Article of the Week
Harvard Business School For The Facebook Age (FastCompany)
Big Idea: Under the leadership of HBS Dean Nitin Nohria and Harvard University President Drew Faust (and their predecessors), the school has implemented this year an ambitious creative destruction project. HBS wants to reinvent the MBA and birth a new generation of entrepreneurs, innovation, and startups.
Editor’s Choice Articles
Ford + TechShop: Getting Employees to Tinker (Wired)
Big Idea: Before he invented the assembly line, Henry Ford built his first prototype on a workbench in a shed. More than a century later, his company has partnered with TechShop, Detroit, the 21st-century equivalent of that shed, with a bold program to ignite innovation in the company. Ford employees who invent something that the company ends up patenting receive a free three-month membership to TechShop, where they can flex their creative muscles.
How Dave Cote got Honeywell’s groove back (Fortune)
Big Idea: Cote (pronounced CO-tee) is an increasingly rare commodity in the business world: an independent thinker who’s the antithesis of a slick, prepackaged CEO. The 59-year-old fills a room not because he’s an imperial type who prizes pomp, but because he’s a rough-hewn leader who demands accountability. Says Honeywell director Gordon Bethune, former CEO of Continental Airlines: “He took us from a disaster to a hell of a company. And he never beat his chest while he was doing it.”
Adaptive Strategy in Government (bcg.perspectives)
Big Idea: Rather than abandon strategy altogether, politicians and civil servants need to learn from these failures and frustrations. Around the world, public-sector innovators are doing just that, evolving a style of strategy that combines clear goals with flexible methods. This “adaptive strategy” differs from both the classical strategies of twentieth-century business and the “muddling through” that has replaced them in much of government today. Although it means accepting less predictive ability and control than has been expected of traditional strategy, adaptive strategy rescues government’s ability to set a direction without reintroducing the rigidities of old-fashioned planning.
Meet the “collaborative” consumer (Fortune)
Big Idea: Collaborative consumption is a concept that can seemingly describe anything from Netflix to New York City’s Park Slope Food Co-op. It has been called a “revolution” by “creative entrepreneurs who want to change the world” and while its promoters claim it is a cure for “hyperconsumption” based on sharing and peer-to-peer networks, some of the ideas it is beginning to spawn and the claims made on its behalf look more like a reduced-guilt version of the same old capitalism than a revolutionary economic model.
Panera’s Experiment in Human Nature: Let Customers Decide What to Pay (Management Innovation eXchange)
Big Idea: Panera Bread launched a new breed of business to attack the growing epidemic of food insecurity in America. The result is Panera Cares—cafes where people eat tasty, nutritious food in an uplifting environment and pay whatever they can afford. There’s a full Panera menu, but no prices. The guest, not Panera, sets the price. And yet, each community cafe is self-sustaining.