Blog Articles on the Future of Business Collaboration, Strategy, Innovation, Organizational Change Management and Execution

Learn the latest from the world’s leading experts across disciplines and industries on our blog with articles and resources that give your team the strategic edge. Get practical insights, tools, & templates to accelerate business success.  Our global network of Thought Leaders write for Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, and other academic, professional, and business press. They all have one big thing in common: they’re shaping the future of business best practices.

Articles

Is creativity learned? upBOARD

Innovation in the Family – Is Creativity a Trait or can it be Learned?

One of the longest standing questions in the field of innovation lies in the debate surrounding whether or not “creativity” is an innate trait or whether it’s something that can be learned. The answer has big implications. If you think creativity can be learned, you can then train people to be move innovative. If you…

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The Future of No-Code and Low-Code Software is all about Business Innovation

No-code and low-code software may create a massive opportunity. A massive transformation faces the software industry, similar to the disruption we’ve seen hit other industries like health care and manufacturing. We’ve already seen how Google Docs took the world by storm through free cloud-based software, forcing Microsoft to change its Office 365 business model. Cloud-based software is now the norm. Now, we’re…

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10 Disruptive Trends for 2020

Disruption is everywhere. Here are 10 trends that will create opportunities – and threats – in 2020. Twenty years ago, when I started advising startups and Fortune 500 companies on their innovation strategies, a “2020 vision” served as a key staple in most business planning efforts. The future is finally here. Emerging technologies catalyze disruption. But 2020 promises to be…

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Four Types of Customer Experiences for Competitive Advantage

Want to improve your customers’ experience? Try these connected strategies. What’s the secret to a winning business model and long-term competitive advantage? It’s not just about technology, products and services. Your customer experience may just be the ultimate competitive advantage. Strategy and innovation experts Nicolaj Siggelkow and Christian Terwiesch just published a new book called Connected Strategy: Building Continuous…

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Forget Your Business Plan. Create a Strategy Map.

Strategic plans become outdated the moment they’re created. Instead, create a one-page strategy map. Having run the internal strategy consulting group at HP, and then consulting to both startups and big companies like Disney, Visa, Colgate, Medtronic and others, I’ve created hundreds of strategic plans. Business strategy used to be a clear and methodical process. No more. Today’s discontinuous technologies and…

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Create a Culture of Innovation with the 10 Laws of Trust

Trust is the currency of business success. Here’s how to build it into your corporate culture. Leading organizational change to create a corporate culture that delivers continuous innovation is one of today’s most strategic business imperatives. But how do you do that? We’ve seen what happens to companies when customers lose trust in their brands – just think Target (data breach),…

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A Sad Fact: Leaders Who Lie Can Still Be Trusted by Their Followers

Being truthful and being trustworthy aren’t the same, which poses a problem for both society and the practice of leadership itself In today’s world, it’s hard to know who to listen to and what to believe. Who’s the best Presidential candidate? Is Brexit good or bad? Which college is best for my child? Usually there’s…

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Amazon’s Success Boils Down to Six Building Blocks

Replicate Amazon’s secret formula for winning big in the digital age Having run strategy and leadership development programs across the Fortune 1000 for over the past 25 years, I’ve seen lots of business models. As I highlighted in a prior article on The Future of Seamless Shopping, nothing currently parallels Amazon when it comes to innovation. Amazon’s management system is designed…

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Don’t Make a New Year’s Resolution. Create a Start-Stop-Continue Plan Instead.

Real change requires more than just doing something new. It also involves stopping what doesn’t work and continuing what’s already working well. When I work with leaders and organizations looking to create change and innovate, I always tell them the same thing: strategy is as much about what you don’t do, as it is about what you decide to do. It’s natural to look for…

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Mentoring Is the Secret to Innovation Say Silicon Valley’s Top VCs and Entrepreneurs

Mentoring transforms big ideas into high-impact innovations. Having worked with dozens of the Fortune 1000 companies, coached startups, and founded three companies, I can say there’s a universal truth when it comes to innovation:  big ideas are just ideas until they deliver real value to the world. That’s why just about every venture capitalist, entrepreneur, corporate innovator and university…

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Top Strategy and Innovation Books of 2019

The best strategy & innovation books deliver new insights, examples and tools for reinventing business. I’ve recently written about the disruptive change and innovation upending markets like product packaging, travel and hospitality, management consulting, construction, healthcare, and manufacturing. No matter the trends, technologies or transformations, every industry faces similar challenges: What business models must we create for the future? How do we differentiate…

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The Future of Smart Cities

Our communities are getting really smart. Here’s what to expect. I’m sitting here in a large convention center in Los Angeles about to deliver the closing keynote at the Southern California Public Power Authority annual conference. It’s basically a gathering of the top municipal utilities in Southern California that serve more than 5 million people and deliver…

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How Big Companies and Startups Use “Co-Creation” to Innovate

The latest research says “co-creation” is an untapped opportunity for innovation. Here’s how to do it. When I ran the internal strategy consulting group at HP, we constantly asked ourselves, “how can we get our $40 billion global behemoth operating more like a startup?”  That’s because like most big companies, we struggled with risk-taking and moving fast. Startups…

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Run Wildly Effective Meetings With This One Powerful Template

Getting the most out of meetings is easy if you know how to effectively design them. One of the biggest black holes in workplace productivity is the poorly designed, poorly run meeting. No wonder 71 percent of senior managers view their companies’ meetings as unproductive and inefficient. When meetings aren’t effective, the natural instinct is to schedule…

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Silicon Valley’s Next Target: Disrupt the Construction and Real Estate Industries

‘Construction Tech’ and ‘Real Estate Tech’ are the next greenfield market spaces. Every industry, every company, and every leader must recognize one simple fact: every product, service, process, and business model will be disrupted–it’s just a matter of time. Companies that think they’re immune to the trends and technologies upending every industry on the planet risk…

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3 Questions You Need to Ask Before Creating an Innovation Roadmap

Driving True Innovation Within Your Organization Means You Must Outline Your Goals and Priorities Clearly In January 1996, two Stanford PhD students started working on a research project that would change the world. They nicknamed their project BackRub, because it checked backlinks of websites to determine their importance. Today, that project has become known as…

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How Benchmarking Against Market Leaders Can Drive Business Success

What is benchmarking, and what tools and templates can businesses use to benchmark more effectively? What you don’t know can hurt you. This is especially true in business. If you aren’t aware of what’s going on around you as a business leader, you may risk being left behind by your competitors. Even worse, your business…

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What You Can Learn About Goal Setting from the Manhattan Project

Managing projects with the Critical Path Method (CPM) allows teams to streamline processes that drive success even when the odds are stacked against you By upBOARD   In the 1940s, the United States began working on a secretive program called the Manhattan Project. The project went on to develop the first functional nuclear weapons which…

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Are you a Fox or a Hedgehog?

Sometimes, lasting innovation requires being slow, quiet and even a little bit boring By Upboard   Every single business is unique in one way or another. Businesses vary greatly depending on the products that they provide, the business models they employ and the style of service they give to their customers. Most businesses struggle to…

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