

One of the first concepts I learned in a university course on statistics was not about regression analysis or significance of results but, rather, on the importance of doubt. Our professor drilled home the point that no matter how large our dataset and how clever our hypothesis, our results should always be presented using language such as “suggests” or “points ...

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Learning Innovation from Leonardo Da Vinci

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This article focuses on a series of observations about Leonardo’s work and applies those to the challenges of the present-day innovator. When one thinks of Leonardo da Vinci and innovation, the typical picture that emerges would be some of Leonardo’s amazing designs for flying machines, military equipment, or even the Vitruvian Man, perhaps the most famous drawing in history.  I ...

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How Innovative Companies Get their Best Ideas from Academic Research

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Since World War II, the United States has been an innovation superpower. In virtually every advanced field, whether it be information technology, biotechnology, agriculture or renewable energy, America holds a leading position. Other nations may challenge in one field or another, but no one can match its depth and breadth. To account for its success, many point to America’s entrepreneurial ...

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