Author Archives: Greg Satell

How To Prepare Your Organization For Innovation

In 1919, Mahatma Gandhi initiated a campaign of civil disobedience, including the sale of banned literature, fasting, prayer and work stoppages, to protest the oppressive Rowlatt Acts the British had recently passed. These were an immediate success, but soon turned disastrous and ultimately ended with the massacre at Amritsar. He would later call this his Himalayan miscalculation. “I realized that before ...

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How Amazon Innovates

In 2014, Stephenie Landry was finishing up her one-year stint as Technical Advisor to Jeff Wilke, who oversees Amazon’s worldwide consumer business, which is a mentor program that allows high potential executives to shadow a senior leader and learn first-hand. Her next assignment would define her career. At most companies, an up-and-comer like Stephenie might be given a division to ...

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Here’s How Investors Are Adapting To The New Era Of Innovation

In recent decades, innovation has become almost synonymous with digital technology. That wasn’t always true, of course. Long before the microchip was invented, we built an industrial economy based on electricity and internal combustion, harnessed the power of the atom and developed life-saving cures. Nevertheless, lately everything seems to be digital. Entrepreneurs who create software apps and consumer gadgets can ...

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Four Principles Of Digital Transformation

When Steve Jobs and Apple launched the Macintosh with great fanfare in 1984, it was to be only one step in a long journey that began with Douglas Engelbart’s Mother of All Demos and the development of the Alto at Xerox PARC more than a decade before. The Macintosh was, in many ways, the culmination of everything that came before. ...

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How Virtual Reality Will Drive the Future of Business

In 1961, the first minicomputer, called the PDP-1, arrived at the MIT Electrical Engineering Department. It was a revolutionary machine but, as with all things that are truly new and different, no one really knew what to do with it. Lacking any better ideas, a few of the proto-hackers in residence decided to build a game. That’s how Spacewar! was ...

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Four Things Nobody Ever Tells You About Innovation

Every enterprise needs to innovate. It doesn’t matter whether you are a profit-seeking business, a nonprofit organization or a government entity, the simple truth is that every business model fails eventually, because things change over time. We have to manage not for stability, but for disruption or face irrelevance. There is no shortage of advice for how to go about ...

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This Army Colonel Is Helping Large Enterprises Innovate Like Lean Startups

Since the turn of the century, the US Military has been continually disrupted. Traditionally it was designed to fight conventional wars against great adversaries. Yet since 9/11 it has found itself fighting networks of loosely connected small groups that are able to continually evolve their tactics. That’s a very different kind of battle. It’s a situation that most executives at ...

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Here’s What You Really Need To Know About Blockchain

In 1970, a scientist at IBM Research named Edgar F. Codd make a remarkable discovery that would truly change the world. Though few realized it at the time, including at IBM, which neglected to commercialize it. It was called the relational model for the database and it would spawn an entire industry. Yet while today few have heard of relational databases, everybody seems to ...

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