Harnessing the Power of Surprise for Business Breakthroughs

Harnessing the Power of Surprise for Business Breakthroughs

Aug 14, 2013

we’re wired to appreciate positive surprises. our brains are set up to appreciate the way they challenge assumptions while adding value to things we care about

Think about the first time you picked up an iPod, iPhone or iPad and experienced the touch screen as an extension of your fingertips. Reflect back on the first time you played the Nintendo Wii, drove a Toyota Prius, used Purell hand sanitizer, discovered the trendy design of Method soap, visited Starbucks, or saw Cirque du Soleil. The list of the usual suspects of breakthroughs could go on and on. Though these things are all quite different from one another, they tend to produce similar feelings of positive surprise—with a hint of delight, wonder, and intrigue—when we first encounter them. Read more of this post

The New CTO: Chief Transformation Officer

The New CTO: Chief Transformation Officer

by Daniel Burrus  |  11:00 AM August 14, 2013

We all know that if you put a frog in water and slowly heat it to the boiling point, the frog will stay put and die. But if you throw the frog into already boiling water, it will quickly jump out. Today’s IT leaders have known about the exponential growth of processing power, storage, and bandwidth, but like the frog, they didn’t notice the boiling point approaching because the change has happened over so many decades. These three change accelerators are what lie behind today’s avalanche of business transformation, and they are directly affecting the roles of CIO and CTO.  Read more of this post

A Formula for Fixing the Hardest Problems

A Formula for Fixing the Hardest Problems

by Frank Weil  |  10:00 AM August 14, 2013

For many years I have been asking friends and colleagues, “What frustrates you the most in modern society?” I’ve received many, varied answers but at their core, so often, was a common root — another question: “How can citizens and government accomplish what modern life requires of them to improve the world in which they coexist?” As the three basic sectors of U.S. society — government, business, and nonprofit,each of which have their own culture, language, and mentality — attempt to solve our most-pressing challenges, we seem to be sinking into a bottomless black hole. Even simple problems elude solutions, and the ones that do exist — regulation in government, competition in business, and the work of nonprofits to fill gaps — frequently fall short. How can we find some way out of this mess? Read more of this post

Fearing Obsolescence, a Company Charts Its Reinvention; When a Web marketing and communications company discovered its hardware system was out-of-date, it set out on the giant — and ultimately successful — task of remaking the company

August 14, 2013

Fearing Obsolescence, a Company Charts Its Reinvention



It may be the most terrifying moment a business owner can face: the realization that what you have been doing successfully, possibly for years, no longer works. For Clint Smith, co-founder and chief executive of Emma, a Web-based marketing and communications company, that moment came three years ago when his team attended the annual South by Southwest Music and Media conference in Austin, Tex. Started in 2002 and based in Nashville, Emma had grown quickly. By 2010, it had 90 full-time employees and 30,000 clients. It had recently passed $10 million in sales, but an awareness had begun to set in that its hardware system — built before the cloud even existed — was showing signs of strain. Capacity was running low and programmers had to navigate several layers of the system to update existing features or introduce new ones. These concerns crystallized at the conference when the Emma executives listened to Google employees discuss their plans for Gmail. Read more of this post

Troubled Teens Make More Successful Entrepreneurs

August 14, 2013, 2:19 PM

Troubled Teens Make More Successful Entrepreneurs

By Khadeeja Safdar

Smart, rule-abiding teenagers are less likely to become successful entrepreneurs than equally intelligent teens who engage in illicit activities, according to new research. In a working paper published by theNational Bureau of Economic Research, economists Ross Levineand Yona Rubinstein examine what it takes to become an entrepreneur and whether entrepreneurship pays off in terms of wages. Using data from the March Supplements of the U.S. Census Bureau‘s Current Population Survey and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, they look at the cognitive, noncognitive and family traits of self-employed individuals who have incorporated businesses and compare it to the characteristics of salaried workers and the self-employed who don’t have incorporated businesses. Read more of this post

How One Employee And One Consulting Firm May Be Singlehandedly Responsible For The Stunning Pay Gap Between CEOs And Workers

How One Employee And One Consulting Firm May Be Singlehandedly Responsible For The Stunning Pay Gap Between CEOs And Workers

MAX NISEN AUG. 14, 2013, 4:35 PM 8,319 13

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McKinsey is the world’s largest and most profitable management consulting firm, as well one of the most difficult places to get hired. Over its 87-year existence it’s had a massive impact on the U.S. economy according to “The Firm,” a forthcoming book by Duff McDonald. In a New York Observer column, pointed out by Mike Dang at The Billfold, McDonald argues that the massive modern-day gap between executive and worker pay has its origin with the consulting firm. Read more of this post

Beautiful Pathologies: Medical-school students sometimes get carried away by their enthusiasm for the science of disease and forget the human suffering that comes with it

AUGUST 14, 2013, 8:39 PM

Beautiful Pathologies


At our medical school, we have something called the organ transplant observation program, which allows students to shadow the doctors who transfer functional organs from deceased or living donors into the bodies of dying patients. It’s pretty great. When it’s your turn, you might go to a nearby hospital and watch surgeons put in a heart, or hop on a private plane and fly to another state to get a kidney. The program is wildly popular and often a highlight of the medical school experience. This year, over half of my class signed up as soon as the forms went online.

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