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Profitable Organic Growth

Forum for Dynamic Innovation at Columbia Event January 10

The last few years have seen a resurgence of what Steve Blank and other startups folks call ‘innovation theater‘.  On January 10, I’ll be chatting with Steve and transformative CEO of HarperCollins, Brian Murray, about what comes next. You can read about the event details and register at this link.  Under the heading the ‘Forum for Dynamic Innovation,’ we are bringing together people across the university with an interest in how... read more »

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Growth insights in a 45 minute Facebook live session!

No Powerpoints, no notes, just the team at Harvard Business Review, terrific and astute questions from viewers and a white board.  Check out this free Facebook Live session that has already garnered over 132,000 views. In more news – For those with an interest, our Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship OnLine course is now in beta – let us know if you would like to join as registrations close next week. And it is already looking... read more »

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Innovation and Jobs-to-be-Done discussed in my latest newsletter

My latest newsletter offers observations and ideas that were discussed at two CEO Summits sponsored by Innosight and featuring keynotes by Clayton Christensen and myself.   We discussed Clay’s terrific new book, Competing Against Luck, some of my ideas regarding the management of portfolios of innovation and how to tackle innovation challenges generally. Have a look if you are interested – and I welcome comments and feedback! read more »

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Why managing an opportunity portfolio leads to surprising investment decisions

There is no shortage of interesting strategic activity going on in the intertwining worlds of content creation, telecommunications and other forms of distribution.  The recent sales of AOL and Yahoo! to Verizon are representative of a class of strategic moves that make sense in high-uncertainty environments in which anticipating, rather than predicting, is the requirement.  As I point out in a recent article in Fortune, investments like these, even though they... read more »

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Now in development: Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship On-Line

What if you could take teams of people or individual contributors with an innovation mandate and have them go through a state of the art, hands-on and very applied journey through the essence of innovation in the convenience of an on-line format? Part executive development program, part coaching program and part real-time learning, the vision for Columbia’s new Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship Course is just that. It’s been a huge project... read more »

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Looking forward to the mach49 Mothership Blitz on Friday

As someone who has spent much of my life watching organizations fall victim to what I call the ‘transient advantage‘ economy, I’ve always been puzzled that despite its obvious importance, large organizations do a lot more talking about innovation than actually doing it.  When you dig a little deeper, what quickly becomes clear is that most of the factors that inhibit innovation success – fear of failure, inadequate funding or structures,... read more »

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How do we get our middle managers back into a growth mindset?

It’s been five or more years since the Great recession walloped economies all over the world, with the result that for many companies it has been a time of doing not very much but cost-cutting, downsizing, divesting and otherwise holding on to what business they can by their fingernails.  Now, as things are slowly starting to pick up and companies are beginning to once again see opportunities, they are facing... read more »

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Recording of Webinar “How the Growth Outliers Do It” now available

Last month, Columbia Executive Education sponsored a webinar based on my Harvard Business Review article about growth outliers.  A webinar based on that article has been recorded.  If you missed the original, feel free to tune in by clicking here. read more »

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Lessons from the Growth Outliers – HBR Article available for download

This is an article about an exceptional group of companies – publicly traded, with market cap as of 2009 of over $1 Billion USD – who were able to grow their net incomes by at least 5% a year for a total ten-year period.  In it, I find that they combine remarkable stability with remarkable change.  The first 500 readers to click on the link below will be able to... read more »

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Growth ambitions, yes.  Growth capability?  Still working on that…

My colleagues over at the growth practice at consultancy Accenture surveyed some of their largest clients about their growth prospects.  The results are in my blog, "ready for growth, but  not prepared" over at the Harvard Business Review site.  Among the more interesting findings are that the firms all believe growth is important and is back on the agenda, but struggle with finding the right capabilities to support it.    read more »

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More women in top management = more success as a company

Experts and observers have long argued that there is a benefit to firms of having more women in senior decision-making roles.  The reasons are many, including the importance of diversity, the fact that senior women more readily represent female customers (the majority of buyers in many industries), and a general openness to talent.  Some new research done at Columbia finds that companies with women in the top team do enjoy... read more »

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Does doing good mean doing well?  Research from colleague Ray FIsman

In a recent piece in Columbia Ideas at Work, my colleague Ray Fisman summarizes some research he has done on whether promising to donate a portion of one's proceeds to charity means more profits for eBay sellers.    Among their findings: Turns out — based on our eBay evidence — the champions of corporate philanthropy have gotten the story at least half right. Take a Giving Works item advertising that... read more »

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Intelligent Failure Noted in The Economist

In an article published in the April 16 Economist, the positive side of failure, as featured in a recent special issue of the Harvard Business Review is discussed.  Interesting reading for those of us who follow failures and try to learn from them.  read more »

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Questions from my webinar on Intelligent Failure

I just wrapped up a webinar on the topic of failing by design, which is the subject of a recent artilce in the Harvard Business Review.  There were some quite interesting questions asked during the course of the webinar, and I thought I would document them here for those that might have an interest but couldn't attend the webinar itself.  The presentation on which the webinar was based is available... read more »

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Analysts or business designers in today’s strategy work?

A LinkedIn Question went like this: Is business strategy as we teach it in Harvard Case Studies Obsolete? Do we need to develop business designers and not strategic planners?   Traditioal strategic planning takes a linear left brain abstract approach to business development and looking at business opportunities. Most famous tool in the toolbox being a SWOT analysis. Business Designing is a more right brain wholistic visual approach to identifying... read more »

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