Alibaba and the Future of Business

Alibaba hit the headlines with the world’s biggest IPO in September 2014. Today, the company has a market cap among the global top 10, has surpassed Walmart in global sales, and has expanded into all the major markets in the world. Founder Jack Ma has become a household name.

From its inception, in 1999, Alibaba experienced great growth on its e-commerce platform. However, it still didn’t look like a world-beater in 2007 when the management team, which I had joined full-time the year before, met for a strategy off-site at a drab seaside hotel in Ningbo, Zhejiang province. Over the course of the meeting, our disjointed observations and ideas about e-commerce trends began to coalesce into a larger view of the future, and by the end, we had agreed on a vision. We would “foster the development of an open, coordinated, prosperous e-commerce ecosystem.” That’s when Alibaba’s journey really began...Read more

Tips to achieve excellence in Operations ManagementTips to achieve excellence in Operations Management

When we hear of “industrial excellence” we often think about great execution, high efficiency, outstanding performances, and so on. Which is not wrong. However, the idea behind benchmarking industrial excellence across industries goes far beyond these concepts. With this purpose, researchers from leading European business schools have developed a widely internationally acknowledged framework and assessment tool for what is called “Management Quality”. This concept is based on seven drivers, i.e., strategy setting and alignment, delegation, integration, participation, performance measurement, communication and employee development...Read more

Conceptual Foundations of the Balanced Scorecard

Abstract
David Norton and I introduced the Balanced Scorecard in a 1992 Harvard Business Review article (Kaplan & Norton, 1992). The article was based on a multi-company research project to study performance measurement in companies whose intangible assets played a central role in value creation (Nolan Norton Institute, 1991). Norton and I believed that if companies were to improve the management of their intangible assets, they had to integrate the measurement of intangible assets into their management systems. After publication of the 1992 HBR article, several companies quickly adopted the Balanced Scorecard giving us deeper and broader insights into its power and potential. During the next 15 years, as it was adopted by thousands of private, public, and nonprofit enterprises around the world, we extended and broadened the concept into a management tool for describing, communicating and implementing strategy. This paper describes the roots and motivation for the original Balanced Scorecard article as well as the subsequent innovations that connected it to a larger management literature....Read more

Innovation Should Be a Top Priority for Boards. So Why Isn’t It?Innovation Should Be a Top Priority for Boards. So Why Isn’t It?

Corporate directors and executives alike recognize that today’s pace of change continues to accelerate and that firms need to innovate to stay ahead. But are boards doing enough to support innovation, as they should? We conducted a survey of over 5,000 board members from around the world to find out.

We found that, overall, innovation does not rank as a top strategic challenge for the majority of boards. Although directors in certain industries are more aware of the threat of disruption, the widespread lack of board-level engagement in innovation processes could be a major blind spot and a potential liability...Read more

The Big Lies of StrategyThe Big Lies of Strategy

THOSE WHO KNOW ME WELL know that I have a love/hate relationship with all things strategic. On the one hand, I hate ‘strategic planning’ and traditional strategic plans; but on the other, I absolutely love strategy. At heart, I’m a ‘strategy guy’, but the practices involved in strategic planning leave me cold — and the reason is, the typical strategic plan isn’t terribly useful.

Most strategic plans have three sections. The first is some lofty vision or mission statement, and the middle section tends to be a list of initiatives: ‘Here are a bunch of things we’re going to do’. Sometimes that’s good, because it is action-orientated, but if you look at most strategic plans — at least the ones I’ve seen — you can almost see how the list of initiatives came to be. There is a little bit in there for marketing and a little bit for manufacturing and a little bit for finance; it is basically a list of compromises that were made by a bunch of people sitting around a table saying, ‘We want to do this’, and ‘We want to do that’. Then lastly, there are the financials, which I often refer to as ‘a budget written in prose’. I don’t find any of this very helpful in terms of laying out the key choices that a firm needs to make...Read more

The Most Underrated Skill in ManagementThe Most Underrated Skill in Management

OVER THE PAST TWO DECADES, we have worked with dozens of organizations, helping them with everything from managing beds in a cardiac surgery unit to sequencing the human genome. While the work itself has been highly varied, one thing has become clear to us: Problem formulation is the single most underrated skill in all of management practice.

