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A complex path to the digital future

Business March 15th, 2016, Howard Gross / Founder and Principal, HG Communications, LLC; former Senior Director of Global Communications, The Nielsen Company

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.

Innovation management: don’t forget about legal watch!

Business January 26th, 2016, Michaël Haddad / Chairman, X Open Innovation, Applied Optics & Algorithmics Pole Manager, L'Oréal Recherche & Innovation

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.

Organizing your business for innovation: lessons from Alibaba

Business January 19th, 2016, Julien Legrand / Yenching Scholar & Mines ParisTech Engineer

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.

Push or pull? Three ways to drive innovation

Business December 6th, 2015, Michaël Haddad / Chairman, X Open Innovation, Applied Optics & Algorithmics Pole Manager, L'Oréal Recherche & Innovation

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.

A pocket-sized multinational

Industries November 10th, 2015, Georges Jobard / Chairman, F2i, Innovation and Strategy Consultant

Clextral is an engineering company located in Firminy near Saint-Etienne, France. It employs 275 people including 80 engineers, sells its machines in 88 countries and has subsidiaries and offices on every continent. What's the secret?

How can data and wearable technology improve corporate benefit management?

Society November 6th, 2015, Rajeshree Parekh / Director of Corporate Health and Wellness, Asia Pacific, Towers Watson

Towers Watson has launched HealthVantage, a health management solution that incorporates wearable devices and online applications to give an organization’s workforce a full health refresh. Using technology effectively can present a big opportunity for employers to build a culture of wellness at their organization. How?

Arduino: our real boss is the community

Business October 28th, 2015, Federico Musto / President and CEO, Arduino

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.

Confidence and recognition: the alchemy of trust

Business September 28th, 2015, Francis Mer / Former Minister of Economy, France

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.

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 [email protected] about why a data-driven approach to managing people at work is gaining traction.

Industrial and technical challenges in the nuclear power industry

Industries March 20th, 2015, Hervé Machenaud / Vice President Asia-Pacific, Electricité de France (EDF), Former Group Senior Executive Vice President of Generation, EDF

In an industrial facility, the key-concept is reliability. It is all the more true in utilities such as electric power companies, since one must be able to trust the electricity provider 24/7, year in, year out. It is even crucial when it comes to nuclear power production, where one should expect high sustainability and total safety. In this industry, rigorous mastering of the production tool is thus a necessary condition for the technical and economic performance. The heart of this industrial model is engineering.

Hidden champions are market leaders that are often not well known by the general public. These small and medium size businesses focus on niche markets that they dominate at a national, regional or even global scale, with a market share often exceeding 70%. Exceptionally numerous in Germany, where they form the backbone of the Mittelstand, they explain both this country's exporting power and its resilience to crises.

During the 20th century Governments and public agencies such as NASA played a major role in the innovation chain. The Internet itself was born through public programs, just as GPS and many other game-changing technologies. But in recent years, questions arose over the efficiency of public efforts, challenged by smart, dynamic, powerful corporations such as Google, on the one hand, or bottom-up and open source models, on the other hand. Are Governments out of the game?

New digital upstarts are threatening the bottom lines, growth prospects, and even business models of traditional service providers. It’s time for incumbents to innovate... or be left behind.

The future of entreprise – 7 – Towards new value proposals

Business February 19th, 2015, Nicolas Colin / Co-founder and Partner, TheFamily

Business models that emerge today outline a world of hyper-competition: in the digital economy, it's always possible to find both better and cheaper elsewhere. Now, this tendency is spreading beyond the borders of the Net. How can a company survive in this ruthless world? How can it possibly stand out from others? New trends are emerging, new value proposals that could become the cornerstone of tomorrow's economy.

This is the other side of globalization: more and more cases of misunderstanding. However, it is not impossible to avoid them. All you need are a few keys that allow you to step into the other person's shoes. Here are ten such keys, covering some especially sensitive points met in the business world.

The 8 proven principles for managing innovation

Business January 29th, 2015, Rémi Maniak / Associate Professor at Telecom ParisTech and Researcher at Ecole Polytechnique

Yes, it is possible to rationalize the innovation effort, moving on from managing equilibrium to handling a constant imbalance. No, this is no easy matter. It requires that we revise - and fairly extensively - our natural reflexes and current tools, without slipping into fashionable fads. The good news is that research in management has now identified the principles needed to manage innovation. Here are eight of these principles.

The future of enterprise – 5 – Welcome to the disorganized organization

Business November 29th, 2014, Denis Maillard / Vice President Communication and Strategy, Technologia

Up to recent decades, the enterprise was characterized by a unity of place. Enterprises tomorrow will be characterized by a unity of time, that needed for a project, for a small and large scale contracts, but with no unity of place, inasmuch as the workers can be thousands of kilometres away, in third party office premises or at home, in a remote tele-work mode. Working no longer consists of collaborating with colleagues in a given place built for this purpose, but rather networking with others and organizing a shared sociability. The question is: will the very concept of enterprise survive?

Should we imagine, come the 2030 horizon, new forms of entrepreneurial leadership? Even with the support of Big Data technologies, future managers and business leaders will have to cope with increasing complexity and uncertainty. The credo of there being a single one-best-way already belongs the past. Authority will no longer depend on who owns the knowledge. So, what will the skills and qualities of tomorrow's managerial class look like?

What would it take for algorithms to take over the C-suite? And what will be senior leaders' most important contributions if they do? The advances of brilliant machines will astound us, but they will transform the lives of senior executives only if managerial advances enable them to. There's still a great deal of work to be done to create data sets worthy of the most intelligent machines and their burgeoning decision-making potential. On top of that, there's a need for senior leaders to let go in ways that run counter to a century of organizational development.

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