The great innovation debate | economist.com


The Economist

Growth

Fears that innovation is slowing are exaggerated, but governments need to help it along

WITH the pace of technological change making heads spin, we tend to think of our age as the most innovative ever. We have smartphones and supercomputers, big data and nanotechnologies, gene therapy and stem-cell transplants. Governments, universities and firms together spend around $1.4 trillion a year on R&D, more than ever before.

Yet nobody recently has come up with an invention half as useful as that depicted on our cover. With its clean lines and intuitive user interface, the humble loo transformed the lives of billions of people. And it wasn’t just modern sanitation that sprang from late-19th and early-20th-century brains: they produced cars, planes, the telephone, radio and antibiotics.

Modern science has failed to make anything like the same impact, and this is why a growing band of thinkers claim that the pace of innovation has slowed (see article). Interestingly, the gloomsters include not just academics such as Robert Gordon, the American economist who offered the toilet test of uninventiveness, but also entrepreneurs such as Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist behind Facebook.

If the pessimists are right, the implications are huge. Economies can generate growth by adding more stuff: more workers, investment and education. But sustained increases in output per person, which are necessary to raise incomes and welfare, entail using the stuff we already have in better ways—innovating, in other words. If the rate at which we innovate, and spread that innovation, slows down, so too, other things being equal, will our growth rate.

Doom, gloom and productivity figures  >>>     Leer más “The great innovation debate | economist.com”

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Retaining Great Employees: It’s Not About the Money


Written by Mansur Hasib

As IT managers and leaders, it is our job to foster the professional growth of everyone who works on our team. If we do not do this we are failing as leaders.

I have had many discussions on the topic of training with both employees and managers. Many IT managers are afraid that certifications will make their employees more marketable and allow them to find better opportunities. Employees are frustrated that their managers do not allow them to grow and so eventually they leave to find better opportunities to learn and to grow professionally.

When I was negotiating my budget as a CIO, I asked for and received $2,000 per year for every employee that could only be used for travel or training. It required the consultation of supervisors and could be used for a conference or even a certification. Since some training is more expensive, employees were allowed to trade and give someone their training dollars for one year so they could get it back from the recipient in a subsequent year. At times I was able to recruit someone simply because I had this guaranteed annual training benefit.

Leer más “Retaining Great Employees: It’s Not About the Money”

43% of all LinkedIn users are in the US, IBM is the company with the most followers

In almost all countries, there are more men registered on LinkedIn than women, with the exception of a few countries, mostly in Asia and Eastern Europe, including China, the Philippines, Romania, Finland, Vietnam, Bulgaria, Serbia and Jamaica, where female users outnumber their male counterparts, if even by a little.

We recently took a look at LinkedIn’s growth in Indonesia, where it now has over 1 million registered users, and is growing at a rate faster than Facebook. According to LinkedIn itself, we can expect far more insights into the professional world through the social network’s data in the coming months.


linkedin

Zoomsphere, a site which provides statistics on major social networks including Twitter, Facebook and Google+, has just revealed some interesting information and statistics on LinkedIn users.

It’s not surprising to find that the US has the most registered users on LinkedIn, with well over 61 million to its name. India comes in a distant second with over 14 million registered users. The US and India are joined in the top 10 by the UK, Brazil, Canada, France, Netherlands, Italy, Australia and Spain.

Far more interesting, in the revealed statistics, is which companies have the most followers on the professional social media site. In the US, IBM comes in at the top of the list with over 580,000 followers.

In comparison, IBM only has just over 13,000 followers on its main Twitter account and 93,000 fans on Facebook. It is worth mentioning that the number of IBM employees on LinkedIn currently sits at over 280,000, Next in line on LinkedIn, in order of follower count are HP, Microsoft, Google and Oracle. Apple comes in at 7th place with only 251,000 followers.

Clearly, just as the nature of interactions on each social network differs, users follow a company on Twitter or Facebook for vastly different reasons than following a company on LinkedIn.

