bug bubble

Bursting the CEO Bubble

By Hal Gregersen

When you’re the CEO of a large organization—or even a small one—your greatest responsibility is to recognize whether it requires a major change in direction. Indeed, no bold new course of action can be launched without your say-so. Yet your power and privilege leave you insulated—perhaps more than anyone else in the company—from information that might challenge your assumptions and allow you to perceive a looming threat or opportunity. Ironically, to do what your exalted position demands, you must in some way escape your exalted position.

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Digital and Analog – A Marriage of Impactful Development

An interview with Efosa Ojomo

“I think it is important that we understand that the digital world rests upon a very analog world. We might applaud digital innovations such as the Internet, Uber, and mobile telephony. But we would do ourselves a disservice if we didn’t understand the analog foundations upon which those digital innovations rest. For the Internet to thrive, we need servers which are typically invisible, but very much analog in the sense that they are physical and must exist with a set of systems and processes to ensure they are functional. For Uber to exist, we need good roads, traffic laws, drivers, and people must have places to go. All of which are analog. And last but not least, for mobile telephony to thrive, we need base stations, roads, generators and fuel that power the base stations (at least in many poor countries in Africa), and engineers.”

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A pile of books

The 32 Million Disruptive Adult Learning Opportunities

A great place to launch new products and services is often in places where there is no competition. Finding such an area of nonconsumption—where customers can be delighted by something that is infinitely better than their alternative (nothing at all)—is key to launching a disruptive innovation.

Spotting and sizing a nonconsumption opportunity is often challenging, however, because there is, by definition, no existing market.

These two factors are part of what makes the market for helping adults learn basic skills or develop workforce skills so intriguing.

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Starbucks sign

How Howard Schultz’s Angel Poised Starbucks for Success

By Thomas A. Stewart & Patricia O’Connell

Starbucks has an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other.

The angel works to guide Starbucks toward its better instincts: to retain the vision that impresario Howard Schultz had of re-creating a European café for an American (and now a worldwide) clientele, a “third place” that’s neither work nor home, where you can take your time, and where you pay more for coffee than you would at the deli down the street.

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A phone and a coffee on a scooter seat

The Right Way to Do Mobile Marketing

The mobile economy – which includes 5G, the Internet of Things, smart cities and connected cars – is expected to account for 4.5% of North America’s GDP by 2020, according to mobile operators trade group GSMA. That’s a $1 trillion value. But while people and businesses increasingly spend more time on mobile devices and technology, advertisers haven’t quite caught up, said Anindya Ghose, professor of information, operation and management. Ghose and Wharton marketing professor David Bell discuss the opportunities and pitfalls of mobile marketing on the Knowledge@Wharton Show.

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a robotic worm in an apple

FROM HANDS TO HEADS TO HEARTS

Software has started writing poetry, sports stories and business news. IBM’s Watson is co-writing pop hits. Uber has begun deploying self-driving taxis on real city streets and, last month, Amazon delivered its first package by drone to a customer in rural England.

Add it all up and you quickly realize that Donald Trump’s election isn’t the only thing disrupting society today. The far more profound disruption is happening in the workplace and in the economy at large, as the relentless march of technology has brought us to a point where machines and software are not just outworking us but starting to outthink us in more and more realms.

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a blank notebook page

The tech industry is taking too gloomy a view of the Trump presidency

By Anindya Ghose

the industry has been overestimating concerns of what the new administration will do. With Jared Kushner — the “chief architect” of the Trump win — as Silicon Valley’s best ally at the table, there is a much brighter outlook for the tech industry than the majority see.

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Leading Across Boundaries: Respect, Leadership And The Future Of Work

By Hal Gregersen

Incivility – in the community, in politics, in the workplace – is on the rise. In one survey, nearly everyone (79%) believes it’s creating a serious problem in society. It’s whittling away at people’s health, performance and souls. It’s affecting business. It’s compromising the American Dream for future generations. How we treat one another matters. It centers on respect – something we, as a society, don’t seem to respect.

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Facebook like icon, upside down

Facebook Must Stay Out of China

By Clay Shirky

Facebook shouldn’t do this. Although the tool, as described, copies some industry norms — Facebook would suppress messages inside China but show them outside — it comes nowhere near what Beijing would demand for re-entry. At the same time, those additional conditions would make any deal not worth the cost, either ethical or financial.

