- Opinion & Analysis
- Read Time: 6 min
When you’re developing a strategy for a new business, testing assumptions in your plan in a logical order gives you the best chance to make course corrections early — and not waste time and money.
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Like pottery, entrepreneurship is a craft that blends both science and art. Both pottery and entrepreneurship are accessible to anyone, learnable, built on fundamental concepts — and best learned through on-the-job training. To inspire today’s generation of company builders, entrepreneurship education needs a common language to ground students in fundamental concepts, and it needs to offer apprenticeship opportunities.
Zhang Ruimin, the CEO and chairman of the Qingdao, China, white goods giant Haier Group Corp., has done what most chief executives dare not even dream about. He blew up nearly the entire administrative structure of a global manufacturing enterprise, eliminating the 10,000 management jobs that once held it together, and reshaped the organization into a network of entrepreneurial ventures run by employees.
There is an unprecedented explosion of innovation going on all around us. And yet, as Fredrik Erixon and Björn Weigel point out in their new book, The Innovation Illusion, GDP growth, productivity, and corporate investment in the capitalist economies of the West are all on the decline. The authors peg this counterintuitive reality to “gray capitalism, excessive corporate managerialism, second-generation globalization, and complex regulations.”
A new breed of social entrepreneurs has evolved. “Social scalers” focus on market-based solutions that can be scaled up to create social change. Their goal: transform social problems into business opportunities on a national or even global scale. The authors of Strategy and Competitiveness in Latin American Markets: The Sustainability Frontier (Edward Elgar, 2014) look at how companies seeking to address social issues can learn from these social scalers.
Do your opening sentences get people to pay attention? When pitching a start-up idea, you need to get to the core innovation right out of the gate. When making any kind of presentation, a counter-intuitive statement, surprising fact or arresting story can get people to put their phones down.
At the annual Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford conference, the crowd agreed with the motion under debate that “the average worker is being left behind by advances in technology.”
Five tips show how companies can work with consumer innovators, or “casual entrepreneurs,” by understanding that “lead users” are key.
The death of Digital Equipment Corp. cofounder (and MIT alumnus) Ken Olsen has prompted much conversation about him and the DEC.
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