The most followed company does change by region, with Unilever topping the list in the UK, Research in Motion in Canada, Huawei in China, and Ferrari in Italy.

Despite the fact that the majority of the most followed companies are IT-related, the most common industry on LinkedIn is Higher Education, followed by Information Technology and Services, with Financial Services coming in third.

Industry 43% of all LinkedIn users are in the US, IBM is the company with the most followers

More than half of the companies list on LinkedIn have over 10,000 employees, with the number of companies decreasing as the number of employees decrease.

companysize 43% of all LinkedIn users are in the US, IBM is the company with the most followersThe most common age group on LinkedIn is, unsurprisingly, 35-44, followed closely by the 25-34 age group. There are more 18-24 year olds on LinkedIn than there are professionals over the age of 55.

Age1 43% of all LinkedIn users are in the US, IBM is the company with the most followers

Worldwide, LinkedIn has over 143 million registered users, 43% of which are in the US.

ReigsteredUsers 43% of all LinkedIn users are in the US, IBM is the company with the most followers

In almost all countries, there are more men registered on LinkedIn than women, with the exception of a few countries, mostly in Asia and Eastern Europe, including China, the Philippines, Romania, Finland, Vietnam, Bulgaria, Serbia and Jamaica, where female users outnumber their male counterparts, if even by a little.

We recently took a look at LinkedIn’s growth in Indonesia, where it now has over 1 million registered users, and is growing at a rate faster than Facebook. According to LinkedIn itself, we can expect far more insights into the professional world through the social network’s data in the coming months.

Innovation and Porter’s Value Chain

First, let’s remind ourselves of the Value Chain Model. Portner’s insight was to identify all the primary functions of a business and all the support functions of a business and seek to understand what the firm did exceptionally well, and what it must do at least moderately well. While other strategists had thought and written about the linkages between internal operations, Porter was one of the first to create the concept of the Value Chain. Today we often think of the value chain as extending “upstream” to suppliers and “downstream” to distribution channels and even to customers or consumers. The tool is a powerful metaphor when thinking about where and how a firm adds value.

Primary activities are the ones we usually think of as distinct operations or departments and are the “direct” costs in a business – inbound and outbound logistics, “operations” which could be manufacturing or development, marketing and sales, and service. Support activities are those that we traditionally think of as “overhead” – Human Resources, Information Technology, Procurement, and what Porter called Firm Infrastructure – legal, financial, management and so forth.

The model, once again, does not explicitly call out innovation, and in this breakdown of the organization it is hard to decide where and how innovation should add value. Clearly innovation can play a role in any of the primary functions. Innovation can improve the way we make things, or the way we distribute products and services, or the customer support and service we offer. Conversely, innovation could be considered a “supporting” capability that improves all functions from an enabling perspective. It’s possible that innovation exists in both locations. However, there are two other items to consider when thinking about innovation and the Value Chain analysis.


Submitted by Blogging Innovation |by Jeffrey Phillips
http://www.business-strategy-innovation.com

Innovation and Porter's Value ChainI’m reviewing the relationship between a number of tried and true strategic management models and innovation, to see if those models and concepts hold up under the increasing importance of innovation. A few days ago I reviewed Porter’s Five Forces model and concluded that while Porter didn’t explicitly call out innovation, it was clear that the Five Forces model embraced innovation. Today, we’ll look quickly at another Porter model – the Value Chain Analysis – and investigate how it holds up innovation.

