Smart 'R' Us?

Toys ‘R’ Us has faced its share of difficulties over the past several years. The company has had to contend with the likes not only of traditional competitors including Sears, KB Toys and FAO Schwarz, but bricks-and-mortar bruisers like Target and Walmart and Web behemoth Amazon. Not so long ago the company faced what appeared to be an existential threat ...

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Funny Things That Humans Do

by Kevin Roberts Biologically speaking, humans are a remarkable, and quirky, species. The New Scientist magazine has published a list of the odd things we do everyday that don’t make a lot of sense. With all the scientific advancement, you’d think we know why we do the funny things we do. But why do we create art, or dream, or ...

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Can you ask a good question?

At the start of a recent conference call for an upcoming planning session, it was clear that I was expected to lead the discussion. That was my suspicion coming in, but with other responsibilities, there wasn’t a chance to prepare as I typically would. So after a brief introduction, all eyes and ears turned to me to start talking – ...

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Teach Your Children to Innovate

Parents teach their children many things: morals, etiquette, religion, sports, cleanliness, walking, cooking, riding a bicycle, reading, writing, math, discipline, safety, driving a car…the list goes on and on. What if you could give your child the life-long ability to innovate? What a gift indeed. This issue surfaced after a string of emails with one of our blog readers who ...

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Innovation and Quality – Allies or Enemies?

Can quality and creativity cohabit in the same house or are they natural enemies? Can a quality process be applied to innovation? Let’s start with the first question. Quality involves the removal of unwanted variations, the enforcement of strict standards and controls, the application of best practice and the elimination of waste and errors. Creativity and innovation involve exploring many ...

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The Art of Whitespace

Being a sometime pencil sketcher, I’ve been a fan of the Wall Street Journal pen and ink stipple portraits, also known as a hedcut (that’s not a typo) since I started reading the journal in 1982. I love the fact that the portraits are most whitespace with artfully placed dots and dashes — pure black and white — and the ...

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The Impact of Trends on Business

Today’s post was inspired by a witty piece authored by Wally Bock on the topic of fads. If you’re not familiar with Wally’s work, I’d recommend checking him out on a regular basis. When you looked beyond the humor, Wally made some great points about the impact (or lack thereof) of the latest fads, trends, business theories, gimmicks, concepts conveyed ...

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Scenario Planning Back in Fashion

Developing Robust Strategy with ‘Wild Card’ Scenarios by Idris Mootee Every executive wants to know what the future will be like or what will likely to happen to their industry and what the most disruptive forces are that will impact their bottom line or even survival. That’s why we use ‘Wild Card’ to paint scenarios. Wild card scenarios are in ...

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