How to create a new product that people will want to buy

Innovation may never be a perfect science, but we have the ability to make innovation a reliable engine for growth, an engine based on a clear understanding of causality, rather than simply casting seeds in the hopes of one day harvesting some fruit, according to Clayton Christensen, Karen Dillon, Taddy Hall and David Duncan in their book Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice.

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Strategies for handling chaos

The hallmark of a “wicked” situation is a rapidly transforming business environment in which established models of profitability and success are undergoing unpredictable changes, according to John Camillus in his book Wicked Strategies: How Companies Conquer Complexity and Confound Competitors. These complex, intractable and threatening wicked problems cannot be addressed by conventional strategies; instead, wicked problems require wicked strategies.

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IT agreements explained for business people

A focus on what’s fair may lead you to reject deals that make economic sense, or to accept deals that don’t, according to David Tollen in his book The Tech contracts Handbook (second edition). The better question is: would doing the deal under these terms be more profitable than not doing it?

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Useful resources for navigating digital disruption

There is absolutely no reason upstart digital companies have to supplant established firms. There is no reason new businesses have to be the only engines of innovation. The problem, according to David Rogers in his book The Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age, is that—in many cases—management simply doesn’t have a playbook to follow to understand and then address the competitive challenges of digitization. This book aims to fulfil that role, helping you understand, strategize for, and compete on the digital playing field.

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Compelling reasons for joining a peer advisory group

Fewer than 1 percent of CEOs participate in CEO peer advisory groups, yet most of the high-performing CEOs who are members of a group say their experience has lifted their organizations and changed their lives beyond measure, according to Leon Shapiro and Leo Bottary in their book The Power of Peers: How the Company You Keep Drives Leadership, Growth and Success. While the CEO’s life can be a lonely one, it does not have to be.

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The truth about digital disruption

The processes and incentives that companies use to keep focused on their main customers work so well that they blind those companies to important new technologies in emerging markets, and this leaves established companies vulnerable to new entrants who start by using the new technologies to target the low end of the market and gradually work their way upward to squeeze out incumbents in the profitable part of the market. That is the process of digital disruption for which Clayton Christensen is best known, and which is described in several articles in The Clayton M Christensen Reader.

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Workplace self-defence strategies

While bullying says more about the bully than it does about you, you are the one who has to learn to stand up for yourself, according to Lynne Curry in her book Beating the Workplace Bully: A Tactical Guide to Taking Charge. Those who do not stand up to the bully’s initial attack signal they are easy prey and inadvertently encourage continued bullying. Even if what is happening is not your fault, you are the one who must fix it, because you cannot expect the bully to change.

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A radically different version of economic history

It is important to understand how the US government has repeatedly and intelligently redesigned the economy in the past, because the market does not undergo an intelligent redesign by itself, according to Stephen Cohen and Bradford DeLong in their book Concrete Economics: The Hamilton Approach to Economic Growth and Policy. There are things that matter immensely for an economy that only government can do. If it hesitates, refuses, or botches the job, the problem does not just go away and the economy does not advance as it should.

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Five practices of winning companies

Most companies fail to create a compelling strategy, or if they do have such a strategy they fail to put it into practice; however, a small number of companies naturally combine strategy and execution in everything they do. According to Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi in their book Strategy That Works: How Winning Companies Close the Strategy-to-Execution Gap, the products and services of these companies have an enviable position in the markets they care about, and the firms reliably deliver on their promises. They each have their own unique way of competing, but they all have one thing in common: their success is clearly related to the distinctive way they do things: their capabilities.

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Interesting new ideas on leadership development

Despite the complexity and ambiguity of the world today, we all have the potential to develop as leaders, according to Alan Watkins in his book 4D Leadership: Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development. Successful leadership development requires a focus on upgrading our operating system, not just adding-on more ‘apps’ in the form of skills and experience.

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