There are few questions more powerful than, ‘What problem are you trying to solve’? In our experience, leaders who can formulate a clear problem statement get more done with less effort and move more rapidly than their less-focused counterparts. Before we describe how to improve this capability within yourself, let’s take a quick look at something that often gets in the way: the workings of the human mind...Read more

12 Essential Lean Six Sigma concepts and tools12 Essential Lean Six Sigma concepts and tools

Introduction to Lean Six Sigma
Lean Six Sigma has its origins in the electronics company Motorola. It was coined in 1986 as a methodology to reduce defects.

Lean Six Sigma is a powerful tool. Over the last few decades, companies all over the world have saved countless millions by incorporating Lean and Six Sigma strategies into their processes.

Lean Six Sigma has a long record of being applied successfully across many industries. Information technology, telecommunications, sales, healthcare, finance, and even the military have used Lean Six Sigma to transform processes with business process management ideas – often proving the key the key to staying ahead in today’s busy marketplace...Read more

A Global Conversation With Wharton Dean Geoff Garrett

The 13-city Global Conversations Tour was part of Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett’s mission to embrace Wharton alumni around the globe, all while outlining his core priorities and vision for the School.

To cap off the live tour, Garrett met virtually with alumni and students in a live, interactive webinar on Feb. 3, 2016. Moderated by Wharton students—sophomore Dylan Adelman and second-year MBA Andra Ofosu—the webinar featured Garrett sharing what he learned during the Global Conversations Tour, as well as engaging in dialogue with attendees...Read more

What can tradition-rooted family businesses learn from future-focused MIT?What can tradition-rooted family businesses learn from future-focused MIT?

There’s an old Danish saying that it’s dangerous to make predictions, especially about the future. But being better informed about what’s happening in the present can go a long way to helping navigate, or at least keep moving in the right direction, in uncertain times. Organizations that partner with MIT Sloan Executive Education recognize the importance of understanding how technology driven business disruptions influence long-term strategy in virtually every industry. For family-owned businesses with a long tradition of doing things a certain way, the breakneck speed of technological change can feel especially disorienting. Disruption and change are shortening time horizons for all businesses, but family businesses have extra layers of complexity—the future success of the business is inseparable from the well-being of the family—and all the more reason to be better educated about the future...Read more

How Great Leaders Make Work MeaningfulHow Great Leaders Make Work Meaningful

U.S. President John F. Kennedy once met a custodian mopping floors at NASA headquarters long after normal work hours and asked, ‘‘Why are you working so late?’’ The custodian replied, ‘‘Because I’m not mopping the floors, I’m putting a man on the moon.’’ If this story seems too good to be true, it does have a parallel in the historical events that illustrates how the United States created a remarkably successful space programme, and it offers an important lesson in leadership...Read more

5 Steps to Automating Your Business Strategy5 Steps to Automating Your Business Strategy

Conventional thinking in business has long been that strategy decisions are made by humans, while the focus of automation and machine learning should be on execution.

With the speed of change and volume of market feedback today, as well as the advances in machine learning, Amazon, Alibaba, and others have proven the value of software driven strategy decisions.

For example, most e-commerce platforms today offer millions of products, with a changing mix daily and a changing market, such that it's virtually impossible to manually predict a strategy for mapping customer demographics to products displayed online...Read more

Meet the Entrepreneur Who Wants to Turn Factory Workers Into Internet DevicesMeet the Entrepreneur Who Wants to Turn Factory Workers Into Internet Devices

Chase Feiger didn’t attend a single class during his first year of medical school in 2012, a sure recipe for disaster for most aspiring doctors. It wasn’t because he was lazy; in fact, quite the opposite. Requiring just four hours of sleep a night, Feiger typically has energy to burn. So while most of his classmates were grinding through their studies at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, he’d wake up at 4 a.m., listen at double speed to the recorded lectures he’d missed, then go to work at First Round Capital, where he moonlighted as a portfolio consultant.

