A Material That Throws Heat into Space Could Soon Reinvent Air-Conditioning - MIT Technology Review. Eli Goldstein, a fresh-faced cofounder of SkyCool Systems, pulled open the garage door on the side of the Stanford spinout's cramped workspace in Burlingame, California, and rolled a set of square silver panels into the parking lot. They were tilted toward the sun, covered in what looked like perfectly creaseless aluminum foil and attached to a metal frame holding an array of pipes, tubes, and thermometers. Temperatures reached 104 ˚F on the San Francisco Peninsula that day, the start of a rare and scorching Bay Area heat wave.
Stepping in front of the panels felt like walking past an open oven. Which is precisely the point. SkyCool’s panels are essentially high-tech mirrors, designed to cool buildings far more efficiently than traditional air-conditioning systems by exploiting an odd quirk of optics that allows a narrow band of radiation to escape into space (see “The Sky May Hold the Secret to Efficient Air-Conditioning”). Understanding how it works requires a bit of background. IDEO's secret to better brainstorming sessions lies in the phrase "How might we" — Quartz. Brainstorming can be a tricky business. There’s the awkward silence when your boss asks a far-fetched question and no one knows how to respond. The fear that you’ll toss out an idea only to draw blank stares. The collective sense of disappointment when the whole team wants to help, but can’t come up with anything new. To avoid these pitfalls, the design firm IDEO has developed a brainstorming strategy that relies on three simple words: the phrase “How might we.”
At a recent creative leadership class at the firm’s office in New York City, nearly every question was framed as a “How might we,” or HMW: How might we make our teams more engaged? While the phrase “How might we” seems pretty basic, each word is intended to serve a specific purpose. “When our clients come to us, they’ve often been staring at a problem saying, ‘I don’t know,’ for a long time,” he says. Equally important is asking questions that will actually spark a productive conversation. Learn how to write for Quartz Ideas.
Healthcare innovation. The Applied Critical Thinking Handbook v7.0. You’ve Been Escalated: A Guide to Instigating Change. Six Ways to Be a Better Manager. Do good managers look for consensus and strive to predict the future? Not according to William Barnett, a professor of business leadership at Stanford Graduate School of Business. “Humans fear being a fool much more than they hope to be a genius,” he said during a recent discussion at the business school. Rather than risk looking foolish, employees may opt to support a consensus view or fear to voice controversial ideas, and that can lead to poor strategic choices for a business, he says. Barnett says that if people in your organization are afraid that breaking from the consensus is bad for their careers, it’s a sign that you need to rethink your approach. He shared this and other insights on managing and building successful companies during a Stanford GSB Faculty Lecture on Oct. 24. His main points: Search for the Foolish Geniuses make mistakes.
By foolishness, Barnett really means ideas that fall out of the consensus view. Look for Arguments, Not Consensus Manage for Variance — Sometimes. 7 Questions That Spark Innovation, According to Research. How GE is becoming a truly global network. The company’s vice chairman describes GE’s efforts to bust silos, boost collaboration, and build an internal marketplace of ideas and solutions. The GE that I work for now is not the same company as the one I joined in 1978, with stand-alone businesses in a holding company.
Today, we operate on the premise that our whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and the dynamic networking and exchange of ideas and solutions across GE is a performance differentiator for each business. Close to 70 percent of our business now takes place outside the United States, so this networking exchange needs to reach far and wide. The problem, of course, is that as businesses grow larger and scale up internationally, more silos start to pop up. It’s not always easy for employees to stay connected and share ideas that drive innovation and add new value, or to view sharing and multiple teaming as a competitive advantage. 1. 2. 3. There is no confusion in a well-oiled team. 4. 5.
Use the Science of Persuasion to Sell Your Next Big Idea. Sometimes the biggest and best ideas are the toughest to sell. Human beings are hardwired to protect what is familiar, a concept psychologists often refer to as “status quo bias.” “People just aren’t naturally oriented towards innovation or change,” says Loran Nordgren, an associate professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School. “If you were dealing with totally rational agents, you could sell your innovation on the grounds of its functionality—in other words, why it’s a good idea. But you are almost never dealing with totally rational agents.” Thankfully, if you are convinced that a certain new product, fresh strategy, or overseas expansion is exactly what your organization needs, there are things you can do to improve your chances of persuading key decision makers to go along with it.
