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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Mobile money on the rise

While the developed world continues trudging through a slow economic recovery, parts of the developing world’s economy are being rapidly transformed by a new form of disruptive technology: mobile money.

Mobile money—a cash management service available on mobile phones or the internet—is having more than a moment; it’s making a profound impact, powerful enough to shift economies across country borders. Studying the impact of mobile money in its most successful beta launch to date in Kenya can teach us a lot about the impact and adoption of disruptive innovations within a country and beyond its borders.

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The design structure matrix: helping to see complexity in systems

Many global business organizations develop and manage complex systems with multiple interacting parts. In an effort to become more effective, efficient, and profitable in the face of growing complexity, businesses seek process innovations that help them streamline their systems. Perhaps that’s why the design structure matrix (DSM), originally developed in the 1970s to model design problems and used at MIT since the 1990s to research system complexity, has become a powerful tool for developing products and systems.

In their recent book, Design Structure Matrix Methods and ApplicationsSteven Eppinger, Professor of Management Science and Engineering Systems at MIT Sloan School of Management, and co-author Tyson Browning, show how DSM analysis helps companies streamline the process of product and system design.

“Engineering work can be procedural and systematic,” says Eppinger. “People think of engineering as a matter of always developing something new, unlike business operations, where you do something over and over again. But we’ve learned that while you may repeat engineering work five or 20 times in your career instead of 100 times a day, there’s a process there. And if you can capture that process, you can improve it.”

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EmTech 2013 day three: Climates of yes

Guest Blogger: Doña Keating is President and CEO of Professional Options, a prominent innovator in the leadership, policy and management consulting industry which provides solutions for businesses, organizations and governmental agencies.

I am officially addicted to EmTechMIT. Since returning to the left coast from last week’s event, every neuron in my body is firing from a reconnection to one of the ultimate “Climates of Yes.”

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EmTechMIT 2013, day 2: Not all genius is simplicity

Guest Blogger: Doña Keating is President and CEO of Professional Options, a prominent innovator in the leadership, policy and management consulting industry which provides solutions for businesses, organizations and governmental agencies.

Steve Case, Chairman and CEO of Revolution, Cofounder of America Online, and Chairman of the Case Foundation, set the tone for day two of EmTech 2013 with a dynamic, informative, and savvy discussion about public policy and the intrinsic role it plays in a burgeoning and technologically innovative economy. Unlike the sometimes brash Silicon Valley titans who believed they could rocket to success without being beholden to Big Brother, Case encouraged constructive engagement with what is typically a successful startup’s biggest customer: the government. Quoting an African proverb, “If you want to go quickly, go alone; but if you want to go farther, go together,” Steve further emphasized policy’s value in setting ground rules that allow entrepreneurship and innovation to flourish.

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EmTech 2013 day one: Futures of hope

Guest Blogger: Doña Keating is President and CEO of Professional Options, a prominent innovator in the leadership, policy and management consulting industry which provides solutions for businesses, organizations and governmental agencies.

It’s hard not to love Cambridge and the greater Boston area. An elegant skyline draping itself across the Charles River, surrounded by world class academic institutions. A highly innovative, collaborative, and solutions-driven climate which promises refinement and an irreverent insistence that the world’s problems will be tackled and changed by its inhabitants.

Nay, this is not a Frommer’s testimonial, but a prelude to my hearty endorsement of EmTech 2013, day one.

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