The then 24-year old, who had studied health policy and technology at Penn before earning a master’s in operations management from Cambridge, was fascinated by wearable technology like Google Glass, the eye-glass computer invented by Google X. He felt that a head-mounted display could play a role in improving healthcare by...Read more

Reevaluating Incremental InnovationReevaluating Incremental Innovation

A decade ago INSEAD marketing professor Marcel Corstjens was consulting with employees at a multinational consumer packaged goods company about ways to rejuvenate one of its biggest brands. During three days of meetings, he found a one-hour presentation by the company’s R&D team deeply fascinating. But no one else did. “There were many ideas that could have been developed,” he says, “but at the end of the R&D session everyone said, ‘OK, let’s get back to the communications and advertising issues,’ and nobody ever talked about the R&D again.” It’s no secret that large CPG companies are marketing powerhouses, but this apparent disregard for R&D insights stuck with him. Although CPG companies rank far behind high-tech and health care companies in R&D spending, some do devote more than $1 billion a year to R&D. Corstjens wondered: What kinds of returns are they getting?

To find out, he and two colleagues conducted a statistical analysis of R&D spending and growth, using data on the world’s top 2,500 firms. After excluding companies with less than $1 billion in revenue, they examined the relationship between...Read more

Why Design Thinking WorksWhy Design Thinking Works

Occasionally, a new way of organizing work leads to extraordinary improvements. Total quality management did that in manufacturing in the 1980s by combining a set of tools—kanban cards, quality circles, and so on—with the insight that people on the shop floor could do much higher level work than they usually were asked to. That blend of tools and insight, applied to a work process, can be thought of as a social technology.

In a recent seven-year study in which I looked in depth at 50 projects from a range of sectors, including business, health care, and social services, I have seen that another social technology, design...Read more

How IoT Is Impacting 7 Key Industries TodayHow IoT Is Impacting 7 Key Industries Today

There is no single way to describe the Internet of Things (IoT)—it varies by industry, both in types of systems and in use cases. IoT in one sector is different from IoT in another. To better understand just how IoT is impacting a variety of industries, Forbes Insights, in partnership with Intel, conducted a survey of 700 executives familiar with their organization's implementation of IoT programs.

As the survey found, financial services, healthcare and manufacturing are leaders in IoT thinking, and in many cases, are connecting IoT capabilities with powerful advanced analytics or artificial intelligence...Read more

A 4-Word Master Class in Leadership From Steve JobsA 4-Word Master Class in Leadership From Steve Jobs

I've got a leadership challenge for you. You can do better. Read on.

If the rift in popular sentiment around political leadership tells us anything, it's that we still value leaders, especially great ones. It is human nature to want someone at the helm to whom we can entrust the hardest decisions, even if we may vehemently disagree with him or her on them.

It's not different in any field of human endeavor. From the Whitehouse to the boardroom to the playing field, we seek out the qualities that earn a person the mantle of leader...Read more

Family Business Longevity Requires Owners to Step BackFamily Business Longevity Requires Owners to Step Back

Professionalising a family firm is a necessary yet difficult progression. The owner-manager starts with a solo performance but the firm builds into a symphony orchestra in which the family continues to have a say in the running of the firm. Family-run businesses need to shift their deeply engrained organisational culture from a single-family member leader to a professional manager leading the firm. It can be a difficult process to get right because of the larger emotional issues at stake. For professional managers who have little or no experience with family firms, most will have never confronted this kind of transformation before since it is unique to family firms. In general, both owner-managers and professionals often underestimate the length of time and the scope the process can take.

