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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

The Chemical Spark for a Decade of Innovation

When Kurt Swogger took the position of global director of Dow Chemical’s polyolefin and elastomers operation, it was a struggling unit of the company, one in an industry with little innovation, in which customers were used to either selecting from existing products or waiting six to 24 months for the process that would produce a customized polymer. Rather than accept the status quo, Swogger... CONTINUE READING

The Importance of Failure to Success: The Challenge of Innovation

Innovation is widely considered essential to the strategy of any company. But it so rarely comes from a light bulb going off over someone’s head; it’s hard, and it usually takes a messy process of ideation, exploration and experimentation, and that process means risking and learning from failure. The importance of failure to innovation and the importance of innovation to success might seem... CONTINUE READING