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Monthly Archives: October 2013

The new competitive advantage: not leaning in, but leaning forward

Microsoft recently announced a significant restructuring in hopes of reclaiming its lost market share and the trust of its customers. In response, many are asking, “Is restructuring the answer? What changes will Microsoft need to make to regain its competitive edge?”

The Lean Forward Approach

According to Steven Spear, Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan and recognized expert on high velocity organizations, the most successful organizations are the ones creating high value with their products, in less time, using less effort. These organizations, says Spear, use the lean forward approach: they consistently seek immediate clarification and amplification of their customer’s voice by leaning into their users’ domain to discover the problems as well as delights of their experience.

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Mapping collective intelligence to design winning organizations

It’s likely you’ve heard of collective intelligence, the term used broadly to refer to groups of individuals doing things collectively that seem intelligent. The most well-known examples of collective intelligence in action are Google and Wikipedia—large, loosely organized groups of people working together in a rapid transfer information stream.

What many organizations don’t know—but could benefit from—is the use of mapping collective intelligence to dissect and better understand their people, processes, and sources of inefficiency and, in some cases, to create a structure to improve business innovation.

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Minding the language gap: MIT Sloan launches one-of-a-kind Global Executive Academy

While we often consider our global world accessible to all, in many ways it isn’t. For non-English speaking executives seeking the latest research and business insights at a U.S. institution, language can be a barrier. That is, until now.

MIT Sloan recently announced a new concept—and some might say even a new frontier—in executive education. Launching this December, the Global Executive Academy (GEA) will offer a multilingual educational experience on the MIT Sloan campus, presenting executive education content for the non-English speaking world. This new program is a first of its kind, according to Dr. Peter Hirst, Executive Director of Executive Education at MIT Sloan.

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Is innovation sustainable?

One could argue that innovation is not sustainable. Just take a look at the many market leaders who ultimately failed because they did not continue to innovate—the latest of which is BlackBerry® (formerly RIM).

What was once innovative and disruptive technology is now simply an email gadget— one that has no mindshare in the innovation culture and little hope of resurgence, despite its recent sale to Fairfax Financial. While BlackBerry still has 80 million subscribers (including two million added in the last three months), industry analyst firm IDC reported that BlackBerry’s market share in the second quarter was 2.9%, the lowest it has been since IDC began measuring that market.

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