In the 1980s, Michael Porter wrote a number of books about corporate strategy that became the basis for much of the education of MBAs, at least where strategy was concerned. Few MBAs in the 80s and 90s failed to study Porter’s Five Forces or Value Chain Analysis. Since many of those MBAs minted in that period are now in leadership positions in their firms, it behooves us to understand the models they carry around with them, and whether or not those models are open and extensible where innovation is concerned, or whether they ignore or resist innovation. Leer más “Innovation and Porter’s Value Chain”

Innovation and Porter’s Value Chain

First, let’s remind ourselves of the Value Chain Model. Portner’s insight was to identify all the primary functions of a business and all the support functions of a business and seek to understand what the firm did exceptionally well, and what it must do at least moderately well. While other strategists had thought and written about the linkages between internal operations, Porter was one of the first to create the concept of the Value Chain. Today we often think of the value chain as extending “upstream” to suppliers and “downstream” to distribution channels and even to customers or consumers. The tool is a powerful metaphor when thinking about where and how a firm adds value.

Primary activities are the ones we usually think of as distinct operations or departments and are the “direct” costs in a business – inbound and outbound logistics, “operations” which could be manufacturing or development, marketing and sales, and service. Support activities are those that we traditionally think of as “overhead” – Human Resources, Information Technology, Procurement, and what Porter called Firm Infrastructure – legal, financial, management and so forth.


les cinq forces de porter

by Jeffrey Phillips

I’m reviewing the relationship between a number of tried and true strategic management models and innovation, to see if those models and concepts hold up under the increasing importance of innovation.  A few days ago I reviewed Porter’s Five Forces model and concluded that while Porter didn’t explicitly call out innovation, it was clear that the Five Forces model embraced innovation.  Today, we’ll look quickly at another Porter model – the Value Chain Analysis – and investigate how it holds up innovation.

In the 1980s, Michael Porter wrote a number of books about corporate strategy that became the basis for much of the education of MBAs, at least where strategy was concerned.  Few MBAs in the 80s and 90s failed to study Porter’s Five Forces or Value Chain Analysis. Since many of those MBAs minted in that period are now in leadership positions in their firms, it behooves us to understand the models they carry around with them, and whether or not those models are open and extensible where innovation is concerned, or whether they ignore or resist innovation. Leer más “Innovation and Porter’s Value Chain”

How to Write an Effective About Me Page


The “About Me” page is what many potential clients look at either right away, or at least the second thing they look at when viewing a freelance portfolio. As a solo worker, providing potential clients with information on yourself and your work is essential, because nobody wants to hire just anyone off the street. It is reasonable that a bit of research on the individual should be done, and an about page can make or break relationships with leads. As a result, an about page can make or break an entire freelancing business.

How to Write an Effective About Me Page

There are plenty of posts floating around the web for how to write excellent about pages. However, some of these articles fail to address that different personal presentations may be required for different types of websites. An about page for a blog would be different for a service-related website, and an about page for a company would be different than that of a freelance worker.

In this article we’ll look at what presentation is ideal for a freelance professional, and that of a web designer specifically. Of course, graphic designers, web developers, and those in similar fields can take from these tips as well. Leer más “How to Write an Effective About Me Page”

Does Your Company Suffer from Process Attention Deficit Disorder?

As the 3M and Allied Signal stories demonstrate, a leader can launch a process program and drive significant benefits. But executives can change or their attention can shift. There are always many competitors for an executive’s attention. Only when process improvement is on the top management agenda can a company make the often large investments in process redesign, information technology, training and education that are required. Senior executive knowledge of his or her company’s strategy is a key driver of the way that work should be designed or redesigned. Only senior management can resolve turf issues between departments and functions — issues which can torpedo cross-functional process improvement. Redesigning work from a customer’s point-of-view and the ongoing pursuit of operational excellence implies changes not only in IT and processes, but also in organization, attitudes, and behaviors. The biggest execution challenge is shifting the mindsets of people within the organization. Therefore, any major process improvement program must have the active engagement of the top team.


by Brad Power

Does your organization suffer from subpar operational performance? Have your costs, response times, or reliability slipped relative to competitors or versus customer expectations?

Maybe your organization has Process Attention Deficit Disorder. If it has, symptoms will likely show up in three areas: incentives, behaviors, and organization. Leer más “Does Your Company Suffer from Process Attention Deficit Disorder?”