Showing posts from May, 2016

Using Your Whole Brain

For as long as one can remember, a debate has raged about left-and right-brain thinking. The right side of the brain has been associated with creativity while the left side has been associated with analysis and rational thought. An entire industry has spawned to "test" people about their proclivity and to place them in neat boxes in phenomena as serious as careers and personality.

Well, it is time to say goodbye to such stereotypes. With a little effort, we can make better use of our brains, and can excel in whatever we do. And you have the empirical research of scientists at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology to be confident of the outcomes. Consider this: 74 city employees in Orange County, California, were subjected to a series of simple techniques. After eight months, the employees improved their capacity to generate new ideas by 55%, brought in additional revenues of $600,000 and saved $3.5 Million through innovative cost reductions.

Before yo…

The Future of American Growth

Robert J Gordon is a distinguished macroeconomist and economic historian at Northwestern University.  His latest work is aptly titled "The Rise and Fall of American Growth", a masterly treatise of 762 pages (2016, Princeton University Press). Filled with data, charts, and graphs, the book is as well-researched as one can ever expect from a scholar of such eminence.

The central thesis of Gordon's work is elegantly simple: for seven centuries, starting at 1300, the growth rate was fairly constant at around 0.2% per year (refers primarily to Britain and its colonies). When the USA became the dominant force in the global economy, the level shot up to 2.0% thanks mainly to some of the most wonderful inventions of the last one hundred years - electricity, centralized water supply and sanitation, the internal combustion engine leading up to the automobile, mass transportation systems, chemicals and pharmaceuticals that conquered many diseases, and the sociological impact of wo…

The Three Box Solution

Professor Vijay Govindarajan (VG) is one of the world's leading experts on strategy and innovation. He is the Coxe Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business and the Marvin Bower Fellow at Harvard Business School. 

Professor VG's latest book "The Three Box Solution" is the outcome of 35 years of research, teaching, writing, and consulting.

The Three Box Solution is a metaphor for management's approach to innovation. Shorn of technicalities, Box 1 represents the present - the core that is responsible for current revenue and profit streams. Box 2 represents the past - something that might have worked well in the past but is no longer relevant either because of changes in industry structure or technology or new business models or any other reason. Box 3 represents the future - one that is full of possibilities and opportunities, but one that entails considerable risk as well.

Professor VG argues that for organizations to succeed in the l…