Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2011
As you might have noticed, more and more of our writing is appearing outside of this blog. For example, we recently published an Op-ed in the Washington Post, several articles in Technology Review’s special edition on business innovation and Chunka has become a regular contributor at Forbes.com. To get free, periodic email notices of our white papers, magazine articles, and postings at other sites, please click on “Read More” and complete the sign-up form.
(We promise to be selective and send notices only for items that we believe are of real interest. Be warned, also, that this will probably get you on our holiday card list.)
Posted on Wednesday, February 2, 2011
We’ve just published a second article at Technology Review on “Four Principles for Crafting Your Innovation Strategy.” It is a companion piece to yesterday’s “Where Innovation Is Sorely Needed.”
The article looks what successful companies have done to prepare for the disruptions due to a world of infinite connections. It is also part of Technology Review’s month-long focus on “Innovation Strategies.”
Posted on Tuesday, February 1, 2011
We’ve just published an article at Technology Review on “Where Innovation Is Sorely Needed.”
The article looks beyond the usual media-related suspects and examines other industries facing disruption, such as insurance, retail, cars, medicine, toys, and utilities. It is the lead off article in Technology Review’s month-long focus on “Innovation Strategies.”
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Two quotes in this article should be tattooed on the wrists of anyone serious about innovating:
–”Our policy is, we try things.”
–”We celebrate our failures.”
Both quotes, from Google CEO Eric Schmidt, come as the company announced that it was shutting down a real-time collaboration tool called Wave. Rather than say nothing about the failure or try to pretend it’s no big deal, as many companies would do, Google acknowledged the failure and called it an important learning experience.
Posted on Sunday, August 1, 2010
We touched a nerve recently with an op-ed in the Washington Post, if the 131 online comments, a letter to the editor, and numerous direct responses are any indication. The piece argued that the U.S. Postal Service needs to change its strategy radically if it is to avoid the fates of other icons such as Kodak and General Motors. Some agreed wholeheartedly. Some called us clueless. While we won’t spend much time defending ourselves, there a few points that we’ll make, given the liberty of these additional column inches.
Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Boeing is doing a smart thing by bringing back distinguished, retired engineers to render a second opinion on its plans. (See WSJ, Seattle Times, Seattle PI) Because of the dynamics of how design is done, it’s unlikely that anyone employed full-time at Boeing, with a career path to pursue, would say the bosses were smoking dope, as one of the retirees did. And, yet, sometimes people are smoking dope (metaphorically) when thinking about design. We certainly found that to be the case when organizations were setting strategy, in the research project we did for our book. Who can forget the huge cement company that started selling lawnmowers, based on the hazy notion that cement is used in homes and homes have lawns, so the cement company should sell mowers? (The company, Blue Circle Cement, soon filed for bankruptcy and was sold to a rival.)
Posted on Monday, July 12, 2010
The New York Times documents the numerous times that British Petroleum had problems with its deep-sea drilling program, yet failed to heed the warnings and proceed more cautiously. The tone of the article is one of shock. But, sad to say, we’re not at all surprised. What BP did is, too often, business as usual.
As we documented in our book and have said many times in this blog, it’s hard to be the guy saying no. If you’re the safety guy at BP, you’re the one who’s raising costs by insisting on safeguards. You’re the one who may kill a project entirely. So, you’re the one who’s taking down everyone’s bonus, at least in the short run.
Posted on Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Some recent consulting work led us to investigate the impact that social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will have on the worlds of investing, investor relations and corporate governance. We found a surprising number of misconceptions–but also a huge amount of opportunity.
While we can’t give away all the secrets, we do have clearance to provide a public version of our work. Read the report below, or download a PDF of it: Social Media and Investing–Misconceptions and Opportunities–6-2010. (Although we tuned the report for investing and those dealing with investors, some of the insights also apply to social media in other sectors. If you’re interested in exploring the implications for those sectors–or investing, of course–let us know.)
Posted on Thursday, July 1, 2010
While marksmen use laser sights to line up their targets, eBay is using Red Laser. That is the name of a popular smartphone application that eBay recently purchased . Red Laser was already going to cause enough disruption for retailers with a physical presence but, with eBay behind it, it could be a game changer.
Red Laser is based on an elegantly simple idea: It uses the camera in smartphones to scan the UPC barcode on a product. Next comes the hard part: Red Laser queries Amazon and other online retailers for the price of the product. It also uses Google product search to find stores nearby where the product is also available, and at what price. The user sees none of the complexity. He just knows that, within a few seconds, he gets a list on his phone of alternative sources and their prices.
Posted on Thursday, July 1, 2010
While technology is providing loads of exciting ways for businesses to know more about customers and how they act, it’s important to never lose sight of how leery people are about giving up privacy. Companies need to examine all the potential pitfalls related to privacy and must be prepared to change course quickly–even if they feel customers are being irrational and overreacting.
A fascinating recent blog post by David Thompson, co-author of “Wild West 2.0: How to Protect and Restore Your Reputation on the Untamed Social Frontier,” explores how seemingly innocuous advances in technology can add up to major changes in privacy.