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desert landscape

The Fortune 500 Can’t Go Along with a Rollback on Climate Policy

By Rebecca Henderson

Most of the business world recognizes the tremendous threat that climate change represents – over the course of the Trump presidency they need to make that perspective heard.

There are at least three things that business can do.

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A jet trailing vapor

No industry is immune from vaporization

By Robert Tercek

When was the last time you listened to music on an actual CD? Or read the day’s headlines in a physical newspaper? Chances are it has been years. Digital technology and software has replaced a lot of things in our lives.

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old, broken watches

The Internet is Still at the Beginning of Its Beginning

By Kevin Kelly

Right now, today, in 2016 is the best time to start up. There has never been a better day in the whole history of the world to invent something. There has never been a better time with more opportunities, more openings, lower barriers, higher benefit or risk ratios, better returns, greater upside than now.

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a heart-shaped bowl of mixed berries

The Art of Customer Delight

By Thomas A. Stewart & Patricia O’Connell

The service sector needs to break away from old manufacturing-oriented habits and build great consumer experiences into every facet of its business model.

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surgical tools

The Third-Leading Cause Of Death Is Preventable, But Candidates Don’t Mention It

By Leah Binder

It is more likely to kill you than terrorism. It has profoundly impacted virtually every American family. So this election year, why aren’t politicians at all levels of government talking about the third-leading cause of death in America—preventable errors in healthcare?

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computer code

Mass Hacks Of Private Email Aren’t Whistleblowing, They Are At Odds With It

By Jonathan Zittrain

The world of 2016 is one where leaking a lot is much easier than leaking a little. And the indiscriminate compromise of people’s selfies, ephemeral data, and personal correspondence — what we used to rightly think of as a simple and brutal invasion of privacy — has become the unremarkable chaff surrounding a few worthy instances of potentially genuine whistleblowing.

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Marina Bay Sands by Moshe Safdie

Award-Winning Architect Moshe Safdie Focuses On Humanizing High Rises

If you’ve ever been to the the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem, or the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, or the U.S. federal courthouse in Springfield, you have seen the work of the architect Moshe Safdie. Later this month, he’ll receive the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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Lincoln's face on Mount Rushmore

Why Lincoln Hid His Strongest Feelings from the Public

By Nancy Koehn

The central question here is not so much one of having a private self and a public one, but rather it is a question of, as a leader, how do you present an important issue to different constituents in a way that maximizes the chances of that issue gaining the support you need?

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sharppencilfeature

Clayton Christensen On What He Got Wrong About Disruptive Innovation

Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, 64, is best known for his 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma, which introduced the concept of “disruptive innovation.” His new book, Competing Against Luck, introduces the “Jobs to Be Done” theory, a way for companies to stave off competition from disruptive products and services. In this interview, he describes his new theory and explains what was missing from his ideas about disruptive innovation.

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coloredpencils

We Need a Better Way to Visualize People’s Skills

By Michelle R. Weise

By 2020, the US economy is expected to create 55 million job openings: 24 million of these will be entirely new positions. And 48 percent of the new jobs, according to Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce, will emphasize a mix of hard and soft intellectual skills, like active listening, leadership, communication, analytics, and administration competencies. How can companies get a better idea of which skills employees and job candidates have?

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toolbelt_crop

Know Your Customers’ “Jobs to Be Done”

By Clayton ChristensenKaren DillonTaddy Hall, and David Duncan

For as long as we can remember, innovation has been a top priority—and a top frustration—for leaders. In a recent McKinsey poll, 84% of global executives reported that innovation was extremely important to their growth strategies, but a staggering 94% were dissatisfied with their organizations’ innovation performance. Most people would agree that the vast majority of innovations fall far short of ambitions.

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change-the-world

The Lesson Behind Fortune’s ‘Change the World’ List

By Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer

As this year’s Change the World List demonstrates, more and more corporate leaders are embracing a new best practice with profound implications for their companies and the wider world. In increasing numbers, managers are integrating societal needs into their corporate strategy, aligning their companies’ business missions with their impact on their communities and the environment.

This approach, which we call Creating Shared Value, is moving into the mainstream and growing exponentially.

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china cars

Why Uber’s China Loss Will Actually Be a Long-Run Victory for the Company

By Arun Sundararajan, Ph.D.

At first glance, the acquisition of Uber’s China operations by Didi Chuxing may seem to deal a significant blow to Uber — a scaling-back of the company’s bold global ambitions. But a closer look at the agreement suggests that the outcome is actually a victory for Uber’s investors and a lesson for tech entrepreneurs, about balancing aggressive ambition with pragmatic pivoting.

