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Political innovation: Developing an innovative political organization

Contributed by Grayson Brulte, Co-Founder & President of Brulte & Company

When you think of the term innovation, you probably do not associate it with politics. This is due at least in part to the historical reluctance of politicians and campaign managers to take uncertain risks that could have a negative impact on the outcome of an election or term.

Instead, it is companies in the private sector such as Apple and Google that are disrupting their industries with new, innovative products and services. And, even older, more established companies such as Porsche and Walmart are redefining their industries with updated product lines and innovative business models.

These private sector companies have successfully developed cultures that are always learning and striving for perfection. Apple has Jony Ive, who is always pushing the envelope of what is possible, and Google has Google X, its secret lab focused on solving big problems.

So where is the Jony Ive and Google X of politics?

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REAP: A global program that addresses the intricacies of entrepreneurship

What makes regions more or less successful when it comes to entrepreneurship? What about Kendall Square has made the area such a powerful entrepreneurial hotspot?  These questions and others like them are considered during the new MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP), currently offered as a joint program between MIT Sloan Executive Education and the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.

Created in part to address the concerns of organizations that want to emulate the entrepreneurial spirit encompassed by MIT and the surrounding area, REAP is a multi-year program designed to help regions promote economic development and job creation by teaching participants how to implement a more robust, innovation-based entrepreneurial ecosystem. For example, during the REAP 2012–2013 pilot program, cross-functional teams from Hangzhou (China), Finland, New Zealand, Veracruz (Mexico), Scotland, Andalucia (Spain), and Turkey conducted an action project focused on assessing the current state of entrepreneurship in their regions.

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MIT Sloan professor ranked one of fifty top global management thinkers

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Douglas Ready has been named one of the 2013 Thinkers50 top global management thinkers. The biennial publication is recognized as the go-to source of the most influential management thinkers in the world.

Ready is Founder and President of the International Consortium for Executive Development Research (ICEDR), an internationally renowned collaborative in talent management and leadership development. As such, Ready helps management teams mobilize their leaders to bring about large-scale change. He has led change and leadership development initiatives for global companies, including Continental AG, Ford Motor Company, Four Seasons, Hess Oil, HSBC, LG Group, PwC, Royal Bank of Canada, Samsung Group, and United Technologies Corporation.

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MIT Sloan’s Associate Dean of Executive Education elected as Chair of UNICON

As part of our commitment to advancing the field of executive education, MIT Sloan has been involved in the Global Industry Association for University-based Executive Education (UNICON) since we participated in its founding, over 40 years ago. We are pleased to announce that Rochelle Weichman, our Associate Dean of Executive Education, has been elected as Chair of this global association of business–school–based executive education organizations.

UNICON’s community of members is engaged in accelerating the development of business leaders and managers by designing and delivering non-degree executive education courses and programs for individuals and organizations. UNICON exists to share experience, promote best practices, and support the development of its member organizations and their professional staff. There are currently 110 academic institution members from all over the world.

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The role of employee satisfaction in successful airline mergers

In early November, the Justice Department settled its suit blocking the merger of American Airlines and US Airways and, this month, the merger was completed. The original suit claimed “airline consolidation had gone too far and the proposed merger would lead to higher fares for consumers.” In the end, having the two airlines concede to surrendering some take off and landing spots at certain airports would “foster competition and lead to low prices.” So the merger continues.

Airline mergers are nothing new in the industry; as noted in an MIT Sloan Management Review (SMR) interview with Tom Kochan, Professor of Work and Employment Research and Engineering Systems at MIT Sloan, “Airline companies may be the business everyone fantasizes the most about trying to fix.” As experts quoted in the recent article in The New York Times, Concession in Airline Merger is Criticized,” airline mergers create “unprecedented pricing power” and are designed to cut operational costs. But, as the story notes, “merged airlines have had varied levels of success in meshing their operations and achieving the ‘synergies’ they sought.”

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