How NASA Used an Unforgettable Image to Brilliantly Communicate a Big Message

In Arthur C. Clarke’s classic Space Odyssey Sci-fi series a recurring theme is the presence of a large back monolith built by an ancient civilization. The monolith has transformational powers that alter the trajectory of humanity, starting with our ancient cave-dwelling ancestors and then following our evolution through the modern day and into the future. While the questions of who ...

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Don’t Treat the Symptoms – Turn off the Pump

Find the Root Cause In August 1854, there was a deadly outbreak of cholera in the Soho district of central London. Cholera leads to diarrhoea, vomiting, dehydration, and in many cases to death. Thousands of people fell ill and over 600 died. At that time, medical authorities believed that cholera was caused by ‘miasma’ – a type of ‘bad air’ ...

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Real Reason Shoppers Are Not Returning

Malls are closing. Retail stores are fighting to stay afloat. Analysts expect that more than 6,000 stores will close in 2019. More than 40,000 employees are expected to be laid off. The blame is often cast on the new digital retail experience. Yes, the way a consumer shops is radically different than even just a few years ago, but consider ...

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Therantology

The Theranos story continues to unfold in the headlines and will likely be the stuff of Harvard Business School cases for years to come. Here is a brief history of Theranos. and where they find themselves now. According to the WSJ, Theranos Inc. said it will shut down its blood-testing facilities and shrink its workforce by more than 40%. Now, she has been ...

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Testing Your Business Model

Sometimes we get caught up in the details when we should be working on the foundation. Here’s a rule: If the underlying foundation is not secure, don’t bother working on anything else. If you’re working on a couple new technologies, but the overall business model won’t be profitable, don’t work on the new technologies. Instead, figure out a business model ...

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Here’s What You Need To Know To Compete In An Ecosystem Driven World

In 1980, a young Harvard Business School professor named Michael Porter published Competitive Strategy, which drove thinking on the subject for the next 30 years. In essence, he argued that you build sustainable competitive advantage by maximizing bargaining power throughout a value chain. Yet more recently, that kind of single firm level analysis has been called into question and leaders ...

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Leading People in the Imagination Age

Most of us are aware that the nature of work is changing. According to Singularity University, while emerging technologies may destroy many jobs, they will also create many new appealing ones. Widespread innovation, in the imagination age, will give birth to exciting new industries, all of which are sources of new jobs and occupations. It’s exciting to imagine an intriguing parallel ...

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Empathy, Integrative Thinking and Innovation

I write and play music as a creative hobby. It doesn’t pay terribly well, but it is fun, and can also occasionally trigger insights into the creative process that translate into the broader innovation space. Most recently, it caused me to revisit integrative thinking, a concept I was first introduced to by Roger Martin in his excellent book The Opposable Mind. Whether ...

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We Need to Stop Glorifying Failure and Do This Instead

Over 50% of startups fail (and that number goes up to 75% for venture backed startups). The same is true of about three quarters of corporate transformations, which is probably why the average lifespan on the S&P 500 continues to shrink. These statistics tell a humbling story: few significant endeavors ever actually succeed. So it’s probably not surprising that we’ve ...

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