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How to spot nonconsumption: Five tips

By Efosa Ojomo

In my first post for the Christensen Institute, I introduced the term nonconsumption as the inability of an entity (person or organization) to purchase and use (consume) a product or service. I explained that if companies included nonconsumption as part of their competition, they would quickly find that it has has the biggest share of many markets. In this post, we will explore how to find nonconsumption opportunities.

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Rio 2016: Is Brazil doing the Olympics on the cheap?

Police protests, the threat of the Zika virus, incomplete transport links and a “state of financial emergency” — the build-up to South America’s inaugural Olympic Games on August 5 has been rocky.

Read what Professor Bent Flyvbjerg, lead researcher on forecasting the sport-related costs, said on The University of Oxford’s Said Business School’s website.

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virtual_reality_football

In Someone Else’s Skin: NFL Considers VR To Give Players Empathy Training

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell put on a pair of Oculus Rift goggles last summer and was immersed in a brave new world — remarkably similar to our own.

Goodell was at Jeremy Bailenson’s Stanford University lab to learn more about virtual reality empathy training.

“The immersion in virtual reality was so convincing and compelling,” said Michael Huyghue, a confidante of Goodell who accompanied him on the trip. “Roger was tremendously impressed.”

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Infra

Professor Gathers Infrastructure Solutions From U.S. Cities

For decades, the American Dream has been synonymous with a car and a house with a white picket fence. But Rosabeth Moss Kanter imagines a day when people will dream of a high-rise apartment overlooking a park, instead.

Moss Kanter is a professor at Harvard Business School and she’s the author of Move: How to Rebuild and Reinvent America’s Infrastructure. Moss Kanter spent nearly two years visiting cities around the United States to see how they’re reimagining their infrastructure. In the book, she writes about some of those projects and advocates for walkable, bikeable cities — which, in the urban planning world, is called smart growth.

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prison

THE PERILS OF USING TECHNOLOGY TO SOLVE OTHER PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS

I want to consider a problem that’s been on my mind a great deal since joining the MIT Media Lab five years ago: How do we help smart, well-meaning people address social problems in ways that make the world better, not worse? In other words, is it possible to get beyond both a naïve belief that the latest technology will solve social problems—and a reaction that rubbishes any attempt to offer novel technical solutions as inappropriate, insensitive, and misguided?

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lightbubls

The Radical Optimist: Saatchi & Saatchi’s Kevin Roberts On How To Lead In A Crazy World

“Do you think we live in a crazy world?” Kevin Roberts asked me on a sunny afternoon, sitting with his back to the Hudson River waterfront glistening outside of his 16th-floor office window. The 66-year-old chairman at Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide and head coach at Publicis Groupe certainly thinks we do. In fact, there’s a term for it — VUCA, which means volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.

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sharing economy hands with images

Uber and Airbnb Could Reverse America’s Decades-Long Slide into Mass Cynicism

Today’s young Americans are pretty wary of their fellow citizens. In 2014, just 21% of people in the US born after 1980 said they believed that people could generally be trusted, according to the National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey. Just a few decades ago, Americans were much more willing to expect good from others: in 1972, 40% of those under age 34 thought most people were trustworthy.

Entrepreneur-picture

Disruptive Entrepreneurship vs. Survival Entrepreneurship: Only One of These Can Catapult Africa From Poverty to Prosperity

If entrepreneurship is truly the pathway to prosperity, and if Africa is bustling with entrepreneurs, then why is the continent still devastatingly poor? I am always amazed whenever I read an article that highlights the entrepreneurial prowess of Africans as an asset. Yes, Africans are entrepreneurial but if their entrepreneurialism were as much of an asset as many writers suggest, then Africa – indeed, Africans – should no longer be poor.

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Do Startups Really Create Lots of Good Jobs?

Eskimos have 50 words for snow. Humans only use 10% of our brains. We hear these types of “facts” all the time — but are they true? Scientists are now saying, “Not so simple.” We have all seen how repetition of a particular statement or idea tends to lend it legitimacy – the so-called “truth effect.” This effect is likely strengthened when the assertion is made in a serious context by intelligent people with authority. Consider the idea, increasingly an assumption of fact, that “startups create jobs.”

