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by Alan Hargreaves

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Entries in innovation (24)


Blowing your inheritance

Managing your DNA in business and life.

Genetics have always been a good excuse. We often hear it. “There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s the way I am.”

Sometimes, that’s a good thing, like healthy acceptance; other times it’s resignation and disempowerment.

You hear the dichotomy in business with statements like: “We are really good at doing this” versus “This is the way we’ve always done it.”

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Getting Lucky

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Sometimes, the flip side is the better track

In 1978 Gloria Gaynor was a moderately successful singer. That changed when she covered a Righteous Brothers number called “Substitute.” Few would remember the tune. That’s because it flopped. On the flip side was a new track no one had heard of. It was called “I Will Survive.” It went to the top of the charts and so did Gloria Gaynor.

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Dealing with speed

Constant evolution and competitive edge.

My phone asked me to upgrade several apps today. It often does, and I dutifully did so. If you want to avoid OMG territory when people borrow your phone, that’s what you do.

Today’s installations likely ironed out a few earlier bugs. Some added a new capability. Others look a bit different but most look much the same.

When it comes to consumer trends, ‘up’ is the new black. We are encouraged to constantly upgrade. We are upsized, often literally, and we are regularly upsold.

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Why you need to get out more

Great ideas don’t show up at the office. 

“One damn thing after another.” According to a book called Managing by Harvard professor Henry Mintzberg, that defines the average day for most managers. There’s always something to handle.

He’s right. Stuff keeps happening. No one ever came into my office and said, “I just want you to know everything is going great.”

Strategy and leadership play a big role in business theory, but day-to-day action defines the job. To be effective, you can’t confine strategic thinking to the two-day annual offsite. Somehow you have to mix the two.

How can you un-clutter your head and keep open to new ideas?

Once, it might have been done over the long lunch. It wasn’t unusual to resolve issues over port. New initiatives could arise magically out of the cigar smoke.

Times have changed.

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The Ugly Reality Behind Innovation

Your job is to undermine the free market

Odd, isn’t it? Business supports the idea of free competition but spends most of its time trying to undermine it.

That’s the job. Call it creative destruction, innovation or disruption – the principle is still the same. Somehow, you have to find a way of making the playing field uneven.

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