One study has shown that large publicly-traded family firms in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan have lost half their market value in the five years following the retirement of a family owner-manager. Most of these firms had...Read more

Why Consistent, Passionate Leadership Makes All the DifferenceWhy Consistent, Passionate Leadership Makes All the Difference

I had lunch the other day with a friend and former colleague; he had been the CEO of a successful company that we worked together to build. As usual, we caught up and reminisced, but what struck me about our conversation was our discussion around leadership, and how much truly good leadership contributed to the company’s success, culture, and camaraderie.

He shared that as he visits companies that have been built by previous employees – and staffed by a lot of talent from his previous companies – and he is greeted with such warmth. He said folks tell him that being a part of the company he led was one of the best experiences of their lives. I agreed. We had a great team, a great product, and built a company of significant value that positively impacted customers’ businesses...Read more

Strategic planning is like river rafting around large rocksStrategic planning is like river rafting around large rocks

“When I’m asked about the best strategy I usually tease people and say, ‘Give me a moment and I’ll fish it out of my pocket,’” says CBS Professor Marie Louise Mors, laughing:

“After all it’s terribly complex because it depends on the industry, company size, what you would like to achieve and so on. There isn’t just one answer. Strategy is nuanced and in motion. And that’s what makes it fun.”

Mors teaches the course “Strategy Development” on the Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) programme at CBS. She has 12 years of teaching experience at the MBA level and a PhD from the respected business school INSEAD in France. She has also spent time doing research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has been on the faculty at London Business School (LBS), whose MBA programmes are ranked at the top...Read more

An innovative model that combats supply chain disruptionsAn innovative model that combats supply chain disruptions

If the nature of your business is manufacturing, chances are one of your biggest concerns is supply chain disruption. While there are plenty of traditional ways to manage ordinary risks, when dealing with high-impact occurrences like viral epidemics or devastating storms--when the risks are often difficult to quantify and prepare for--a different method can help.

A model developed recently by MIT Sloan Professor David Simchi-Levi and his colleagues William Schmidt and Yehua Wei offers an alternative solution that concentrates on quantifying supply chain risk by using a breakthrough Risk Exposure Index (REI). In essence, says Simchi-Levi, the model "focuses on the impact of potential failures at points along the supply chain (such as the shuttering of a supplier’s factory or a flood at a distribution center), rather than the cause of the disruption."...Read more

The 4 Brain Superpowers You Need to Be a Successful Leader, According to NeuroscienceThe 4 Brain Superpowers You Need to Be a Successful Leader, According to Neuroscience

Kevin Chin wants his executives to limber up their brains.

Chin's investment company, Arowana, based in Sydney, Australia, is expanding into London, Los Angeles, and Asia, and "it is imperative to have a senior leadership team that is mentally agile and resilient," says Chin. Last year, the entrepreneur began working with Tara Swart, a neuroscientist, executive coach, and lecturer at MIT's Sloan School of Management. Now, he is extending that coaching to his top decision-makers so they, too, can get in touch with their amygdala.

Interest in applying neuroscience to business has been mounting for decades. One reason, according to Swart, is that leaders prefer the idea of optimizing an organ--which is tangible--to the idea of optimizing behavior--which is not. "If I say, 'You need to be more emotionally...Read more

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Walmart CEO Doug McMillon10 Things You Didn’t Know About Walmart CEO Doug McMillon

Walmart is still unstoppable after all these years. Even against the face of modern giants such as Amazon, it’s still able to stand its ground to fight. Walmart got a new CEO back in 2014, a name that wasn’t familiar to many at all. But since McMillon has replaced Mike Duke as CEO, Walmart has managed to implement better strategies that have kept Walmart up and above waters, swimming leisurely in today’s economic currents. There are many things about this CEO that’s unfamiliar to many in addition to his face. He may be a quite person, but we’ve discovered a few things about the Walmart CEO that you probably didn’t know about.