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Food-selfie-012

Know the Job Your Product Was Hired for (with Help from Customer Selfies)

In what world is a Snickers bar competing with a kale salad? When a healthy fast food chain recently asked customers to share selfies of them posing with healthy, on-the-go snacks, it received some unexpected pictures – including ones of customers holding Snickers bars. “We focus on organics and cool new macronutrients, and our consumers are into quinoa and kale and bean sprouts,” Alex Blair, who owns four franchises of Freshii, a Toronto-based chain of healthy fast-food outlets, told the New York Times. “But some of these photos were so far from that wavelength, it’s really helping us kind of realign with the mass market.”

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Emotional Fantasy: AI Can Pretend to Love Us, But Should We Love It Back?

A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sherry Turkle is constantly questioning the role that technology plays in our lives. From personal computers and medical technology to children’s toys that now include sophisticated artificial intelligence, the pace of technological progress has sped rapidly within the last several decades. But has often been the case in the past, our emotional and ethical progress lags substantially behind the advance of technology, and this is what principally concerns Turkle.

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SharingHands

Q&A: The Impact and Evolution of the Sharing Economy

Last week, Pew Research Center released a new report that examined Americans’ usage of and exposure to the sharing economy, as well as their views on a number of issues associated with some of its services. To further examine the potential impact of these new digital services on the future of work, government regulations and the economy as a whole, we interviewed Arun Sundararajan. Sundararajan is a professor of business at New York University, a leading expert on the sharing economy and the author of the new book “The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism.”

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school-supplies

The Inconvenient Truth About Personalized Learning

Personalized learning is quickly gaining steam among educators, philanthropists, and policymakers. The promise of a personalized education system is enormous: we are witnessing an era when new school models and structures, often supported by technology, can tailor learning experiences to each student and allow students more choice in how they access and navigate those experiences.

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desks in row in classroom

Reinventing Research

The traditional gold-standard approach to research—a randomized control trial (RCT)—is not worth its weight as we move to a student-centered education system that personalizes for all students so that they succeed.

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pharmaceutical

How Can Pharma Firms Market Their Way Back to Growth?

As pharmaceutical firms look for a way to jumpstart growth, they could benefit from adopting strategies relevant to the digital age, according to this opinion piece by David Bell, a Wharton marketing professor, Brian Fox, senior partner in McKinsey’s pharmaceutical and medical products practice, and Ryan Olohan, national industry director of healthcare at Google. The three are authors of the e-book, Pharma 3D: Rewriting the Script for Marketing in the Digital Age.

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Do You Need Complex Surgery? Some Doctors May Not Have Much Practice

After James Happli of Mosinee, Wis., was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he was referred to a surgeon at a local hospital where he had been treated for lymphoma 28 years earlier. The surgeon told Happli and his wife that although she had never successfully performed a Whipple procedure — the pancreatic cancer operation widely regarded as among the most difficult in surgery — she believed she could do it with the help of a second surgeon.

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ethics definition

The Global Search for Education: In Search of Professional Ethicists – Is Education a Profession? – Part 2

In the profit-above-all-world of digitization and automation, ethics and the nature of professionalism seem to be in question and under attack from all sides. Will the new robots on the block provide the same expertise and multiple intelligences we expect from human experts? What can be done to preserve and strengthen the quality of our professions?

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virtual reality head numbers

The Untold Story of Magic Leap, the World’s Most Secretive Startup

THERE IS SOMETHING special happening in a generic office park in an uninspiring suburb near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Inside, amid the low gray cubicles, clustered desks, and empty swivel chairs, an impossible 8-inch robot drone from an alien planet hovers chest-high in front of a row of potted plants. It is steampunk-cute, minutely detailed. I can walk around it and examine it from any angle.

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Medicine doctor hand working with modern computer interface as medical concept

Breaking Barriers to Innovation in Healthcare Delivery

For decades, tremendous opportunities for innovation in healthcare delivery have been bypassed, mostly as a result of misaligned incentives. Incredibly, these are innovations that deliver double wins — better outcomes for patients and simultaneously, lower costs to the system — and often double-digit percentage gains on both dimensions.

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Virtual reality user / 3D render of man wearing virtual reality glasses surrounded by virtual data

A Futuristic Suit That Gives You a Taste of Old Age

What could it possibly be like to be old? The stooped shuffle, the halting speech, the dimming senses. An exhibit opening on Friday at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City answers the question by letting you walk a proverbial mile in your elders’ orthopedic shoes. Slip into the R70i Age Suit, a robotic contraption complete with “augmented reality” goggles, and suddenly you are 85. It is not very pleasant.

