There is not a single day when we don’t talk about innovation, digitalization and the competition between startups and big companies. We might miss the point when we do so, because the fundamental shift occurring is not digitalization by itself but the complexity it generates. Complexity causes a reduction of our capability to predict and makes us need to reinvent the way we design and manage organizations. All our beliefs about business are rooted in a world of simplicity, where the causal links were understandable and the evolution of markets foreseeable. This environment led us to focus on one holy metric, that eventually became an obsession: efficacy.
For quite sometime now, genetically modified (GM) food has been a subject of heated debates all around the world. In India, media have reported tensions between farmers, domestic seed companies, and large multinational seed firms. One also hears controversies about approval or otherwise of field trials for new GM crops. But what do we know about the Indian consumers’ perspective?
In a world in which information, capital, and labor are no longer confined by time nor distance, nearly everything has an impact on practically everything else. As traditional barriers to entry crumble, organizations that once operated in separate universes now bump up against each other, competing, collaborating, or both in newly defined markets. The tag team of digital and complex systems is slamming business models and upending corporate cultures, nowhere more so than in the realm of communications. Individuals and organizations need more than merely manage technology. They have to master complexity. That means being able to step back and consider all of the critical components of system.
How to reverse climate change? The current discussion focuses on reducing carbon consumption. But the policy instruments and tools available today are neither efficient, nor realistic. Both cap and trade and carbon taxes are variations of coercive systems. They can work if they are coercive enough. But who wants to live in Green Stalinism? So if the stick doesn't work, better try the carrot. It is time to turn the creativeness of financial innovation into something useful.
Legal and regulatory aspects are rarely mentioned when discussing innovation management. But they do play a major role, and the analysis of the legal environment is a crucial issue. It allows smart organizations to implement original strategies… even though there are a number of pitfalls.
Henceforth, many companies are afraid of getting uberized. Now, this danger, which has its roots in the emergence of the web twenty years ago, can be considered neither as a novelty nor a surprise. So why is the corporate world so unprepared? A simple matter of denial or an overly superficial understanding of digital technology? In any case, it has never been so urgent for the corporate world to understand what is going on. Be it only prepare the counter-attack.
One year after the IPO, Alibaba's new investments have started to impact the structure of the company. The group has adopted a modern and innovative way to exploit the funds it raised, shifting from defining itself as an e-commerce platform into what the group now calls an infrastructure for e-commerce.
Following the diplomatic success of the Paris agreement, we will need an economic success in the years to come. After the time of diplomacy, future advances now depend on firms and researchers. And it will not happen if the economic or legal signs are in conflict with the ambition of the agreement of December 12th.
Though BlackBerry has less than 1% of the smartphone market share today, it once had more than 50%. The question is how such a successful company could fall so far. Journalists Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff provide many of the answers in their book, Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry. Wharton marketing professor Americus Reed recently had an opportunity to talk with McNish about what we can learn from the rise and fall of BlackBerry.
Since Reform and Opening Up began in 1978, China has witnessed exponential double-digit GDP growth. While the coastal regions provided most of China's GDP growth, central and western China were quickly outpaced, as they lacked both the openness and the infrastructure needed to adopt this model. Coastal-inland inequalities are now closing the gap.
What are the triggers of an innovation project? Though there is extensive literature on innovation management, what exactly drives innovation remains unclear. And yet, it is a fundamental issue, considering that the future of the firm is at stake. Who should imagine this future and take the responsibility of initiating projects? R&D, marketing, prospective teams? There is no single answer. But a full range of business cases illustrate all three models.
"Although today's digital manufacturing machines are still in their infancy, they can already be used to make (almost) anything, anywhere. That changes everything," said Neil Gershenfeld, Director at MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms. Autonomous robotics, 3D printing, cloud computing, Internet of Things and sensor technologies are driving a paradigm shift in manufacturing. The new era of industrial production builds on the concept of cyber-physical systems. Consumers are expected to play an ever greater role in this new model.
"With the growing risks of assets becoming stranded by responses to climate change, it might seem necessary to ask whether not adjusting your investment strategy is wise, let alone affordable." These words were spoken by a person well-versed in economic diplomacy, with an unmistakably British sense of understatement: last September, Prince Charles was making these declarations on climate change in front of the financial community (including Ban Ki Moon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Gore...). This issue is the focal point of regular inquiries within the financial community itself. What risks and assets are we talking about? This issue deserves some in-depth explanation, beyond the media aspects.
Open community and collective intelligence have become significant phenomena in all fields where organizations and institutions used to play a leading role. In the business field, where socialstructing has manifested its power the most, we‘ve witnessed the emergence and evolution of Linux, Android, and now the open-source hardware driven by the grand IoT revolution. As an open-source electronic prototyping platform and kit board provider, Arduino has from the very beginning tied itself closely with an expansive user community and developer ecosystem, and has been widely accepted as the global leader in this area.
Successful companies have one secret: trust. One that facilitates managerial relations, allows taking risks or difficult decisions, and also helps develop trade relations. But trust cannot be imposed from the top. How is it created? The heart of trust is recognition. Far from being a moral issue, it is a major managerial challenge, a key to the performance of firms today.
For industrial manufacturers, resources remain a huge financial and managerial cost. A change in perspective can lead to real breakthroughs in reducing resource consumption.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is essentially a network of physical objects connected via the Internet, a buzzword for a new technology landscape that is reshaping the way we live and work. But is its potential understood and are we prepared for a new wave of industrial revolution?
How an organization makes its people-related decisions has a huge impact on its success or failure. But traditionally, these decisions have largely been based on intuition and biases and therefore have been prone to error. But now, companies are starting to use data and sophisticated analysis in issues such as recruiting, compensation and performance evaluation because they believe it can help in better decision making. Cade Massey and Adam Grant, who lead Wharton’s people analytics initiative, spoke with Knowledge@Wharton about why a data-driven approach to managing people at work is gaining traction.
In developed countries, particularly in Europe, investment has been sluggish since the 2008 crisis. And yet, money is abundant and there are many needs, especially in regard to long-term, growth-enhancing investments. But private investors are paralyzed. Is there any way out of this down-beat economic environment? Institutional investors are at the center of the game. Among them, public banks and deposits funds can play a significant role. How have these secular institutions returned in the spotlight?
Connected goods will lead to 5 transformations in retail: digital shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, perfect trade promotions, optimal consumer engagement, drastic reductions in counterfeiting and food waste. All this by 2025? The biggest obstacle is the cost of change: technology is already mostly out there.