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The Internet of Things Is More than Just a Bunch of Refrigerators

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The Internet of Things is definitely becoming a Thing, in the same way that big data’s a Thing or the sharing economy’s a Thing. And the thing about a thing that becomes a Thing is, it’s easy to lose sight of the things that made it a thing before everyone declared it the Next Big Thing that will change everything.

Got it? Good. We’ll start there. With the hype over the Internet of Things behind us. Because whether or not it’s ...

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Strategies for Crowdsourcing Your Job Search

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Careers are very personal things. Most people choose their paths, and make decisions along the way, based on their own thinking and counsel from family, friends, teachers, close colleagues, and mentors. While self-reflection and the gathering of advice from one’s immediate circle can be useful, I’d like to suggest a more modern approach. Organizations are increasingly using the wisdom of crowds to drive their strategy, innovation, and marketing initiatives. Why shouldn’t you ...

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Social Innovation: Putting a Number on Saving the World

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A former Gates Foundation CFO and a founder of a nonprofit accelerator for social entrepreneurs talked about the need for more financial rigor in impact investing at the recent Wharton Social Innovators Conference.

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Is Management Due for a Renaissance?

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Every now and then, a thinker calls for a renaissance in some field of work – a rebirth, or return to classic roots after a period of straying from them. Is management – not yet a very old discipline – due for one? When Richard Straub, President of the Peter Drucker Society of Europe, recently declared so, it got me thinking by analogy about how one might come to pass.

The first Renaissance was of course the sweeping cultural movement ...

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Students Get Lower Grades in Online Courses

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Although students who take online courses in community colleges tend to be better prepared and more motivated than their classmates, a study by Di Xu and Shanna Smith Jaggars of Columbia University shows that the online format has a significant negative impact on students’ persistence in sticking with courses and on their course grades. For the typical student, taking a course online rather than in person would decrease his or her likelihood of course persistence by 7 percentage points, and ...

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When It Comes to Data, Skepticism Matters

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Managers should rarely take an important analysis at face value. They should almost always dig into the data and develop a deeper understanding of the hidden insights that lie within. Sometimes there are real gems awaiting discovery. Other times the data contain some truly snarky beasts, and failing to spot them soon enough presages real danger.

Consider a (hypothetical) company that is trying to drive traffic — especially mobile traffic — to its website. Once people arrive, it wants to keep them ...

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Empathy Is Key to a Great Meeting

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Yes, we all hate meetings. Yes, they are usually a waste of time. And yes, they’re here to stay. So it’s your responsibility as a leader to make them better. This doesn’t mean just make them shorter, more efficient, more organized. People need to enjoy them and, dare I say it, have fun.

Happiness matters a lot at work — how could it not, when many of us spend most of our ...

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Stock Buybacks Aren’t Hurting Innovation

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Companies are spending more money buying back their own stock than they ever have. These stock buybacks have come under criticism as a bad investment – the argument being that companies sitting on record amounts of cash ought to invest in innovation, salaries, or at least dividends, rather than pumping up their own stock price through buybacks.

But before we vilify stock buybacks, let’s take a closer look at the charges against ...

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How to Present to a Small Audience

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It’s easy to associate delivering presentations with standing in front of an audience and gesturing toward projected slides. However, many meetings or pitches involve fewer than ten participants in a room, where everyone remains seated and walks through the same slide deck together. This is quite a different scenario with greater constraints on the presenter and fewer tools to engage the audience. But thoughtful planning and awareness of nonverbal cues can make these “non-presentations” successful.

When preparing for a seated presentation, ...

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Alibaba’s Next Move: Grow Abroad, or Go Deeper into China?

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After raising $25 billion in a U.S. initial public offering earlier this month, Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma and his leadership team have a tough task ahead: positioning the company for its next growth phase.

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