Nordgren, who studies influence and decision-making, offers four guidelines for how to make your case more persuasively. Let audiences know what they are missing. Win over a critical mass. PepsiCo’s Chief Design Officer on the Risk That Comes With Innovation. Pepsi has been in hot water lately thanks to a recent ad, which it has since pulled, that featured Kendall Jenner taking part in a street protest. Last month, during our Innovation by Design conference in Singapore, we sat down with PepsiCo's Chief Design Officer Mauro Porcini, who spoke about how brands deliver their message. His words perfectly apply to Pepsi's current situation, although he was talking about the challenges that come with designing a new product or store.
"We are moving from a world when the brand was buying the right to be part of the conversation to a world where a brand needs to earn the right," Porcini said. "We are moving from a world where essentially we were saying something to people, to a world where we need to do things to be relevant enough to become the topic of those conversations.
" He went on to talk about mistakes, saying, "In a risk averse kind of world, we need to make sure we don't make mistakes. Watch the video above to hear his full comments. Rate your stay: Strategies hospitals can consider to improve patient experience. By Christine Chang, Research Manager, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Deloitte Services LP In the past, customer experience in many hospitals focused predominantly on the high end of the market: concierge medicine and VIP patients. But customer experience isn’t just a marketing tool and revenue generator focused on providing more cable channels and comfortable chairs to the top one percent. Today, hospitals should consider thinking about the customer experience more broadly – from how patients experience health care even before the point of care, to how family members and loved ones also go through the patient journey.
Customer experience can directly improve patient health, patient satisfaction, and savings – all increasingly important in today’s value-based care market. Some innovative health systems are creating new roles to focus on this, and are offering a suite of services tailored specifically to the patient experience. River’s Edge Hospital and Clinic in St. Sources:1 R. Marc Andreessen: “Take the Ego out of Ideas” When Marc Andreessen wants to think about deep issues like the state of the economy and technological change, he mentally spars with the likes of Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, and Larry Page — the people he says are the most audacious people who have worked in Silicon Valley. “I have a little simulation of Peter Thiel. He lives on my shoulder right here. I argue with him all day long.” Imaginary arguments, he says, allow you to sharpen your thinking against people smarter than you.
“You want to kind of construct a model of how they think and be able to be very objective and fair — where you can think things through from their standpoint,” he says. “Then you have your own view on things. Then you try to run through in your head what you know of them and say, OK, here are the conclusions that they would reach. Tech Isn’t a Job-Killer “There are more jobs around the world than ever before,” Andreessen says, and income levels have never been higher. Marc Andreessen Be Ruthlessly Open-Minded. What's Blocking Corporate Creativity? In today’s unforgiving business environment, it can sometimes be difficult to squeeze often-elusive creative thinking into workplace processes. Companies want results-driven methods that fit the metrics — and hopefully the forecasts. But Jennifer Mueller, a former Wharton professor now at the University of San Diego, challenges that notion in her new book, Creative Change: Why We Resist It … How We Can Embrace It.
She says a shift in mindset can make room for new ideas to flourish. Mueller talked with Knowledge@Wharton about why it’s important for companies to embrace failure along with success, and why “if you believe that pattern recognition is how you find innovation, you’re already lost.” An edited transcript of the conversation follows. Knowledge@Wharton: Are leaders scared at times to bring creative ideas forward? Jennifer Mueller: I would say yes and that it’s not their fault. They also want to know which creative ideas are the best and how to implement them. Mueller: Yes. Ideo Studied Innovation In 100+ Companies–Here’s What It Found | Co.Design. The global design firm Ideo set out to answer this question by studying the company’s 26-year archive of projects that focused on clients’ internal team dynamics, as well as external sources focused on innovation (including Fast Company‘s annual Most Innovative Companies lists).
Defining what innovation meant across many different companies was complex, but ultimately, Ideo found that the most important element is the organization’s ability to adapt and respond to change. In the end, Ideo identified six basic vectors that it says are instrumental to an innovative, adaptive company: Purpose, experimentation, collaboration, empowerment, looking out (i.e. staying informed about what’s happening in the industry), and refinement (the ability to successfully execute new ideas).
Guided by these six principles, Ideo created a survey aimed at teams within larger organizations that would help team members understand how they’re performing. Don’t Get Stuck On One Idea (Or Even Three) The “C” Word. In her 2014 book Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine combines verse, prose, and images to create a powerful record of the black American experience. She offers many anecdotes of insult and erasure, such as when a man cuts in line at a drugstore.
