I've been a devoted, even fanatical reader of fiction my whole life, but sometimes I feel like I'm wasting time if I spend an evening immersed in Lee Child's newest thriller, or re-reading The Great Gatsby. Shouldn't I be plowing through my in-box? Or getting the hang of some new productivity app? Or catching up on my back issues of The Economist? That slight feeling of self-indulgence that haunts me when I'm reading fake stories about fake people is what made me so grateful to stumble on a piece in Scientific American Mind by cognitive psychologist Keith Oatley extolling the practical benefits to be derived particularly from consuming fiction.
Making Innovation Happen
A Global Aggregation of Leading Edge Articles on Management Innovation, Creative Leadership, Creativity and Innovation.
This is the official blog of Ralph Kerle, Chairman, the Creative Leadership Forum. The views expressed are his own and do not represent the views of the International or National Advisory Board members. Tweet ______________________________________________________________________________________
Entries in business (95)
Customer and market research, competitive benchmarking, and focusing on market share could be detrimental to your organization's future performance. These approaches are critical improvement tools. Top performing organizations have turned them into a disciplined and useful science. But they can also lead to "me-too" followership or - even worse - commodity products and services that compete only on price.
SOME people say it is neither big nor clever to drink. Viz, a British comic, settled that debate with a letter from a reader who said: “I drink 15 pints a day, I’m 6 foot 3 inches tall and a professor of theoretical physics.” However, another question about size and cleverness has yet to be resolved. Are big companies the best catalysts of innovation, or are small ones better? Joseph Schumpeter, after whom this column is named, argued both sides of the case. In 1909 he said that small companies were more inventive. In 1942 he reversed himself. Big firms have more incentive to invest in new products, he decided, because they can sell them to more people and reap greater rewards more quickly. In a competitive market, inventions are quickly imitated, so a small inventor’s investment often fails to pay off. These days the second Schumpeter is out of fashion: people assume that little start-ups are creative and big firms are slow and bureaucratic. But that is a gross oversimplification, says Michael Mandel of the Progressive Policy Institute, a think-tank. In a new report on “scale and innovation”, he concludes that today’s economy favours big companies over small ones.
In twenty years of the Internet age, big companies have come to know more about their customers, their suppliers, and their own operations than they ever did, or could. Information pouring in from sensors and points of sale enables businesses to know how to sell things to shoppers before they know they want them, fix machines before they break, reorder stock before it runs out. “Big data,” which McKinsey trumpeted in March as “the next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity,” is in fact the previous frontier with a new name.
“Imagine an NFL coach,” writes Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, in his important new book, Fixing the Game, “holding a press conference on Wednesday to announce that he predicts a win by 9 points on Sunday, and that bettors should recognize that the current spread of 6 points is too low. Or picture the team’s quarterback standing up in the postgame press conference and apologizing for having only won by 3 points when the final betting spread was 9 points in his team’s favor. While it’s laughable to imagine coaches or quarterbacks doing so, CEOs are expected to do both of these things.”