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against the stream

When Was the Last Time You Asked, “Why Are We Doing It This Way?”

During a time when many retailers are struggling, business is booming at Target. But it wasn’t too long ago that the discount retailer’s future didn’t glow so bright. When CEO Brian Cornell took the reins two years ago, he inherited a company that had been struggling for years, taking far too few risks, and sticking too close to the core.

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What Created Donald Trump? A Leadership Vacuum, Says Historian Nancy Koehn

What created Donald Trump? It’s a question that the Republican Party’s establishment is forced to grapple with now that the businessman-turned-politician is dominating in the primary contests and hurtling toward winning the nomination this summer. It’s also a question that Harvard historian Nancy Koehn—an expert on leadership—has thought a lot about. For her, the answer lies in a lack of direction and leadership on the level of the party itself.

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Products to Platforms: Making the Leap

For years, Microsoft’s Outlook has been losing ground to Google’s Gmail and to the e-mail apps integrated into iPhones and other mobile devices. But now the company is trying to inject new life into Outlook, attempting to transform it from a simple e-mail product into a platform that connects users to a multitude of third-party services such as Uber, Yelp, and Evernote. Whether or not the leap from product to platform works is an immensely important question—not just for Microsoft but also for a growing number of businesses built around products or services.

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Why Do Megaprojects Fail?

From Boston’s Big Dig to San Francisco’s Bay Bridge, it seems like every major infrastructure project opens years late and goes billions over budget. So why do these projects keep getting built? And who should citizens blame when they fail?

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Maths formulas written by white chalk on the blackboard background.

Marc Andreessen & Clayton Christensen: “Venture Capital Is Abundant, Opportunity Is Scarce”

Years after Clayton Christensen flipped Marc Andreessen’s world upside down, the two finally sat down for a conversation in Silicon Valley. Andreessen was taught the algebra of business: “If big companies are well run, startups can’t take them out.” You must wait until a company is poorly run to attack. Christensen, with the publishing of bestseller Innovator’s Dilemma, taught the world “the calculus of business,” Andreessen complimented: “for my generation… flipped [the algebra of business] on its head.”

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The Very First Mistake Most Startup Founders Make

Founders face a wide range of decisions when building their startups: market decisions, product decisions, financing decisions, and many more. The temptation is to prioritize these choices over decisions about how to structure their own founding teams. That’s understandable, but perilous. Our research, forthcoming in Management Science, identifies one of those important pitfalls: founder equity splits, i.e., the way founders allocate the ownership amongst themselves when starting their company.

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land area in India, China and Indonesia the night

Can China’s Companies Conquer the World?

Despite China’s recent economic struggles, many economists and analysts argue that the country remains on course to overtake the United States and become the world’s leading economic power someday soon. Indeed, this has become a mainstream view—if not quite a consensus belief—on both sides of the Pacific. But proponents of this position often neglect to take into account an important truth: economic power is closely related to business power, an area in which China still lags far behind the United States.

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Toward Digital Encryption

Jeremy Bailenson Peers Into the Future of Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is getting a lot better at simulating the real world. Just how good is it going to get, and how fast? And what’s the best way to deploy the technology for consumers and businesses alike? The Wall Street Journal’s Geoffrey A. Fowler spoke to Jeremy Bailenson, co-founder of Strivr Labs and director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University.

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standardized test

An Intelligence Expert Defines the Real Problem with Standardized Testing in Schools

Creator of the multiple intelligences theory, Harvard professor Howard Gardner values assessment in school settings. It’s important to know how children in America are performing relative to other countries and how their performance changes over time. There is a current problem, however. Gardner says we’ve come to valorize one kind of test — the multiple-choice, short-answer exam — that measures only one kind of intelligence: the mathematical/linguistic kind. Having a more well-rounded understanding of achievement would benefit our understanding of education, he says, and ultimately benefit the students themselves.

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Apple Bites Back: Zittrain, Sulmeyer on the Privacy-Security Showdown Between the Tech Giant and FBI

Apple Inc.’s refusal to help the FBI retrieve information from an iPhone belonging to one of the shooters in the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., has thrust the tug-of-war on the issue of privacy vs. security back into the spotlight. As the legal wrangling to untangle the case widens, the Gazette spoke separately with George Bemis Professor of Law Jonathan Zittrainand cyber-security expert Michael Sulmeyer about the inherent tensions in the case, in which two important principles of American life are at odds.

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