Management

Managing Failure

Failure is inevitable for most new ventures. It’s inevitable because the high risks involved for most new ventures make success difficult to achieve; if it wasn’t risky, then someone would have successfully launched the venture years earlier. But how we react to failure is one of the keys to success for the next venture. In their classic study of entrepreneurism ...

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May the Lateral Force be With Us

In its simplest form, the status quo can be represented as two forces of the same magnitude applied in opposite directions. They compensate each other, such that nothing move. Then imagine a small lateral force being applied that tilts the two opposite forces from their axis. All of a sudden, the equilibrium (or status quo) is disrupted and movement starts. ...

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Evaluating Ideas

What’s the difference between a good idea and a bad idea? If you don’t know, then read on! When someone in a company proposes a new idea to management, an informal two step process is often followed – usually unconsciously. The first step is a gut-instinct evaluation. The manager looks at the idea, thinks about it and, if she likes ...

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How to Motivate Innovators

Organizations use a variety of tools to motivate employees to participate in their innovation efforts. The most common form of motivation involves compensation via a points system. When you contribute an idea, solution, comment or vote, you get points – much like American Express Membership Rewards points – that can be used to buy a variety of items: company T-shirts, ...

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10 Tensions in Innovation

In a series of journal articles, Charles O’Reilly and Michael Tushman have talked about the importance of being an ambidextrous organization in order to succeed at innovation. To be ambidextrous, organizations have to be good at both exploration and exploitation. All this sounds a bit academic, so here it is in clearer terms (I hope!): firms that are successful at ...

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Vision versus Mission

Today’s question was posed by a CEO who asked: “Can you define the difference between vision and mission?” What a great question…it’s always refreshing to me when an executive checks their ego and asks a clarifying question (a characteristic of great leaders by the way) rather than pretend they know the answer. The reason this is such a great question ...

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Innovation 101 – Develop Talent

If the goal is to develop markets start by developing talent. If you want to accomplish the most amazing things focus on developing the talent of amazing people. Mentoring and coaching are the most important leadership roles. Innovation starts by surrounding yourself and connecting with the best talent. If you want to attract the best talent develop a reputation as ...

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Innovation – Do you WANT to win? Well, do you?

If you’ve never been to the annual Business Innovation Factory conference (BIF as it is affectionately known), it’s really quite a trip. More of a mini-TED conference than anything specifically innovation related – it’s all about enabling people to share stories about things they’ve achieved, thought of, experienced, and so on. The end result is that you don’t necessarily walk ...

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Do You Know Why You Are Successful…or Not?

I just gave a presentation on “Happiness at Work” in Norway. I started with the following question: “True or false – People with more money are happier.” 100% of the audience believed that the statement was false. In reality, the statement is true. Researchers have shown that people with more money are happier. When people hear this, they immediate assume ...

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