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A Dedicated Team of Problem Solvers Can Help Big Companies Act Like Lean Startups

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Most companies try to avoid problems. Experian actually goes looking for them. In fact, it has set up a specific unit – Experian DataLabs — to actively seek out unresolved problems its customers are having and use them as a launchpad to seek out new opportunities and create ...

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CMOs and CIOs Increasingly See Eye to Eye

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For the past four years, Accenture has conducted an annual survey of chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) to understand the state of their collaboration. In that time, we’ve tracked dramatic changes in attitudes. The headline: today, 69 percent of CMOs say that they need to align and interact with IT on their strategic priorities. (Contrast this with 56 percent in 2012.) And 83 percent of CIOs say that they need to align and interact with ...

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Lafley’s P&G Brand Cull and the 80/20 Rule

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Declaring he’d cull up to 100 brands — many of which he’d acquired and developed — P&G CEO A.G. Lafley launches a “game changer” profoundly different than what he championed in his eponymous 2008 bestseller.

P&G is cutting its global brand portfolio by more than half. Instead of focusing on innovation, as he did during his first tour as CEO of the world’s largest consumer packaged goods firm, Lafley is now innovating on focus.

Lafley’s bold pare is part of ...

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To Jumpstart Growth, Flip the Company’s Priorities

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The punishing forces of quarter-to-quarter performance expectations have forced business leaders to scramble for short-term profit gains at the long-term expense of the organization.  Because of those short-term bets and strategic pivots, organizations are struggling to meet ever-changing customer needs, are challenged to drive margins, and find themselves vulnerable to non-traditional competitors and unattractive to potential employees.  This confluence of forces has led 52% of the Fortune 500 to be acquired, merged, go bankrupt, or ...

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Great Expectations: Were Hopes about U.S. Opportunities in Cuba Unrealistic?

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When Barack Obama visited Cuba earlier this year, America expected an economic resurgence in its backyard. But it hasn’t quite worked out that way.

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3D Printing Is Changing the Way We Think

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Surveys indicate that more than 30 percent of the top 300 largest global brands are now using or evaluating 3D printing (often with printing technology in-house) whether for prototyping and other innovation projects or in actual production of what they sell. Over 200 universities and colleges already offer 3D coursework in their curricula – covering aspects of not only 3D printing but also 3D scanning and design. To my mind, there ...

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The Most Innovative Companies Have Long-Term Leadership

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Call 2014 the year of innovation. A Gartner survey of almost 500 executives at global corporations revealed that growth is this year’s top priority. Google Trends reveals that interest in disruptive innovation crept up to peak levels this year. It seems that every time you hop on a quarterly earnings call, the CEO mentions innovation. The M&A markets are frothy, corporations are investing in Silicon Valley labs, and even ...

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Should Employers Ban Email After Work Hours?

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Like many of you, I often work outside of regular office hours while at home, in the airport, and sometimes on vacation. Mobile technology has created a “new normal” work life for a lot of us: Gallup’s research reveals that nearly all full-time U.S. workers (96%) have access to a computer, smartphone, or tablet, with 86% using a smartphone or tablet or both. And a full two-thirds of Americans report that the amount of work they do outside normal ...

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Leaders Can Turn Creativity into a Competitive Advantage

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In 1985, Peter Drucker made a hopeful case for an entrepreneurial society in which innovation and the creation of new businesses would more than compensate for job losses stemming from the retreat of manufacturing industries in the U.S. and other developed economies. Since then, the U.S. has increasingly ...

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How Data Skills Help Firms Create Social Media that Matters

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Most firms consider social media a must in today’s highly networked world. But new Wharton research shows it’s not simply being on social that matters – it’s how you use it.

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