Does Hardware Even Matter Anymore? -from HBR

JUN15_09_185760494

We are in the midst of a technological revolution that is every bit as profound as the impact of cheap computing power, but it’s subtler and harder to notice. It will ease the way for companies launching and updating digital products, but it presents steep new learning curves that companies will have to master if they are to be successful.

The migration of functionality from hardware to software.

In more and more businesses, physical objects are no longer the primary basis for innovation and differentiation. They come second to innovations in computer code.

Managers are well aware that Moore’s Law, the idea that the number of transistors on a practical-sized chip doubles every 18 months, has brought us a bounty of cheap computing power, leading to smartphones, tablets, fitness trackers, cloud-based services like Facebook and Uber, and on and on.

The software revolution will be a powerful complement to the cheap-computing revolution, and the opportunities for unique and innovative products are boundless — it’s just a matter of programming.

read full article here: https://hbr.org/2015/06/does-hardware-even-matter-anymore

Advertisements

Famous “innovation” quotes from Steve Jobs, Gunter Pauli, Einstein, Henry Ford and many others.

Food4Innovations (EN) - Wouter de Heij M.Sc.

Famous quotes from Steven Job (Apple Inc.)

  • Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower [Steve Jobs]
  • But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem [Steve Jobs]
  • “Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R & D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” [Steve Jobs]
  • “You can’t ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” [Steve Jobs]

Famous quotes from Gunter Pauli (The Blue Economy)

  • Key in life is to…

View original post 950 more words

Digital hives: Creating a surge around change – via McKinsey

Digital hives: Creating a surge around change

Online communities are helping companies engage with employees to accelerate change.

 

New lessons are emerging for executives striving to harness the power of social media in the cause of wider employee participation. Clearly, there’s more to success than just investing heavily in the latest Enterprise 2.0 technology platforms.

Large-scale engagement of the workforce requires, first and foremost, a firm grasp of organizational culture and its social dynamics, a psychological understanding of what triggers new behavior, a determination by management to loosen if not relinquish its traditional top-down approach, and an ability to demonstrate how digital activities complement offline or other real-world events.

Four ways to drive change

Here we present four specific approaches to the creation of what we call digital “hives”—electronic hubs bristling with collective activity and designed to solve a particular problem or set of problems, to drive new habits, and to encourage organizational change (exhibit). Digital tools to facilitate networking and collaboration propel these “horizontal” cascades, which at their best can weave new patterns of engagement across geographic and other organizational boundaries. In this way, they make it possible to have new conversations around problem solving, unlock previously tacit knowledge, and speed up execution.

Digital hives facilitate a collective approach to problem solving

1. Engaging the workforce in better strategy

Best practice in the formulation of strategy and in organizational change has long been to craft a “story” at the top and then to cascade it through lower echelons of the organization. […] Employees on the shop or office floor often feel like passive recipients.

That’s beginning to change, though, thanks to social technologies.

There are still relatively few social strategy-development processes, but the tools are getting more powerful, and the scale and scope of such efforts are more impressive.

Using the “management hackathon” concept—an integrated multistage platform that allows participants to discuss ideas, express opinions, and contribute expertise collectively2 —a successful consumer-goods company recently involved its entire organization in an open-source strategy process.

This effort started with an organization-wide online discussion about risks to the company’s growth engine from higher input costs, stagnant industry growth, and a growing competitive threat from imitators to certain products and the business model. These risks then formed the basis for a bottom-up process that spawned over a thousand new strategic insights using a combination of in-person meetings and workshops as well as online channels.

2. Connecting silos with a social chain

One of the biggest organizational challenges is to break siloed behavior and get employees talking to one another and cooperating across intracompany boundaries.

One promising social-technology experiment we’ve observed is what we call the “social chain”: a digital platform that links everyone working in a particular value chain inside a company.

The social chain allows employees to work “out loud” online by sharing how they do things. It also encourages people who were previously isolated in part of the chain to identify areas where they depend on others and to tackle problems or bottlenecks collaboratively. Chain leaders can monitor these conversations and inject their own insights when appropriate.

 To push people into the hive, managers discouraged communication through meetings and e-mail.

3. Enlisting key customers to improve the proposition

Thanks to the power of social technologies, a company that mobilizes such people can solicit specific ideas for improving its customer proposition and demonstrate its client-centricity more broadly.[…]

Or a company might create social “mystery shoppers” who follow internal conversations anonymously and comment on them.

4. Uniting a dispersed sales force to drive higher sales

These reps traditionally had spent several weeks at a time on the road, rarely checking in with the head office and therefore operating in a feedback and knowledge vacuum. Inevitably, they had become disconnected from the organization, and performance suffered.

Staff at the center collected ideas based on intelligence gleaned from the calls and e-mails of the sales reps themselves and from district managers familiar with current issues in the beverage trade. The company also analyzed customer data highlighting pockets of fiercer-than-normal competition or SKUs that were selling particularly well. Such insights were then shared with reps and agents, who each received two or three personalized SMS messages a day. Managers could further use this rudimentary social platform to communicate with the sales force by, for example, congratulating teams when they hit milestones and generally celebrating success. The company also created a call-center “leaderboard” allowing executives to track the agents most responsive to the new information at their disposal. The executives then freed up time for these “early adopters” to coach their peers, provide feedback, and strengthen the system with additional insights.

A new mind-set for senior managers

Leading while letting go

Creating these hives requires a delicate balancing act—not least a willingness by top managers to let go. Managers should not be afraid to commit themselves explicitly to acting on the results of these initiatives and should encourage unrestrained participation, however unpredictable the consequences.

