Image courtesy of Flickr user harry_nl.

Spring 2009
Volume 50, Issue # 3

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Do-It-Yourself Brand Creation

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 3 min 

Strong brands are often seen as an important corporate asset. But what happens when user communities—connected by the Internet—start to create their own brands? That question was explored in an intriguing August 2008 working paper, “Costless Creation of Strong Brands by User Communities: Implications for Producer-Owned Brands.” The paper suggests that companies with traditional brands would be wise to pay attention to this emerging arena.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Hitchster.

How to Make Sense of Weak Signals

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 24 min 

There’s no sense in denying it: interpreting weak signals into useful decision making takes time and focus. These three stages can help you see the periphery—and act on it—much more clearly.

Courtesy of Mini Cooper.

Cracking the Code of Mass Customization

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 20 min 

Most companies can benefit from mass customization, yet few do. The key is to think of it as a process for aligning a business with its customers’ needs.

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Image courtesy of IBM.

Motivated to Innovate

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 1 min 

Courtesy of IBM. Looking to spark innovation in your R&D work force? Look for employees who are motivated by intellectual challenge—but not by job security. Henry Sauermann, an assistant professor of strategic management at Georgia Institute of Technology, and Wesley M. Cohen, the Frederick C.

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The Power of a Mobilized Community

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 1 min 

Want success for your radical innovation? Think like a community organizer. That’s one of the messages of Market Rebels: How Activists Make or Break Radical Innovations (Princeton University Press, 2009), a new book by Hayagreeva Rao.

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A Culture in Common

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 1 min 

Is there a corporate culture of innovation that transcends national differences? That’s one of the suggestions of a study called “Radical Innovation Across Nations: The Pre-eminence of Corporate Culture” that was published in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of Marketing. Gerard J. Tellis, Jaideep C.

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Christensen, the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School

Good Days for Disruptors

  • Interview
  • Read Time: 12 min 

In the minds of many, the financial crisis has given innovation a black eye. Disruption theorist Clayton Christensen disagrees.

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Image courtesy of Flickr user Sharon Drummond.

Nature’s Rules

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 2 min 

Image courtesy of Flickr user Sharon Drummond. Any one of us—and any one of our organizations—could be forgiven for behaving at the moment like a bear confronting winter. I don’t mean behaving “bearishly,” as investors do.