Innovation

3 reasons big is back

July 5, 2012
The argument rages as to whether big or small companies are better catalysts for innovation. Economist Joseph Schumpeter argued both sides, saying in 1909 that small companies were more inventive, but in 1942 that big firms have more incentive to invest in new products because they can scale up quickly to big demand.

Sticking to a frugal policy pays off for businesses

June 21, 2012

“If only I had a bigger budget (for my department or my company), all my problems would disappear.” You’ve likely had a similar thought at some point. But is it true? Great companies, and leaders, excel at finding a frugal path when solving problems.

Don’t let the big boys shoot you down

June 14, 2012
Don’t let the big boys shoot down an idea just because it’s new and weird. Another word for “new weirdness” is innovation. Consider Will Wright, the first leader of modern game design. Big companies couldn’t see the point of his game in which nobody “wins,” so Wright joined with two partners and self-published SimCity in 1989. Within a year, the game was a monster hit.

Motivating like Mother Teresa

February 21, 2012
In 1946, a Romanian nun on a train climbing the Himalayan foothills de­­cided to leave her convent and help the poor, while living among them. She was inspired and felt the need to act. Is it possible to inspire and motivate the way Mother Teresa did? What can we learn from her?

Tweak and you shall find success

January 13, 2012

Why did the industrial revolution begin in England, instead of, say, France or Germany? Two economists offer an explanation. They say the reason is Britain had more “tweakers”—skilled engineers and artisans who refined the signature inventions of the industrial age.

Ideas: What matters is ‘what you catch’

January 12, 2012

Good ideas aren’t hard to find. As long as you’ve got smart and creative people, there should be plenty of ideas. What’s hard is follow-through. Two examples: making the Rolling Stones album “Sticky Fingers” and Mick Jagger writing “Brown Sugar.”

Foresight: Here’s one for the books

January 10, 2012
William Brett is father of the open-shelf library system, in which patrons don’t have to go through a librarian to find books. His idea doubled circulation, reduced staffing needs and resulted in fewer lost books.

The power of foursquare

December 22, 2011
You might have heard of foursquare, the location-based social media tool. But if you’re not using it for business, you’re missing out on a powerful marketing and engagement tool that can help any business—large or small—tell its brand story to a new category of consumer.

Innovation: Vehicle to greatness

December 8, 2011
“The only sus­tainable source of competitive advantage is innovation. It’s that simple. And that hard, ” says Andrew Razeghi, who teaches innovation at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is an advisor to Fortune 500 companies. He says the real reason for Detroit’s failure to innovate lies in its rewards system …

Businesses leverage giving, create jobs

December 7, 2011
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is so committed to job creation that he’s pledged to take at least $100,000 from the annual profits of two Starbucks shops in Los Angeles and Harlem, and reinvest it in those neighborhoods. His goal: improving education and job training for local young adults.