business - Page number 3

The seven deadly sins of innovation leaders

Scary to join

The sole purpose of a business is to grow. This can take on many dimensions – profits, revenues, market share, brand or community influence just to name a few. The road to growth is very simple. Innovation is required to drive growth. You make something better or new (products, services, solutions, etc.) and you sell to someone better or new (markets, segments, channels, etc.). Basically that’s it the rest is just fine print.  » Read more

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Open business news roundup: Interesting articles and blogs

Open business news roundup: Interesting articles and blogs

This month, stories about people doing business the open source way have popped up in some surprising places. From an Israeli food manufacturer to the Wall St. Journal, here are some interesting news articles and blog posts on sharing, collaboration, hacking, and transparency I've read this month. » Read more

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Transparency for All, Until It Affects Me

A draft executive order from the Obama administration recently surfaced titled “Disclosure of Political Spending by Government Contractors.” If signed and implemented, potential contractors bidding on federal work would be required to disclose contributions and spending two years back. » Read more

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A generational look at open management

Whether you're a newly appointed manager or a weathered veteran, one thing's for certain: when it comes to leading the workforce of the future, the times they are a-changin'. The ability (and willingness) to understand and adapt to the new paradigms of working will separate the good managers from the great managers, and both from the clueless ones. » Read more

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The hole in the soul of business

I’m a big fan of New Yorker cartoons. There’s usually at least one in every issue that provokes a wry smile or a wince of self-recognition. While I’ve never actually participated in the magazine’s weekly caption competition, I occasionally gin up a prospective entry. Last week, the contest featured a drawing of a couple sitting in a living room. The husband (perhaps?) was perusing a newspaper on the sofa while his wife lounged in a nearby armchair. She was a mermaid—naked from the waist up, her large flipper resting demurely on the floor. With her head angled towards her companion and her mouth open in mid-sentence, I imagined her to be saying: “After ten years, I think you could have learned to scuba dive,” or “Hiking in the Alps again? I thought we could take a beach holiday this year.”

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Results vs. recommendations: How an organization's expectations reveal its culture

Years back I worked as an editor for the now-defunct Red Hat Magazine. While our circulation numbers were respectable, the department head wanted to see a sizable increase. In most companies, I would have been asked to do some research and present a publishing plan or a report on how to improve the numbers. Perhaps a consultant would have assisted. The resultant ideas would have been discussed, vetted, approved, shot down, and at some point (in some form) (probably) implemented.

But at an open source company, things roll a bit differently. My team was given a simple task: Increase the number of readers. We were expected to come up with strategies to make that happen while remaining true to the editorial vision of the magazine, but the department head wasn't particularly interested in hearing about our plans. He just wanted to see the numbers. Every month.

Talk about pressure. We quickly realized that ideas and plans and reports are simple to generate; results are not. » Read more

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Telling the open source story - Part 1

As open source software becomes more mainstream, it's easy to forget how amazing it is. Countless individuals, donating their time and sharing their brainpower, work to build a shared infrastructure on which the world's computing is done. Amazing. Even more amazing, in survey after survey, the big reason open source contributors give for their participation is that it's "fun." Even more amazing than that is the rate at which this technology improves because people are having fun building it.

Wikipedia, the free internet encyclopedia that anyone can write or edit, is no less amazing. Yet as it gains legitimacy, the exciting story of how it is created and renewed--daily, perpetually--is de-emphasized. Yes, Wikipedia is imperfect. By design, it will always be a work in progress. But because there is a collective human impulse to share knowledge, the fact that anyone can improve it any time they want, means that someone always will.

» Read more

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Three Keys to Success For the 21st Century Manager

A trio of recent Harvard Business Review blog posts all center around a common theme: what does it take to be a successful business leader and manager in the 21st century? What traits and characteristics should this new generation of business leader possess? » Read more

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Can open business practices survive an acquisition?

It ain’t easy being open in today’s corporate environment. It’s even harder for an open company to stick to its knitting when it joins forces with a much larger, much more entrenched player in its industry. Is it possible for a small company to stay true to its more 21st century values if it hopes to reach the heights of its 20th century predecessors? » Read more

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Managing clouds and the death of formality in business

I've been toying around with a new hypothesis. Here it is:

Formality in business is dying.

Now I am not talking about Blue Jeans Friday and Bring Your Pet to Work Day all of the sudden cropping up everywhere. I've seen very formally-run businesses where people showed up in jeans with their dogs or whatever. So much superficial informality.

What I'm talking about is a fundamental shift of business culture and management practices from formal to informal in many innovative companies. What do I mean? Let's take a step back. » Read more

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