1. Walmart employee
Doug has worked with Walmart all his life. He actually got his first employment ever at Walmart as a summer associate when he was only a teenager. He worked at the distribution center unloading trucks. It was the perfect job for a young boy, but little did he know what the future had in store for him...Read more

The Blockchain RevolutionThe Blockchain Revolution

For the better part of six years, the Long Island Iced Tea Corporation had a good thing going at its headquarters in Hicksville, about an hour outside of Manhattan. The company produced a line of what Samuel L. Jackson might call “tasty beverages”—lemon, peach, raspberry, half-and-half, a handful of other flavors. But a funny thing happened in December: Long Island Iced Tea underwent an impromptu makeover and was reborn as the Long Blockchain Corp.

The company would still sell its popular drinks, CEO Philip Thomas explained, but it was also going to invest heavily in blockchain, the 21st century’s digital equivalent of the California Gold Rush...Read more

Successful Family Firms Shoot for the Moon

Bata Shoes is the largest shoe retailer on earth. Around since 1894, its current family members recently attended the INSEAD Family Enterprise Challenge. When they were completing an exercise exploring their family values and vision, one of the next-generation family members called out “why not a shoe store on the moon?”

His aspiration was logical. After all, where else should the world’s biggest shoe seller set its sights, but outer space? While audacious, it also stuck in our minds as a powerful metaphor of how successful family firms think about and plan for the future...Read more

Guts, Gall, and Good Luck: What It Takes To Be An EntrepreneurGuts, Gall, and Good Luck: What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur

What do these people have in common? The daughter of former slaves, pioneers in the private space race, and oddball inventors who created the green business industry. They all overcame long odds to become great American entrepreneurs. Here is a collection of recent stories and research reports that attempt to explain the necessary ingredients to becoming a successful entrepreneur—no matter how unlikely.

The Most Successful Startups Have Hands-On Founders
The best-performing startups are those where the founder is hands-on with people management...Read more

What is Industry 4.0? Here's A Super Easy Explanation For AnyoneWhat is Industry 4.0? Here's A Super Easy Explanation For Anyone

We’re in the midst of a significant transformation regarding the way we produce products thanks to the digitization of manufacturing. This transition is so compelling that it is being called Industry 4.0 to represent the fourth revolution that has occurred in manufacturing. From the first industrial revolution (mechanization through water and steam power) to the mass production and assembly lines using electricity in the second, the fourth industrial revolution will take what was started in the third with the adoption of computers and automation and enhance it with smart and autonomous systems fueled by data and machine learning.

Even though some dismiss Industry 4.0 as merely a marketing buzzword, shifts are happening in manufacturing that deserves our attention...Read more

Aim for Transformation, Not ChangeAim for Transformation, Not Change

In May 2018, Google CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled Google Duplex, a new virtual AI assistant with a hyper-realistic voice. Attendees of this year’s Google I/O conference listened to a recording of Duplex making a hair salon appointment, then a restaurant reservation. Both conversations were so natural that the humans on the phone probably had no clue they were talking to an AI entity.

Within hours, videos of the presentation went viral, racking up millions of hits. The world had just witnessed a stunning transformation. A multitude of possibilities immediately flooded the minds of viewers. A new future in the field of human-machine interaction had begun...Read more

The 4th Industrial Revolution: How Mining Companies Are Using AI, Machine Learning And RobotsThe 4th Industrial Revolution: How Mining Companies Are Using AI, Machine Learning And Robots

In an industry such as mining where improving efficiency and productivity is crucial to profitability, even small improvements in yields, speed and efficiency can make an extraordinary impact. Mining companies basically produce interchangeable commodities. The mining industry employs a modest amount of individuals—just 670,000 Americans are employed in the quarrying, mining and extraction sector—but it indirectly impacts nearly every other industry since it provides the raw materials for virtually every other aspect of the economy. It's already been 10 years since the British/Australian mining company Rio Tinto began to use fully autonomous haul trucks, but they haven’t stopped there. Here are just a few ways Rio Tinto and other mining companies are preparing for the 4th industrial revolutions by creating intelligent mining operations...Read more

What Happens to Firms That Don’t Adopt Dominant Technologies?
What Happens to Firms That Don’t Adopt Dominant Technologies?

