America Can Win Manufacturing in the 21st Century

It’s become conventional wisdom that the last 30 years have been a hotbed of innovation, but evidence suggests otherwise. As Robert Gordon explains in The Rise and Fall of American Growth, productivity growth peaked between 1920 and 1970 and has declined ever since. Economist Tyler Cowen calls this the Great Stagnation. Part of the reason for the dissonance is that ...

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How To Get The Most Out Of Crowdsourcing

Over the years I’ve written numerous times about not only the growth in crowdsourcing and other methods of open innovation, but the various studies seeking to understand how we can do so effectively.  It probably reached peak popularity a few years ago, when numerous studies emerged looking at everything from Innocentive style challenges to GalaxyZoo style citizen science projects. The ...

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Three Things to Help You Get Over Failure

The road to success isn’t lined with failure, it’s lined with this instead. We’ve all been there; the heartbreak of failing at something we desperately wanted to succeed at. You can’t call yourself an entrepreneur, much less an innovator, and not intimately know that experience of placing your head and face in your palms. Hell, you can’t call yourself human ...

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Healthy Dose of Amnesia

When doing both strategic planning and innovation work the biggest hurdles are your own experiences, world-views, and knowledge of the market and players in it. Sounds odd, I understand. You’ve worked hard to come to your understanding. Still, don’t trust it. These hurdles create blind spots, biases, and fatal assumptions. Don’t believe me. Look to the market for example after ...

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Separate Healthcare From Sick Care

We have a sick care system that masquerades as a healthcare system. Yet, taking care of patients with acute disease is a lot different than disease prevention, chronic care and complex chronic care disease management and population health. We need to unbundle the two and create systems, manpower and education programs designed to address the unique challenges of each. We ...

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How To Win In The New Era Of Innovation

IBM, to a large degree, invented the information technology industry. For the first half of the 20th century, it dominated the market for tabulating machines. Then digital computing posed new challenges and, by the 1950s it had begun to cede ground to UNIVAC, which led to Thomas Watson Jr’s $5 billion gamble to build the System 360. That effort was transformative, but ...

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Why You Can’t Innovate

We cling dearly to certainty, at virtually any cost–but the cost is often much greater than we realize. I will warn you at the outset that what I’m about to share is anything but intuitive. In fact you and I share 200,000 years of programming that often conspires against our intuitive desire to innovate. A recent WSJ article cited a ...

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Top Five Technological Innovations in Medicine

Over the last few years, the health industry has experienced a major shift in technological innovations. What seemed impossible years ago can be solved now only with the touch of buttons. Modern technological innovations in drugs and equipment have completely revolutionized the health sector. The medical machines and the computers that power them are now becoming more smaller, faster and ...

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Should You Fix the Problem or Design it Out?

Let’s start with the problem. According to The Plastic Pollution Coalition (January 3, 2017) – “It’s National Drinking Straw Day! Each day, more than 500 million plastic straws are used and discarded in the U.S. alone. Plastic straws consistently make the top ten list of items found, according to Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup data. In the last three years, ...

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A 270 Year Old Mathematical Formula Can Teach Us A Lot About Innovation

Accountants tell us that numbers don’t lie, because for them numbers are the same as facts. Mathematicians see it differently though. They see numbers as abstract representations of reality that, when combined with other numbers, have an almost mystical ability to create patterns that unlock hidden truths. In other words, as the great early 20th century numbers theorist G. H. ...

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