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The Creative Promise of Design Thinking

You’re much more imaginative than you think, but your workplace — which needs your very best ideas — may be driving the creativity right out of you. Big businesses can be the worst offenders, demanding a level of predictability and efficiency that is good for today’s bottom line but bad for tomorrow’s. The pressure to grow is relentless, but the battle is often uninspired. I teach... CONTINUE READING

Delivering Results When the Heat Is On

As PBM Plastics, a manufacturer of disposable baby-bottle liners, was building inventory for a product launch, its factory’s central air conditioner malfunctioned — and a new one would take two weeks to arrive. Management had the following options: Keep employees working in stifling heat. Shut down the plant and let down customers depending on the company. Rent portable... CONTINUE READING

Learn Better Than the Competition: A Learn or Die Lesson

In the next 10 years, the world will see a technology tsunami. In the face artificial intelligence, smart robots and nanotechnology promising to displace a large portion of the workforce, the human ability to learn will be of paramount importance. In this video, Darden Professor Ed Hess discusses the science of learning and a new definition of the word “smart.” The ideas Professor Hess... CONTINUE READING

Writing and Leadership: Reflecting on the Page

Most of us know that writing is a technology invented several millennia ago to aid memory, but few consider how much writing — especially reflective writing — can aid creative and critical thinking, particularly when leading organizational change. For anyone who is about to embark on organizational change, has the responsibility to lead it or needs to help others make sense of it, reflective... CONTINUE READING

Critical Innovation: Process Improvement in the ER

In 2013, Lynchburg General Hospital in southwest Virginia stood out in its industry for its emergency room that maintained high standards of care while serving close to six patients per bed per day. With 42 beds, that amounted to 2,143 patients per bed per year, while 1,200 was considered to be the maximum achievable. How was that possible? With lean production principles, the hospital’s... CONTINUE READING

The Endgame of Marketing Analytics: From Data to Spend to Profit

Resource allocation is the endgame of analytics for any company. Using marketing analytics properly, any firm should be able to determine the optimal level of spending it should make on each of its marketing channels to maximize success. Resource allocation is a four-step process. Step 1 The first step is to determine the objective function. What is the metric the company wants to set as... CONTINUE READING