When we think about ordinary technologies that make our lives easier, we often forget that they are the result of a struggle in which one of multiple technologies emerged dominant. Cars, for example, were not always powered by petrol. In fact, one early iteration saw a cleaner steam engine, but the petrol engine became the dominant technology after the automobile’s era of ferment. These technology shakeouts happen in many emerging industries, when their underlying technology is in a turbulent and rapid period of evolution.

One industry that recently went through its era of ferment is solar power. Solar industry innovators looked at various methods to harness power from the sun, including crystalline silicon (cSi), first developed in the 1950s and used in the production of microchips, and thin film, a cheaper but less efficient technology. Solar panels are connected packages of photovoltaic cells using cSi. At this point, the technology shakeout has put cSi on top...Read more

Make Your Next Corporate Offsite a Disruptive Innovation JamMake Your Next Corporate Offsite a Disruptive Innovation Jam

I've been fortunate to work with thousands of executives from many household names over the past 20 years. There's one thing just about every company and every leadership team share in common - the annual offsite.

Most offsites focus on building big visions, crafting change management strategies, and aligning around annual plans. Whether I'm brought in as the keynote speaker or asked to design and facilitate an entire event, everyone wants the same thing - to get away from boring meetings and have an engaging experience that delivers tangible results...Read more

Innovation Capital: The Secret Ingredient Behind The World's Most Innovative LeadersInnovation Capital: The Secret Ingredient Behind The World's Most Innovative Leaders

What distinguishes the world’s most effective leaders of innovation? It’s not just being creative or the quality of their ideas. Nikola Tesla was arguably a more brilliant inventor than Thomas Edison, but Edison realized tremendous commercial success while Tesla died penniless. Edison not only developed world-changing ideas, but he also acquired resources in a competitive market to execute and commercialize them. So what did Edison have that Tesla didn’t? Innovation capital. Innovation capital is an intangible capital, like political capital, that helps you win resources to commercialize novel ideas. It comes from who you are (innovation-specific human capital), who you know (innovation-specific social capital), what you are known for (your innovation-specific reputation capital), and specific actions you can take to amplify the impressions others get of you and your ideas, or impression amplifiers. Most importantly, innovation capital isn’t something you are born with, it’s something you build: “My ability to generate innovations...Read more

Follow Drucker’s Lead: Ask the Right QuestionsFollow Drucker’s Lead: Ask the Right Questions

Asking the right questions
I’ve told the story before how I was surprised one evening in class when Drucker was asked a question that I thought that he might have difficulty in answering. Another student asked how he was able to consult successfully with varied top executives of countries as well as CEOs and presidents of non-profits and small businesses as well as major corporations and religious organizations.

Where did he get the great knowledge and experience to be able to do this?
I knew that Drucker liked to answer difficult questions, but how would he answer this? What was the answer? Of course, he had a methodology and in one of his books, he even gave us an outline...Read more

The World's Most Innovative LeadersThe World's Most Innovative Leaders

What sets apart the superstars of innovation? Not just creativity and genius ideas. Nikola Tesla may have been more brilliant than Thomas Edison, but Edison had huge successes that changed the world, and Tesla died penniless. What Edison had that Tesla didn't is what professors Jeff Dyer of Brigham Young University and Nathan Furr of INSEAD business school call innovation capital. It's a combination of strengths from skill at leading innovation to powerful connections with other leaders and, perhaps most important, an ever-growing record of making big new things happen. Dyer and Furr have ranked the leaders with the greatest innovation capital today by measuring four essential qualities: reputation for innovation (looking at media coverage over five years), social connections and networks (on Twitter and LinkedIn), track record for value creation (based on the market value growth of their companies) and investor expectations for future value creation (measured by the premium investors put on their companies' stock). Here are the 10 top finishers; Forbes will publish a full list of the 100 most innovative leaders in 2019...Read more

Another change? How to let go of the oldAnother change? How to let go of the old

When was the last time you experienced a change in your professional life, at a personal level such as a change in company, team or position? Or maybe it was at an organizational level such as restructuring, rebranding, new processes in place of the old?