Looking inward

The growing use of social tools to drive employee engagement provides particular opportunities for senior executives to improve role modeling. When people reflect on their behavior, they tend to rely on their own often sketchy perceptions and faulty memories. With many digital technologies, however, people can now track their behavioral footprint—for example, by analyzing conversational threads in microblogs .

Becoming more responsive

Mobilizing a crowd requires companies to anticipate the crowd’s expectations. Executives can maintain pace and encourage deeper engagement only through transparent feedback and rapid follow-up.

Unleashing collective intelligence through a hive will be more successful if managers think ahead and develop an agile, scrum-like response capability outpacing that of smaller offline programs.

Read full article here

Continue reading Digital hives: Creating a surge around change – via McKinsey

Your Late-Night Emails Are Hurting Your Team – via HBR

Regardless of your intent, I’ve found through my experience with hundreds of companies that there are two reasons late-night email habits spread from the boss to her team:

Ambition. If the boss is emailing late at night or on weekends, most employees think a late night response is required — or that they’ll impress you if they respond immediately. Even if just a couple of your employees share this belief, it could spread through your whole team. A casual mention in a meeting, “When we were emailing last night…” is all it takes. After all, everyone is looking for an edge in their career.
Attention. There are lots of people who have no intention of “working” when they aren’t at work. But they have poor attention management skills. They’re so accustomed to multitasking, and so used to constant distractions, that regardless of what else they’re doing, they find their fingers mindlessly tapping the icons on their smartphones that connect them to their emails, texts, and social media. Your late-night communication feeds that bad habit.

Being “always on” hurts results. When employees are constantly monitoring their email after work hours — whether this is due to a fear of missing something from you, or because they are addicted to their devices — they are missing out on essential down time that brains need. Experiments have shown that to deliver our best at work, we require downtime. Time away produces new ideas and fresh insights. But your employees can never disconnect when they’re always reaching for their devices to see if you’ve emailed.

Creativity, inspiration, and motivation are your competitive advantage, but they are also depletable resources that need to be recharged.

Incidentally, this is also true for you, so it’s worthwhile to examine your own communication habits.

Company leaders can help unhealthy assumptions about email and other communication from taking root.

Ditch the phrase “time management” for the more relevant “attention management” and make training on this crucial skill part of your staff development plan.
Refrain from after-hours communication.
Model and discuss the benefits of presence, by putting away your devices when speaking with your staff, and implementing a “no device” policy in meetings to promote single-tasking and full engagement.
Discourage an always-on environment of distraction that inhibits creative flow by emphasizing the importance of focus, balancing an open floor plan with plenty of quiet spaces, and creating part-time remote work options for high concentration roles, tasks, and projects.

read full article here

How Being a Good Manager Can Make You a Bad Innovator – via Forbes

[…] As the pace of uncertainty continues to increase, managers will need to learn a new set of management tools. They need entrepreneurial management—the principles used in effective start-ups—rather than traditional management (see graphic: When to Use Entrepreneurial vs. Traditional Management). Continue reading How Being a Good Manager Can Make You a Bad Innovator – via Forbes

How to Overcome Burnout and Stay Motivated – via HBR

In large part, it’s because we’re surrounded by devices that are designed to grab our attention and make everything feel urgent.” Heidi Grant Halvorson, a social psycologist.

APR15_02_85326969

Put away your digital devices Continue reading How to Overcome Burnout and Stay Motivated – via HBR

How the Internet of Things is affecting urban design – via Mashable

toyota3

An overwhelming range of possibilities

The impacts of the Internet of Things on our cities don’t begin and end with urban buildings — everything from the morning commute to public parks are incorporating Internet of Things technologies. Continue reading How the Internet of Things is affecting urban design – via Mashable

Watch out Telcos! Google confirms it wants to be a wireless carrier – via Mashable

Following nearly a year of rumors, Google confirmed on Monday that it plans to offer talk and data plans to customers. Sundar Pichai, senior VP at Google, said on stage at Mobile World Congress during a presentation that the company is working on a wireless service on a “small scale.”

[…]

Google is also getting closer to officially launching its solar-powered drone program Project Titan and will send its first fleet into the sky sometime this year.

[…]

Project Loon, which involves sending balloons into the sky to serve as floating cell towers to distribute Internet access across a large area.

read more

FAA releases proposed drone laws

Atmel | Bits & Pieces


Newly-announced FAA rules might allow thousands of business drones in the next few years. 

Following latest reports of a leaked document, the FAA has announced the regulations that will allow routine use of small drones in the United States. Before becoming finalized, the rules must go through a comment period, during which the public will have an opportunity to weigh in on the rules. Those of you who may recall, back in 2012, Congress had required the FAA to create rules around the integration of small drones by 2015.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Once the order is finalized, the Washington Post shares that the FAA estimates that more than 7,000 businesses will obtain drone permits within three years. Furthermore, based on the recently-revealed document, companies would not be permitted to fly drones over long distances which would effectively preclude expedited delivery efforts ranging from pizza makers to Amazon. The rules, however, are expected to be modified and loosened over the coming decade as drone technology advances…

View original post 692 more words

Are you ready for 3-D printing? – via McKinsey & Co

There have been false dawns before, but this technology is poised to deliver cost benefits and to advance innovation in manufacturing.are you ready for 3d printing

The coming years will bring new opportunities and challenges. Companies with savvy executives who raise awareness, fill talent gaps, and build the necessary organizational capabilities will be well positioned to benefit from this breakthrough technology.

read full article here.