“Oh my God, I didn’t see you,” he says to the poet. But it is the failure to be seen and known that, in Rankine’s analysis, accounts for much more serious injustices, including the fatal police shootings of young black men. Indeed, to read Citizen is to realize that, when Rankine writes about politics, her first task is to convince her readers, especially white Americans, that their lives are already deeply implicated in politics, whether or not they want to admit it.
Poetry and politics might seem to lie at opposite poles of human nature. After all, politics is the world of argument and huge populations, while poetry deals in imagination and addresses its readers one by one. Landays name friend and enemy; they praise and curse. The Innovative Power of Criticism. The business world is awash in ideas for new products, services, and business models. Thanks to powerful ideation approaches such as design thinking and crowdsourcing, it has become incredibly easy and relatively inexpensive for companies to obtain a vast number of novel concepts, from both insiders and outsiders such as customers, designers, and scientists. Yet many organizations still struggle to identify and capture big opportunities. A division head at a global consumer electronics corporation recently told me, “We have a mass of ideas, but honestly, we don’t know what to do with them. While we’ve tried to explore some unusual avenues, we’ve ended up committing ourselves to ideas that are already familiar.”
From what I have observed, his company is the rule rather than the exception. Why is this the case? Clayton Christensen, of disruptive innovation fame, and W. The Art of Criticism Improvements are novel solutions that better satisfy existing definitions of value. Sparring Partners. Light Bandit. As much as we love having windows in every corner of the house, there are just some places where one can’t be installed, requiring it to rely on artificial illumination even during the day.
The Light Bandit is a facility designed to bring natural sunlight into those unfortunate areas of the house. Basically, it’s a lighting fixture that mimics the appearance of electric-powered home lighting. You know, like fluorescent tubes and light bulbs. Except, instead of LEDs and other artificial lighting elements, it’s actually using illumination from sunlight, which it harvests outside your house.
Described as “sunlight you control,” Light Bandit is a box that will sit on a window and collect rays directly from the sun. The light is concentrated into a flexible optical fiber that then transmits that illumination into its entire length, allowing you to brighten up areas of the house that sunlight doesn’t normally reach. A Kickstarter campaign is currently running to fund Light Bandit. Check It Out. Welcome to Inc.com. How-to-optimize-brainstorm-sessions-for-introverts. How U.S. reshoring will force Canadian manufacturers to innovate — and change the very nature of the sector.
Earlier this year, consulting company Alix Partners released a report that showed the United States had reached cost parity with Mexico as a preferred near shoring location, and that it would reach similar parity with China by 2015. In lay terms, that means it costs American companies no more to keep their production on home turf than it does to offshore it to traditionally low-cost locales in the far east. The cost difference between locating operations in the U.S. or overseas has been rapidly shrinking over the past few years, leading U.S. companies to repatriate approximately 50,000 manufacturing jobs between 2010 and 2012.
A report released last year by the Boston Consulting Group showed 37% of manufacturing companies with revenues of $1-billion or more were considering re-shoring their operations. Whatever trickle of business that comes back to Canada, there will be upgrades in skills and technology From Prof. Prof. Financial Post. Great Management Questions from Paul Graham, Jim Collins, and Other Business Leaders. When it comes to mobile tech, Canada can’t afford to be complacent. During a recent business trip to San Francisco, I wrapped-up my last meeting at 10 p.m., and walked out into a quiet street with no cabs in sight. Seeking the fastest way back to my hotel, I started searching for taxi companies on my BlackBerry. I landed on Uber – an ‘on demand’ transportation business. Backed by investors such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the firm leverages wireless technology to connect passengers with high-end vehicles for hire in 50 global markets at standard taxi rates.
Within seconds, I requested and paid for the closest vehicle with a few taps on my smart phone, and I was picked up in less than three minutes. As I stepped in, the driver welcomed me by name, handed me a bottle of water and inquired about the route I wanted to take. Why? The company only employs drivers with a rating of three or more stars. It’s is just one example of how disruptive mobile technology can transform an industry. The evidence is all around us. Canada cannot afford to be complacent. 11 Ways Big Companies Undermine Innovation - Scott Kirsner. Transient Advantage.