We don’t need to look far for evidence that change is happening. From academia, the press, or testimonies from clients who come to the EDHEC Leadership and Managerial Competencies Chair for Leadership development. It’s like rapid fire nowadays and from a psychological perspective, or performance perspective if you like, navigating change can be tough, for new and experienced managers alike...Read more

3 New Literacies For The Innovation Economy3 New Literacies For The Innovation Economy

In the old days (like two years ago), you had to tell computers what to do. They are increasingly figuring it out on their own. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI), code that learns, is reshaping life and work.

We’re a couple years into a new era driven by exponential technology:

Cheap devices (phones, cameras, and sensors), computing and storage yield big data;

We live, learn, work and play on platforms; and

Our life and work has been augmented by artificial intelligence in narrow but broadening categories...Read more

3 Tips to Build a Multinational Company, From an Entrepreneur Who's Done It Twice3 Tips to Build a Multinational Company, From an Entrepreneur Who's Done It Twice

Gone are the days when every successful business started with the same blueprint. Technology and globalization have made it much easier for startups to achieve rapid growth in multiple locations at once. And Startup Genome's Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2018 supports this view that growth doesn't have to occur in just one spot. Cities such as Tel Aviv, Berlin, Stockholm and even Barcelona are making huge strides toward catching up with New York City and Silicon Valley as startup-ecosystem leaders.

According to the report, global startup interest is on the rise; investors pushed more than $140 billion into global startups in 2017 alone. So, entrepreneurs who want to take advantage of this investment surge should consider building a global team from the get-go...Read more

Innovation Is No Accident -- Invite It In With These 4 Steps

For entrepreneurs and small business owners, innovation is essential. It differentiates them from their similar-sized competitors, and it’s what allows them to compete with much larger organizations and still thrive.

Large corporations also prioritize innovation, which is one reason they frequently acquire smaller, more agile companies. Braintree, whose founder sold the company to PayPal several years ago, is a prime example of this. And while energy company Ameren hasn’t acquired a startup, its partnership with UMSL Accelerate and others to power an accelerator is further evidence that corporations view startups as the innovation hubs they are...Read more

7 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Take Advantage of the Booming Economy in 20187 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Take Advantage of the Booming Economy in 2018

With all the daily reports on trade wars and Russian interference--as well as reports of our eventual demise--that are greatly exaggerated, it's easy to lose perspective.

The U.S. is still the best place in the world to own a business and our economy has inherent advantages in the form of safe borders, a democratic society and unmatched natural resources.

And, our economy is hot. The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. economy grew 4.1 percent in the second quarter, its best showing since 2014. While many economists are calling for a recession in 2019 or 2020, the underlying fundamentals of our economy remain strong...Read more

AI Deployment Challenges: 5 Tips To Help Overcome The HurdlesAI Deployment Challenges: 5 Tips To Help Overcome The Hurdles

Everyone is talking about the power of AI and it’s slowly invading our lives—emphasis on slowly. While you might have a few AI assistants and connected devices in your house, the business world hasn’t fully jumped on board yet with AI. Sure, the forward-thinking companies have and those are the headline we are seeing, but I’m talking about full adoption from the mom and pop shops all the way up to the enterprise level, spanning across all industries. We all understand the power and the potential of AI, but we don’t seem to discuss the AI deployment challenges that many businesses are likely facing.

We see statistics like 61% of companies with an innovation strategy are using AI to identify opportunities in data and think that a majority of companies must be adopting AI. But that stat is a little misleading. How ...Read more