Saturday, December 29, 2012
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Social Media and Social Business Acquisitions Galaxy (Nov., 2012), a photo by Dion Hinchcliffe on Flickr.
Now and before (see next entry)
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
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Sunday, October 28, 2012
Gerd leonhard, Media futurist, author, keynote speaker, strategist, think-tank leader, advisor at Www.mediafuturist.com | SlideShare
'via Blog this'
Saturday, October 27, 2012
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Sunday, August 19, 2012
Over the last 10 years I’ve been heavily involved in 4 different businesses, Teamstudio (Software), ETM Manufacturing (Precision Engineering), ADMET (Materials Testing Systems Manufacturer) and Net Atlantic (Email Marketing). The first three achieved Inc 5000 status (fastest growing businesses in the US) with growth rates between 40% to 1800% and Net Atlantic’s growth would have put it in the top levels of the Inc list if it had applied!
Based on that experience and observations from successful innovators, we created an Innovation Playbook. A collection of principles and ideas that help stimulate innovation. Some of the key ingredients are captured below:
- Innovation is as much about improving the old not just inventing the new (Jeff Bezos of Amazon in a recent FT article)
- Innovators aren’t exceptional as much as they are confident. (David Kelley, founder of design firm IDEO)
- Innovation is teachable. Innovation must solve a real life problem, by first defining the problem through research and direct observation. Second step involves “ideation” – visualalize and brainstorm potential solutions. Thirdly prototyping, build, test, iterate, rebuild and test again. Fourthly, Collaboration – a team with radical different views learns the most and leads to the best results. (David Kelley and George Kembel founded the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stamford a nondegree d.school with $35m from SAP founder Hasso Plattner.)
- Hal Gregersten of INSEAD & Clayton M. Christensen of Harvard Business School interviewed 100 innovative entrepreneurs for their book – The Innovator’s DNA and discovered 5 key skills:
- Cognitive skill – associating – the ability to make connections across unrelated fields
- Behavioral skill – questioning – the ability to diagnose
- Behavioral skill – observe – the ability to spot the signals
- Behavioral skill – network – the ability to collaborate
- Behavioral skill – experiment – the ability to try, fail, iterate, modify, try again
- When Brad Smith came to Intuit as the new CEO in 2008, the company was struggling to get new products to markets. Overly complex, the R&D teams hadn’t been reorganized in 27 years. He implemented a highly successful new agile system forming teams as small as two people.
- Booz Research showed that in 2009 the top 10 names out 1000s of public companies included Microsoft, Nokia and Roche. However at #70 was Apple. A company everyone thinks as innovative. The research revealed that to deliver effective research, management need to align spending tightly with strategic goals. It could certainly be argued that Apple secures a much higher bang for their buck at $1.8Bn than Microsoft’s $9Bn.
- And Innovation can come from Tweaking an existing idea! As brilliantly illustrated by Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker diving into the new biography on Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Gladwell highlights the role of Jobs as a tweaker of an idea, then a transformation of that idea into something better, for example:
- Existing music players sucked so Jobs introduced the iPod
- Smart phones sucked so he introduced the iPhone
- He borrowed the main features of the Macintosh from the engineers at Xerox PARC after his visit in 1979.
- After being harassed by a family friend who was a Microsoft engineer, claiming that the Microsoft tablet PC software would transform the world, he was inspired to produce the iPad.
- Create a mini University and teach your staff the essential skills they need to fulfill the requirements of their role. In addition teach them about other departments in your business. Bring them to a deeper appreciation of the diverse skills in your company.
- Teach your staff to be curious. Rarely is the software bug solved first time by the obvious answer. Rarely is the financial variance explained away by the simple version of the truth. Rarely is the explanation offered up by the salesman the real reason for a deal not closing.
- Teach sales professionals that they are defined by the questions they ask not by their product knowledge.
- Pull together multi-department teams to launch new products, execute major acquisitions, install new IT systems.
- Use Swot teams with diverse skills to investigate that new market, improve internal controls, look for efficiency improvements.
- Test early the look and feel of that new web site, or early versions of that new product to really experience the end product in the real world.
- Use scenario planning to visualize various versions of your business model, or various versions of your business. Be courageous. Imagine what is possible to define and dominate your unique market. Dream big.
- Bring innovation to all aspects of your business by asking the right question:
- eg – regular meetings – ask – what question is this meeting answering?
- eg – sales – what business result can I deliver for this prospect?
- eg – new products – what is the size of the potential market I’m attacking and what itch am I really scratching?
- When launching products remember to keep all relevant departments in line. I call it the DSMO. Development, Sales, Marketing and Operations should all be part of the launch team. Each with their own timetable for success but aligned to make launch day a success.
Innovation can happen everywhere. Don’t be contrained with inventing the next big thing. Think about some of these principles and make sure you keep investment closely aligned to your Positioning. Create a buzz, a curiosity, a sense of purpose in your organization, and you will create an innovative culture.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
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Note from Beth: I'm just finishing up an intensive training here in Rwanda. I was out in a rural area where Internet connectivity was a huge challenge, so was not able to blog, But now that I'm back in Kigali with a good Internet connection, expect to hear more about my experience teaching social media and the Networked NGO. Right before I left for this trip, Geri Stengel, shared a guest post about nonprofits and use of LinkedIn that was of interest to many folks. So, when Geri offered up this second post about nonprofits and LinkedIn, I couldn't resist.Need Answers: LinkedIn Has Them – guest post by Geri Stengel
LinkedIn groups are an interesting way of taking the pulse of a specific community on a topic and collecting feedback on challenges you face. It’s also a way of becoming a thought-leader, by answering the questions of others. Yet, it is not one of the top five reasons nonprofits use social media.
As an example, here’s a philosophical question for you, one that needs practical answers: To what extent can you engage with unethical partners without becoming tainted yourself? Or, as posed on the Chronicle of Philanthropy LinkedIn Group:
Can philanthropy ever be evil? Do nonprofits have an obligation to consider morality of the sources of their funding? Has anyone ever confronted this issue?
Much of the “good” done throughout history has been financed by what one could call “repentant sinners,” such as Carnegie with his libraries, funded by the exploitation of labor in the days of the robber barons.
Some might put the new David Koch theater at Lincoln Center in that category as well yet how are libraries and other social needs to be funded if we turn down money from “tainted” sources?
Komen for the Cure is a perfect example of this conundrum. At one point, it entered a partnership with KFC, whose menu is viewed by many as contributing to many health problems and thus is a bizarre partner for Komen, which is dedicated to women’s health. But a lot of money was raised for women’s health.
In the LinkedIn discussion, Suzanne McDonald gives the example of Coca Cola, which is funding AIDS prevention in Africa but being sued in India for contaminating groundwater. Is the work in Africa worth the lives of those in India?
But, in Marshall McNott’s opinion, we are all flawed in some way and nonprofits would be defunct if donors had to pass an ethical/moral litmus test.
How should a nonprofit weigh the source of funds against the importance of its own mission?
Our choices and our voices matter.
Which is why LinkedIn discussions are important. You get a variety of opinions, options to weigh, and ways to proceed (policy about funders anyone?) as well as being able to show who you are by voicing your own opinion.
What would you answer to the question posed above? What is your organization’s policy about the source of funding?
If you liked this article, you may also like:
- Putting the Power of LinkedIn to Use for Your Nonprofit
- How LinkedIn’s New Profile Section Can Help Nonprofits Fundraise, Find the People They Need
- Social Media for Your Nonprofit: Take Charge!
- How LinkedIn Can Improve Nonprofit Governance
- Social Media: A New Way to Pass Wisdom on to Leaders
Thursday, June 7, 2012
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012
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Friday, June 1, 2012
Monday, May 28, 2012
Friday, May 25, 2012
This hopelessness manifests itself in many ways. One is a sort of pathological conservatism, where people forgo even feasible things with potentially large benefits for fear of losing the little they already possess.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
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This Is Generation Flux: Meet The Pioneers Of The New (And Chaotic) Frontier Of Business | Fast Company
Our institutions are out of date; the long career is dead; any quest for solid rules is pointless, since we will be constantly rethinking them; you can't rely on an established business model or a corporate ladder to point your way; silos between industries are breaking down; anything settled is vulnerable.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
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Friday, January 27, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor® Credentialing Program | Pepperdine University | Graziadio School of Business and Management
Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor® Credentialing Program | Pepperdine University | Graziadio School of Business and Management
Monday, January 23, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Next Tuesday, my colleague Gibran Rivera and I are excited to lead a webinar hosted by our friends at the Leadership Learning Community called “If You Till It They Will Come: Nurturing Collective Leadership.” The above slide is a bit of a sneak peak, and certainly one of the headier, nonetheless important, elements we will cover. The idea behind this graphic comes from the work of Carol Sanford, who has highlighted the fact that our leadership and change methodologies are always grounded in an underlying belief system about what we hold to be true about the world and humanity. Not being aware of or transparent about this can get us into difficulty when we are mixing and matching techniques/methods that may contradict one another, or when we are not operating from the same system of beliefs as others. So here is how we are tracing the roots of our approach to cultivating collective leadership for social change:
- Epistemology – Epistemology speaks to how we know what we know. Underlying our approach to collective leadership is the belief that there are multiple ways of knowing, not just cerebral, analytical, or intellectual. In addition, we can know about the world and humanity in more intuitive, affective, kinetic, and “spiritual” ways.
- Cosmology – Our view is that the universe is evolving, engaged in ongoing emergence of new form and function. We look to complex living systems and networks as being the underlying dynamic of our reality.
- Ontology – In keeping with our cosmological view, our understanding of the nature of human being is that it is dynamic and developmental. We are human beings and becomings. We can learn and unlearn, acquire new capacities, and self-organize to create and innovate.
- Technology/Methodology – Our operating methaphor for cultivating collective leadership for change is “gardening” (rather than field generaling), and perhaps more specifically Permaculture gardening. We look to as set of practices that intentionality create the conditions (till the soil) for collective leadership to emerge and that feed its development, while humbly acknowledging that we cannot predict everything that will ensue.
From this foundation, we will offer our additional thoughts about a framework that can help to organize our thinking, approach, and tools to unleashing collective intelligence and effort.